As we continue our series on the Texas-sized struggle to suppress opioid abuse, doctors say most addicted patients actually have the pain they are prescribed for.
In fact, over 25 million adults suffer from chronic pain. But who could be the next statistic?
“Patients don’t fit into boxes. They don’t read the textbooks, so the frustrating part for us is to somehow,” said Dr. Scott Irvine.
Doctors at Integrated Pain Associates in Killeen deal with patients who legitimately need pills for pain. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the largest increase in opioid overdose death rates were men between 25 – 44 years old.
Experts say these numbers may rise as baby boomers begin to age past 65 years old.
Nationwide overdoses of heroin, cocaine and psychostimulants have each risen between 19 – 52 percent in 2016. The over-prescription of drugs under federal programs such as medicaid and medicare remain a serious concern.
With so much regress, doctors say there are sprinkled stories of success.
“When the patient was being treated here, we had that conversation about going down on his medications and doing alternative treatments, and he was not happy. We got a letter in the mail just the other day. It was from that patient. And he said, ‘I didn’t know at the time that you were doing for me what was best,” said Lydia Bailey.
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For more information, you can view our previous story here.