We’re seeing a joint effort from all sides of the spectrum, attacking the opioid epidemic from the private sector and now the government. But who really gets to tell the doctors what to do? After all, they are the ones in the business of fixing, treating or healing patients from their pain. At what point does the government step in and limit a doctor’s ability to treat its patients?
Some patients are in real severe and chronic pain that cannot be cured, but only treated and managed to give a person comfort over an otherwise debilitating condition. These types of patients should be treated with extreme care, with consistent follow through from all care providers, from the nurses and doctors treating them to the loved ones in their every day life.
But pain management can range from medications to treatments and therapies. What the government wants to know is if the other options have been exposed to the patient, to give the sufferer a chance at a less addictive form of pain relief. And if alternatives fail the government needs to be willing to allow those with persistent pain to be treated in the most comfortable way possible to the patient.
Where the government could get involved is the short-term prescription writing. Studies have already shown that a mixture of the over the counter drugs Tylenol and Ibuprofen can have similar pain relieving effects as opioid medications and sometimes with stronger effects. Simple routine procedures like root canals, appendectomies or wisdom teeth removal should not set up an otherwise health patient onto a lifelong cycle for addiction.
The key is to treat those with chronic pain without adding to the numbers of new addiction. The first step is recognizing that not all pain needs opioids, and more and more physicians understand this fact with the rising number of opioid related overdoses. The government should be able to have a say in the type of prescribing trends a healthcare professional is setting if those trends end up with hundreds of thousands of deaths.
Further education for professionals, three-day limits for prescriptions written after routine surgeries and all methods of treatment are the cornerstones of healthcare professional interference.
Source : The Recover Newsroom