Risk of Opiates Outweigh Benefits


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The painkiller epidemic that has swept across the U.S. in the last decade is common knowledge these days. Many people have developed addictions, and many have died, from taking prescription opiates. Those in recovery are made aware of the fact that any mind altering substance will have devastating effects on their lives. While someone new to recovery may still struggle with reservations about the dangers of prescriptions, they are increasingly thought of as being as dangerous as it gets in the recovery community.

It should come as no surprise that prescription opiates pose a danger to everyone, not just addicts. In fact, the American Academy of Neurology published a position statement in their latest medical journal stating that the dangers and risks associated with taking prescription opiate drugs outweigh the benefits. This statement wasn’t referencing addiction or addicts, but everyone in general. It asserted that with the exception of cancer patients, the risk of overdose and other health problems associated with opiates outweighs the benefit of pain relief. For a person with chronic headaches or back pain for example, even the relief they may get from taking opiates isn’t enough to outweigh the associated dangers – the most glaring dangers being the propensity for addiction and accidental overdose.

With the well-respected American Academy of Neurology publishing statements on how opiates are dangerous for everyone, it underscores how particularly hazardous they are to addicts or those in recovery. In short, if they are too dangerous for the average Joe, imagine how deadly they are to addicts or alcoholics. Alternative pain management practices like acupuncture and other holistic therapies may pave they way for the future of pain management to mitigate the public risk of these dangerous drugs.