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Suncoast Rehab Says Prescription Painkiller Trend Masks Source of Chronic Pain and Influences Addiction
Date:1/13/2014

SPRING HILL, Fla., Jan. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- In recent years, medical practitioners have written millions of prescriptions for drugs such as Vicodin, Percocet and OxyContin, which contain compounds derived from opium—one of the world's most powerful painkillers—all in an effort to relieve Americans of the chronic pain resulting from bad backs, headaches, surgeries and many other ailments.  However, rampant prescribing practices have contributed to the rise in painkiller addiction and subsequent overdoses, some say.  Suncoast Rehab Center (SRC) says that painkiller addiction has created a public health disaster, and encourages a more stringent prescribing process, as well as public education, to counteract addiction's current hold on American society.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140113/MN40793)

SRC Executive Director Tammy Strickling says that people often mistakenly believe painkillers to be a "safe" option, because they are so readily prescribed.  However, unbeknownst to many outside of the medical profession, prescription opioids act on the same brain receptors as does heroin, and are extremely addictive (3).  Strickling maintains that not only should doctors exercise more caution when prescribing such drugs, but they should also offer alternatives which help patients to eliminate or reduce chronic pain, rather than just masking it with drugs.

Powerful opioids, which have become the standard in pain treatment, are to blame for nearly 17,000 American deaths each year, as well as thousands more cases of addiction and overdose, despite little evidence that they effectively treat long-term pain (1).  Prescription painkillers now cause more overdose deaths than do cocaine and heroin combined—and even when they
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SOURCE Suncoast Rehab Center
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