Opioid medication treat patients with chronic pain; however, it is the second most commonly misused drug in the United States. When opioid medication is abused, it can cause side effects such as addiction, overdose, and death. For this reason, opioids are the worst form of pain management.
Undoubtedly, opioid medication is not effective in treating all chronic pain patients and could in fact be harmful to patients who have high risk factors for medication misuse. Such risk factors include: patients younger than 45 years old; personal history of substance abuse, mental illness, or legal problems; and family history of substance abuse.
Additionally, opioids and other forms of “painkillers” are shown to cause the patient even more pain. For this reason, the FDA is pressuring physicians to move away from opioid prescriptions.
Monitoring Opioid Medication:
There are many steps that physicians take in monitoring opioid medication treatment for patients. For instance, urine tests are a safety measure to make sure that medication is taken as prescribed. Furthermore, physicians may monitor a patient’s medication regimen is by using pill counts and prescription history.
Patients can use opioids safely by not chewing or crushing the medication, and not increasing the dose. Patients should also keep medication safe from others and throw out any extra opioid medications by mixing them with used coffee grounds or cat litter.
Regenerative Medicine as an Alternative:
At Metropolitan Pain Consultants, opioids are no longer used for pain management. Therefore, we had to replace it with something safer. That is why we provide our patient’s with the option for regenerative medicine. In particular, we treat pain with Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) and Bone Marrow Concentrate (BMC).
Both PRP and BMC are forms of regenerative therapy that make use of a patients own blood or stem cells to heal an injured area. They are outpatient treatments with very minimal side effects and feature a quick turnaround time.