Do You Take Painkillers? Read This Now

Pain is part of many Americans’ daily reality. As a result, so are painkillers.

However, according to a recent National Institutes of Health white paper, opioid drugs (or opiates) actually have little effectiveness in treating long-term chronic pain.

This is despite explosive growth in the use of the drugs during the past several years.

Opiates are a class of painkillers that mimic certain neurotransmitters in the brain.

Doctors prescribe opiates like hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (Percoset) and codeine to relive pain and evoke a feeling of euphoria in the user.

The paper is a final report of a seven-member panel convened by the NIH last September. It finds many of the studies used to justify the prescription of opiates were poorly conducted or not in a credible amount of time.

Here’s the takeaway …

These opiates affect the body and mind in the same way the street drug heroin does. (Heroin is also an opiate.)

Although the effects are the same, there is a disturbing contrast on the general attitude toward these pharmaceutical painkillers and the street drug heroin.

The attitudes may be different, but the effects are similar.

Doctors and Dealers: One and the Same?

Opiates — whether they come from the pharmacy or the street — build up a tolerance to the drug in the body and brain.

Therefore, to achieve the same feelings of pain relief and euphoria, it will take more of the drug to treat the same pain levels.

This can easily lead to physical dependence and addiction.

That brings us to the real problem …

Opiates mask the pain, but they do not cure what causes it.

“That makes prolific use of these drugs surprising,” says David Steffens, chair of the psychiatry department at UConn Health and one of the study’s authors.

When it comes to long-term pain, he says, “There’s no research-based evidence that these medicines are helpful.”

Yet, the study found that opiate prescriptions have more than tripled in the past 20 years. In fact, doctors wrote more than 219 million prescriptions in 2011.

At the same time, the abuse of these drugs has also skyrocketed. Some now refer to prescription drug abuse as an epidemic.

More than 16,000 people died from opiate prescription overdose in 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Now, there is still a place in medicine for painkillers.

After all, certain diseases and surgeries would be unbearable without the assistance of opiates.

But with drug overdoses causing more deaths than motor vehicle accidents for people ages 25-64, perhaps opiates should become drugs of last resort.

I came across some suggestions from a natural-health expert that could relieve pain without the need for potentially harmful medications. I’d like to share those with you today.

I strongly urge you to check with your doctor first, though, before you try any of these pain-management suggestions.

5 Non-Drug Ways to Manage Pain

Natural-health expert Joseph Mercola offers five potentially helpful ways to combat pain without pills …

Pain-buster #1: Medical marijuana has a long history as a natural analgesic.

Right now, 20 U.S. states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes. Its high amounts (about 10%-20%) of cannabidiol (CBD), medicinal terpenes, and flavonoids can be medically beneficial.

CBD, for example, has been reported to reduce nausea, treat inflammation, suppress seizures and fight tumors and cancer cells.

Some varieties of marijuana are low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — this is the psychoactive component of marijuana that produces a “stoned” feeling &mdsah; and is high in medicinal CBD.

The Journal of Pain — published by the American Pain Society — has a long list of studies on the pain-relieving effects of cannabis.

Pain-buster #2: Take a high-quality, animal-based omega-3 fat. My personal favorite is krill oil. Omega-3 fats are precursors to mediators of inflammation called prostaglandins. (In fact, that is how anti-inflammatory painkillers work; they manipulate prostaglandins.)

Pain-buster #3: Eliminate or significantly reduce most grains and sugars from your diet. Taking sugars out of your diet can have a big impact on controlling pain and other types of chronic illnesses.

Avoiding grains and sugars lowers your insulin levels and resistance. This also helps regulate leptin — the “satiety hormone,” which helps with appetite and weight control.

Insulin spikes can lead to the production of inflammatory prostaglandins. Inflammation can lead to pain, increased chance of blood clots, elevated blood pressure and more.

Pain-buster #4: Optimize your production of vitamin D by getting regular (but not too much!) sun exposure. This works through a variety of different mechanisms to reduce your pain.

Pain-buster #5: Use the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), a drug-free approach for pain management of all kinds.

EFT borrows from the principles of acupuncture, helping you balance out your energy system.

It also helps release underlying and often subconscious, negative emotions that may be increasing your physical pain.

By stimulating (tapping) key acupuncture points on the body with your fingertips, you can balance your energy system and may be able to remove the symptoms of pain.

Mercola offers these five suggestions for “pain that is bearable … before resorting to prescription painkillers of any kind.”

If you do take or need painkillers, stay in close contact with your doctor to ensure you are taking the right dosage. Integrating one or more of these strategies could lead to reducing or even eliminating the side effects of harsh pain relievers.

Here’s to your health and wealth …

Brad Hoppmann


Uncommon Wisdom Daily

P.S. For a more in-depth look into the dangers of opiate use and a full list of 19 non-drug solutions to pain relief, you can click this link here.

Journal Reference:

David B. Reuben, Anika A. H. Alvanzo, Takamaru Ashikaga, G. Anne Bogat, Christopher M. Callahan, Victoria Ruffing, David C. Steffens. National Institutes of Health Pathways to Prevention Workshop: The Role of Opioids in the Treatment of Chronic Pain. Annals of Internal Medicine, 2015; DOI:10.7326/M14-2775

Your thoughts on “Do You Take Painkillers? Read This Now”

  1. I have been using cammabis in a lotion that I make with all national ingredients. It has cured my skin cancer,arthitis,pain and many other health problems.This cammabis plant is GOD given for your health.Us it wisely.I hope that the good LORD takes a liking to you.

  2. Mr Hoppmann has missed the point of the opioid controversy completely.

    The human brain has a Pain Center and a Pleasure Center. They are several centimeters apart. The opioid drugs, and human endorphin, stimulate both centers at once. The periaqueductal grey matter or Pain Center, adjusts our sensitivity to pain, and requires a constant level of endorphin (or an opioid replacement drug to make up for the endorphin deficiency ) to keep the brain functioning normally.. The Pleasure Center responds to the time-derivative of endorphin (and opioid) level by distracting us with its sensations that all is well, when the endorphin (or opioid) level is increasing. The sudden loss of endorphins that we experience after a major injury knocks us flat into bed, makes us less satisfied and also more aware of every pain.

    When we try to survive the injury, our Pain Center sets our response to pain, so that we ignore the dull, continuing pain of old injuries that are healing, but notice any reinjury immediately. This is why we can ignore the pain of a fractured rib for 8 weeks while it heals, but we instantly hurt, when we put the smallest stress on the weakened bone. Only endorphin and the opioid drugs have this effect!!

    Obviously the endorphin pleasure has to wear off.

    If our Pleasure Center stayed giddy with pleasure, we wouldn’t be able to stop laughing for long enough to feed ourselves. If our endogenous endorphin secretions made us deliriously happy all the time, we couldn’t function! But we need the Pain Center to shut off the alarm bells of every old injury,and remain alert for new injury if it happens.

    Addicts misunderstand this. The. Addict complains that he feels bored because he’s not giddy with pleasure.(Actually, addicts often suffer disease of the Pleasure Center called “depression”, which can benefit from treatment. But they need to understand how to discuss their depression with a doctor. Self-treatment with any quack remedy is risky, especially if we are unfamiliar with the effects, as we may ignore things that are important…such as a second disease that is masked by the depression and becomes noticeable.)

    The wearing – off of pleasure enables the opioid-dependent patient to go about his normal activities while the opioid drug assists the Pain Center at sorting out the information coming in, monitoring for signals that are important. The addict population don’t grasp this fact, and instead of suing the heroin dealer for selling them a quack remedy that didn’t help their depression but did make them poor from the payments the dealer demanded, and put them in the hospital with severe constipation and dehydration, they confuse an absence of pleasure, with pain.

    By understanding that Pain and Depression are not the same problem, we make it possible to treat each problem. Keeping the two conditions confused, helps neither one.

    Is there U.S. NIH correct about a shortage of studies? Absolutely.

    Until the invention of PET and fMRI scanners, there was no way to measure pain. It’s frightfully expensive to put these research instruments into emergency rooms and use them to identify pain. So for 4,000 years, doctors have given out opioid medicines when people appeared to be in enough pain to need them. And few quantitative studies have been done.

    Hence the controversy. We don’t measure whether the medicine works. Then when politicians try to force us to improve our society, there’s no way to measure if the political process is helping or hurting.

    Florida is terribly troubled by this controversy, as is the rest of the USA. Politicians have only the blunt instrument of force. They can compel or prohibit. What they lack is the capacity to inquire and to learn. The stress of having to learn while under crisis conditions, is enormous. I don’t envy Attorney General Pam Bondi’s set of problems in the slightest. She’s misinformed about the number of fatalities. (Many so-called pain killer deaths are from over-the-counter liver poisons like acetaminophen and naproxen sodium…drugs that don’t influence the brain’s Pleasure Center are called “safe”, even though they have real risks when taken in excess. Vicodin is acetaminophen and a little hydrocodone. Someone poisoned on too much acetaminophen is listed as an opioid death, through a fluke in how the deaths are recorded…states get Drug War money for every death listed as an addictive – substance related death and no money for liver failure deaths, so deaths caused by the acetaminophen get blamed on the hydrocodone.) She’s misinformed about how many people are at risk. (Everyone is endorphin-dependent. Some of us become opioid dependent during illness. Addiction, like leprosy, is frightening but also rare. It’s also treatable. We can relieve addiction. We cannot reverse suicide, when our laws and misinformation drive patients to it.). And in the midst of the crisis, every scrap of recycled misinformation is thrown around recklessly, making learning nearly impossible.

    Government is a blunt instrument. We manage pain patients badly, because we don’t stop to get our facts straight, before we command them what to do and ignore the consequences of our bad advice. Saint Peter once ended a letter to the pastor of a Greek church, wishing that he not have to suffer from “murderers, robbers, and busybodies”.

    It is the nature of politics never to admit error nor apologize.

    It is the nature of science to learn from our errors and improve our understanding.

    Addicts need solutions for depression, and may not realize that depression is real.

    Pain patients need pain relief, not scare-mongering and false accusations.

    Prisons relieve neither disease, and they frighten ordinary taxpayers but have little deterrent value for true sociopaths of the sort attracted to politics.

    Nevertheless, the two major US political parties remain addicted to using force and not learning. Their enablers in the mass media repeat much misinformation, on pain and other subjects, because they get paid a great deal of money to advertise the two parties’ latest fight, while ignoring everything of genuine importance.

    Anyone seeking useful knowledge about pain care, must #GivePainAVoice, because the political process is too busy telling us what it wants us to think, to ask us how we are doing, and actually listen.

    Robert W.Schubring, co-founder,
    Give Pain A Voice

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