Battling the alarming increase in prescription pain medication abuse does start with health-care providers and the seminar held on Nov. 6 for these providers was a good first step in the effort to educate the providers. (Nov. 7 article, “Experts gather to tackle abuse of prescription narcotics.”)
The next step is to educate these same providers about the other options and choices that are available for pain control: acupuncture, biofeedback, neurofeedback, physical therapy, exercise, massage and electrotherapy stimulation.
In addition, a great number of people in our population who are in recovery from substance abuse (including prescription medications) should not be prescribed painkillers as a first treatment. For many of these patients, seeking relief from chronic pain is what led them down the path to eventual abuse. We should provide other options. Because patients look to their providers for guidance and recommendations, we should make sure that they have the education, knowledge and resources to prescribe and recommend alternative treatments. In the future, I hope there will be ongoing dialogue and more seminars regarding the options available and that prescription medications will not be the first line of defense in the treatment of chronic pain.
Nancy S. Campbell
Therapeutic Resources, Inc. Mill Creek
Therapeutic Resources, Inc.