Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Is your medicine safe?

You think you are safe if you follow your doctors orders but are you? There seems to be a large growing problem with prescription medicine abuse that seems to have the policy holders in the U.S. concerned at this time. Since the 1990's prescriptions for narcotics has increased 300% in the U.S.
In the U.S. the second leading reason to see a physician is musculoskeletal problems. Most of the treatment of these ailments is with prescription medication and according to the Centers for Disease Control the most frequently prescribed opiate (a narcotic) is Vicodin. Vicodin is hydrocodone with Tylenol added to it. Tylenol increases the effectiveness of hydrocodone. There are approximately 139 million prescription written for Vicodin every year. In the year 2008 about 36,000 in the U.S. died from prescription drug overdose, which has TRIPLED since 1990. It is estimated, according to the CDC, that 4.6 million Americans are addicted or abuse this prescription drug. Also those on Medicaid and those living in rural areas (like Lampasas) are more likely to be addicted to this medication. Most of the current research involving lower back pain states that the use of these powerful narcotics does not help the patient get better any quicker. Another powerful narcotic is Oxycondone. In the U.S. it is prescribed for moderate to severe pain. The international Narcotics Control Board states that in 1998 11.5 tons of Oxycondone were produced worldwide. In 2009 about 135.9 tons of this medication were produced world wide and the United States accounted for 82% of the world wide consumption. This medication is a very strong narcotic that has had a problem of abuse and illegal use in the U.S. So why would a chiropractor care about this? In the U.S. back pain is the second leading reason to see a physician today (right behind upper respiratory infections). So a lot of these powerful medications are being prescribed for back pain. The problems is all of the current research into treatment of back pain has stated that these medications do very little to help a patient get over a bout of back pain, yet they seem to be prescribed more and more each and everyday. This summer the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine published a study with showed that medical doctors are ignoring published guidelines for the treatment of back pain. Research has demonstrated that NSAID (Tylenol, ibuprofen, aspirin), spinal manipulation, and exercise are the best treatments for this condition. Powerful narcotics have shown to provide little to no benefit for back pain, but prescriptions are up 51% for these medications. The authors of the study have "significant concerns" that this maybe leading the crisis of increased deaths due to prescription medication. Do yourself a favor. If you or someone you know is suffering from lower back pain and they are on these prescription medications, show them this blog, and have them call our office to schedule an appointment so that we can help them get rid of their pain safely and effectively.