There’s a particularly impactful TV Ad Council campaign running now in New York, and I would think other places as well, to heighten awareness of the horrifying repercussions of opioid addiction and abuse. One spot opens with a young man, looking desperate, while the voice-over tells us that his prescription ran out, and he can’t get any more narcotics, and he doesn’t know what else to do.
He then takes a hammer and smashes his hand – cut to an X-ray of crushed, mangled bones, showing that this really happened, and then the final voice-over, warning us not to get started with opiates, or to seek help before we get to that point. Brutally effective, but gruesome and appalling.
I’ve seen two other versions, one where a guy slams his arm in a door, and a third where a guy jacks up his car, slides underneath and kicks the jack out so the car crushes him – can you imagine?
Yet, however gross the ads, this is indeed the stranglehold opioids have on those who slip down that dangerous slope – all reason disappears in favor of doing absolutely anything to get the reprieve of the next fix.
Recently I came across two articles that illustrate two contrasting perspectives on this societal scourge. The first came from a study done by Ohio Medicaid shows that the incidence of opiate-related diagnosis has increased a shocking 430% between 2010 and 2016. This has resulted in a staggering burden for Medicaid, whose budget for medication-assisted therapies swelled from $13 million to $110 million, more than doubling three times over a six-year span. It’s clear that this dangerous and unfavorable trend is not being addressed, since opioids continue to be prescribed at an alarming rate in Ohio and across the US.
The second story is from the New York Times, written by Firoozeh Dumas, an American author living in Germany who needed surgery and expected to receive heavy meds afterwards.
When she inquired about post-surgical pain management, she was assured that she would be fine, and that she would need only ibuprofen. She was accustomed to taking drugs for the slightest discomfort, and asked every doctor associated with her case for Vicodin but was denied every time.
In fact, the anesthesiologist told her, “Pain is a part of life. We cannot eliminate it, nor do we want to. The pain will guide you. You will know when to rest more; you will know when you are healing. If I give you Vicodin, you will no longer feel the pain, yes, but you will no longer know what your body is telling you. You might overexert yourself because you are no longer feeling the pain signals. All you need is rest. And please be careful with ibuprofen. It’s not good for your kidneys. Only take it if you must. Your body will heal itself with rest.” And that’s how it went – she had an uncomplicated recovery and was fine with only minimal intervention.
Wow! If that’s how some MDs in Germany practice, there is hope that doctors in the US could evolve in that direction. I feel fortunate to be on the forefront of the drug-free healing movement – and when you realize the healing capacity of your body along with care that supports that process you can shift the common view on pain relief, causing health care transformation, so tell people about safe, all-natural chiropractic care and let’s keep them off lethal drugs.
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Yours for Better Health, Dr. Shapero
EXPECT MIRACLES – WE DO