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TCM to the rescue! to integrate with Western medicine to help treat pain in the USA and stop the Opioid crisis!

Author: 
Dr. Isa-Allean Blacksher, N.D.
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

Pain is often a major aspect of most patient’s health problems. It is not uncommon that doctors try to look for the best way to care for and treat their patients to make them comfortable by resolving these pain issues. Patients also look for the fastest and most effective ways to eliminate their pain to find relief from their discomforts. With this strong need for pain management, opioids have been the answer for many years and are being heavily prescribed by western doctors; unfortunately addiction problems have occurred. Although opioids effectively numb pain and give relief, they are also extremely dangerous and highly addictive! Many times opioids are even ethically misused, over prescribed, abused and systematically wrongly applied and now for the western medical system this is now very hard to control. A better treatment option is needed for what has turned into an epidemic as it gets worse with the increase of opioid prescriptions, consequently there are more people dying now in America due to opioid overdose than in traffic accidents! So, with so many suffering from pain in the mainstream US health care system and now from addiction from taking highly addictive opium-based pain killers the new challenge of trying to find a better form of treatment has arisen but has yet to be solved. Common sense tells us that exchanging the problem of chronic pain for the deadlier problem of having a prescription opioid addiction - is no solution at all. So what is a better solution for pain management? Integrative medicine combining the powers of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Acupuncture along with western medicine is. The Simple Fact: TCM is better for treating pain, this is a simple fact, and truthfully, since the root of the real illness in many patients is not really being addressed or rectified this reveals that using opioids to treat pain is not the most intelligent system for treating a health problem - it is just a temporary fix. In fact, instead of helping, this system is leading millions to become dependent to solving their health issues with a highly addictive substance and this is leading to the development of a deadly cycle. The cycle of pain and illness, medicating with opioid medication, leading to addiction pain. Repeat…. pain, opioids, addiction - pain, repeat….and the cycle goes on and on – usually continuing until overdose. In 1999 there were 4,000 deaths attributed to opioid prescription painkillers and by 2011 that number more than tripled to 14,000 and that is more patients dying than overdose from the people on the street using street drugs like cocaine and heroin combined - in 2014 death from opioids rose again to 18,893. These figures show that from 1999 to 2015 over half a million Americans have died from overdosing on opioid prescription drugs - these statistics are according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and because of this the whole situation is now being labeled as “an opioid crisis” and an “overdose epidemic.” Presently this cycle of addiction to opioids has contributed to the degeneration of a whole nation of people, their families and their communities, struggle to find a balance with opioid pain medications - where there is none.

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