Doctors explain political struggles of pain treatment
Pills, pot, and the politics of pain. That was the topic of discussion as attorneys, doctors and law makers met for an in depth look at the causes and treatments of addiction.
Politics have a huge impact on pain treatment according to the professionals from all sides of the opioid epidemic. From law enforcement officers to doctors to journalists.
All of whom say this problem is not easily fixed.
“It’s important to understand that we have deaths occurring because of the abuse and over use of opioids. and it’s rising by two to three hundred percent even in our children,” Dr. Larry Bookman said.
He added, each patient feels pain differently, describes it differently. It’s subjective.
“We have to do something to treat the patients who have real pain, but avoid the overuse,” he said.
Treatment has become highly political. Doctors said with recent legislation, they’re on the right track but there’s still work to be done.
“We do have to do better in what we’ve currently been doing, and recognize it for what it is and stop blaming,” said Jean Hausherr, MD.
As a society, medical professionals said we tend to place blame on doctors for overprescribing addictive medication, on big pharma for making them too available and even on the addicts themselves.
“The truth of the matter is, all of those things are part of the problem.” According to Keith Wailoo, Ph.D, “and it took us twenty years to identify oxycotton abuse as a problem that warrants this kind of attention, we shouldn’t expect to solve this problem in one year.”
Some professionals are hoping for an expansion of pain treatment other than pills such as acupuncture or physical therapy.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, here are several resources in the metro: