- Dr. Kornfeld
“Medtronic neurostimulator devices can offer hope for chronic pain sufferers. The innovative pain control devices could change the lives of patients afflicted by daily chronic pain as a result of physical injury or illness. These devices are not appropriate for every patient or pain condition. However, for those whom are deemed prime candidates, neurostimulator devices can provide life-altering pain therapy.” Read More here
We have our copy and feel that this addition is truly the most objective and informative text in the field currently. More information here.
“Topics include scientific, evidence-based facts and perspectives on abuse programs, pain and addiction, co-occurring addiction and psychiatric and neuroscience disorders, psychiatry, neuroscience and neurobiology, pharmacological advances screening, the brief intervention, laboratory testing, alcohol treatment.”
Opiate addiction was America’s first drug crisis. Emerging in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s and culminating in the needle based heroin epidemic that has been with us ever since, the abuse of this class of drugs spawned the “war on drugs.” Absolutely essential to medical care as morphine, oxycodone, and similar molecules, opiates cannot and should not be banished, but need to be thoughtfully studied, regulated, and prescribed by physicians duly qualified and supported by society for this role.
In the past two decades, pharmaceutical industry excess and premature enthusiasm by the health system to relieve escalating pain syndromes led to the “OxyContin” debacle, where a useful pain remedy was overprescribed, shared, diverted, and abused and overtook heroin as the leading cause of drug overdose deaths. In the face of greater scrutiny now for OxyContin and other opiates prescribed for pain, heroin is making a comeback. Since the 1960’s, methadone was the only permitted substitution opiate for physicians to prescribe; for many addicts, it has been compared in necessity to insulin for the diabetic. But methadone, dispensed only in special clinics, itself shared many of the dangers and side effects of heroin and OxyContin, namely euphoria, addictive use, overdose, and perpetual dependence.
The best medication solution now available for opiate addiction and the logical alternative to morphine, OxyContin and related drugs for pain is buprenorphine. Discovered in the late 1960’s at a world class opioid laboratory in Hull, England., its inventors hoped to find the elusive “Holy Grail” of opioid pharmacology, a morphine analog effective for pain, but not associated with addiction or overdose. It is now understood that buprenorphine falls short of Holy Grail status on all of these parameters, but can consistently demonstrate distinct and superior pharmacologic and clinical properties compared to any other opioid drug.
More to come in the future.
In the U.S., someone dies from a prescription drug overdose every 19 minutes. Most of these deaths involve opiate medications like OxyContin and Vicodin. As physicians, we have a responsibility to help ease pain but also to prescribe responsibly. Check out this article from CNN (from today).
Teenagers need more of it. The American Academy of Pediatrics says the lack of sleep causes “poor academic performance and poses a serious public health concern. Traffic accidents, depression and obesity can result, with schools that start too early contributing to the problem.” Do you agree?
States in the midwest and south currently prescribe the most prescription opioids. Click here to read the Popular Science Article on the topic. Do these states have the highest rate of rehab admission as well?
Our heart pours out to Robin Williams, and his family. He was found dead in his home in Marin County, California this morning. Mr. Williams had recently checked out of rehab and early indications are that it may have been a suicide. For us at Recovery Without Walls, this hits close to home as Mr. Williams would often give comedy shows across the street from us here in Mill Valley. We will keep our blog up-to-date and give our own analysis. Rest in Peace Robin as does the rest of the world.
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