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Opioid Addiction - A Growing Concern in America

We have an ongoing opioid prescription drug crisis in America. While opioid prescriptions have declined some since they peaked at 255 million in 2012, according to the CDC, they are still at an astronomical level – as of 2020 an astounding 142 million!   

In 2019 the BBC produced a documentary called "Addicted: America's Opioid Crisis." Here are some frightening highlights from that video:

  • Opioids kill more people than any other drug on the market.  It is a drug that can condemn a person to a life of addiction after a single week of use.
  • 1 in 8 American children live with a parent who suffers from a substance abuse disorder,
  • Every 15 minutes, a baby in America is born suffering from opioid withdrawal.

What are Opioids?

Opioids are a class of drugs naturally found in the opium poppy plant used to reduce pain. The word comes from the Greek, "opion" – poppy juice, from "opos" meaning juice.

The CDC lists opioids in three classes:

Prescription opioids doctors prescribe opioids to treat moderate to severe pain, but they can also have serious risks and side effects. Common types are OxyContin, Vicodin, morphine, and methadone.  Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid pain reliever. It is many times more potent than other opioids. Doctors prescribe it for treating severe pain, typically advanced cancer pain1. Illegally made and distributed fentanyl has been on the rise in several states.  Heroin is an illegal opioid. 36 people die every day from an overdose death involving heroin in the United States2.  

How Opioids Mask Pain

Opioids bind to the receptors of your nervous system that block pain. Lower doses can cause drowsiness and dizziness. Higher doses can cause a feeling of euphoria and can cause breathing and heart rates to slow down to dangerous levels.

The temporary relief they offer comes with a price – the high chance of addiction. Tolerance of opioids can occur in a manner of days. It creates a vicious cycle -- a person feels pain, then takes the drug, when the pain turns up again, they need more of the drug, then feel pain again and need more of the drug, and so on. This factor, along with withdrawal symptoms, leads to addiction.

Alternatives to Opioid Pain Relievers

Unfortunately, opioid drugs do nothing to stimulate healing. The good news is that we have drug-free ways to get you pain relief that promotes healing!

At Beeson Wellness, we determine the underlying cause of your pain. Then we create a customized treatment plan based on your individual needs. Your treatment plan may include multiple therapies to provide long-term relief from your pain, restore your range of motion, and boost your body’s natural healing processes. Your customized plan may include the following:

  • Chiropractic adjustments
  • Trigger point injections
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • Exercise routines
  • Dietary changes
  • Massage therapy

With this holistic approach, many patients can experience a full recovery from their pain.

Final Words

Opioid drugs are highly addictive! At Beeson Wellness, we can help you find relief without these dangerous drugs. Call us today – we are here to help you!


Dr. Daniel Beeson

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