If you listen to news reports, the tragic opioid epidemic in the United States today primarily seems like a youth and young adult problem. These populations are mobile and highly visible, and reports of overdoses occurring in public places like convenience store parking lots and even hospital bathrooms are frighteningly familiar. The sad truth, though, is that opioid abuse is also hurting older adults and seniors at alarmingly high rates, as well.
The older population is suffering silently in many cases, as large numbers of affected individuals live in rural areas without access to supportive care or many resources at all. Older Americans are overdosing in their homes, which goes unnoticed by the media. Or, they’re misusing opioids on a long-term basis in ways that are making them sick as they suffer serious side effects (nausea, dizziness, respiratory depression) of their pain relief efforts. Still more are embarrassed to admit they have a drug abuse problem, or they don’t even realize that they are addicted and at risk of overdosing.
The good news is that there are lots of ways to break the cycle of relying on opioids for pain management. Even doctors who once were quick to write prescriptions for oxycodone, hydrocodone, or codeine have now learned that these drugs have more drawbacks for almost all patients than positive qualities, and they’re focusing on alternative therapies. Chronic pain, or even acute pain following surgeries or dental procedures, is undoubtedly a real problem in many people’s lives. Unfortunately, the “quick fix” answer of opioids for pain control turned out to cause a crisis instead of solving problems.
So, what are your options for pain management without opioids? Let’s take a look at some of the proven treatments and more creative methods that are gaining in popularity now. Continue reading Pain Control without Opioids is Possible for Seniors