Amid the growing concern over the nation's opioid addiction crisis, doctors are also taking action to wean society off of the highly addictive painkillers, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
At the San Antonio Orthopedic Group, pain medicine physician Dr. Prabhdeep Grewal is among the doctors who have taken the initiative to try to downplay what she says is a similar addiction, the addiction of many doctors to prescribing opioids.
"A lot of patients are prescribed opioids for chronic problems without fully investigation if there are other ideologies or causes for their pain," she said.
Dr. Grewal says the current crisis and the country's reaction to it should be an eye opener for doctors that they need to treat the cause of the pain, and not just be satisfied with treating the pain, which is generally a symptom and not a disease.
She says opioids made it possible for doctors to superficially treat pain and then move on.
"They say, your knee replacement looks good, everything is fantastic, I'm not sure why you have chronic pain, but here are some medications."
Dr. Grewal says where pain exists, there is a cause for that pain, and more physicians are taking the opioid addiction crisis as the chance to go the 'extra mile' and actually trying to cure the pain instead of just masking it.
She concedes that in today's 'feel-good' society, the patients frequently demand instant relief.
"To some degree there is a culture of quick fix, and we want what we want and we want it immediately," she said.
"These drugs lend themselves to some very short acting, and significant results."
But she says spinal treatments and other therapies that can result in the cause of the pain going away, lessening the need for opioids to be prescribed for so long that the patient becomes addicted, then has to turn to street drugs like heroin when the scripts expire, may be the best say for our society to respond to this new addition crisis.
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