In the United States, prescription drug abuse in 2012 resulted in a death every 19 minutes. Since then, drug overdose fatalities have continued to rise. No one wants to live in pain. But no one should put their health at risk in an effort to be pain-free.
Since 1999, Americans have increasingly been prescribed opioids—painkillers like Vicodin, OxyContin, Opana, and methodone, and combination drugs like Percocet. In some situations, dosed appropriately, prescription opioids are an appropriate part of medical treatment. However, opioid risks include depression, overdose, and addiction, plus withdrawal symptoms when stopping use. And people addicted to prescription opioids are 40 times more likely to become addicted to heroin.
NPR recently delved into the topic of prevention and treatment options for prescription drug abuse, including interviewing our own program director Dr. Eric Robertson. Click to listen to the full episode of “Drug Addiction” aired on 3/6/2017. Dr. Robertson spoke with Hearsay host Cathy Lewis about the need for public education about physical therapy as a viable way to manage chronic pain. “That’s one of the problems when you talk about this opioid scourge…is that patients don’t really know what the options are as an alternative to getting pain medication,” Dr. Robertson told NPR’s Hearsay.
Dr. Robertson also pointed listeners to the American Physical Therapy Association’s #ChoosePT campaign, which urges the public to consider physical therapy as an alternative to opioid pain medication, without the risks and side effects of opiods. Patients can go to moveforwardPT.com for more resources on physical therapy and information about the campaign.