Tag Archives: dependency

Doctors Focus on Reducing Painkiller Use in Chronic Pain Patients

chronic painA recent study of patients taking prescription narcotics for chronic pain conditions focused on reducing the amount of drugs they were using. The research team, headed by Dr. Beth Darnall, was able to successfully cut down the amount of medication being taken without increasing the intensity of their pain.

Dr. Darnall is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Division of Pain Medicine at Stanford University. She is the author of the book Less Pain, Fewer Pills and is focused on the psychology of pain. Her work is important not just for the help of individual patients to reduce their symptoms, but it can also hold the key to helping to eliminate some of the opioid dependency in our country that starts with chronic pain.

Typically, patients believe that if they take less medication that they will experience more pain, but this research has thus far shown positive results. “A lot of people falsely assume that if you taper off opioids your pain will spike, your depression and anxiety will increase and you will fall apart,” said Dr. Darnall. “They think opioids are holding them together. Our data suggests otherwise.”

The psychology of pain shows that people have different reactions to their pain and can help control their symptoms based o their mindset. Dr. Darnall works with patients to “harness the power of their mind-body connection to reduce suffering, pain and need for medications.”

With overdose deaths reaching new heights around the country, there has been considerable focus of late on reducing the influence and damage that opioids can cause. The CDC recently issued new prescribing recommendations, which included finding non-opioid treatments for mild to moderate chronic pain.

Helping to cut the overall number of pain pills being taken can have a dramatic effect on improving the quality of life for potentially millions of people as well as help save thousands more from addiction.

Drivers Under the Influence of Xanax Increase

xnxXanax, or alprazolam, is an anti-anxiety drug that is widely prescribed to people who struggle with mental health-related issues. Many people suffer from such severe anxiety disorders that they are required to take the medication on a daily basis. Other people only use Xanax when they are in situation that produces anxiety for them, like a plane or an important event. Alprazolam is also a drug that causes impairment, and people taking it should not be driving or operating machinery.

Xanax is one of the most abused prescription drugs on the market, and many people develop a severe dependency to the drug, whether taken by itself or in combination with other substances. The millions of people who have taken the drug, either abusing it or using it by prescription, has increased the number of people cited for driving under the influence of the drug. In fact, Xanax has actually become the second-most common drug in DUI cases, having surpassed marijuana.

“I have no doubt that people who use Xanax for anxiety get some relief from these drugs. But we should steer away from medicines that require daily use for an extended period of time,” explained Peter Hendricks, a chemical psychologist. His point being that drugs like this can cause a serious dependency and addiction that can become more damaging than the original problem. Many professionals are now recommending finding other ways to deal with mental health problems, if possible, before resorting to medications that have a high potential for abuse.