Okay. Okay. Maybe a little too cute in using the French term for “no exit”. But the constant reports about the opioid crisis in America has me wondering if I am living in a foreign land. Yahoo’s banner article just reminded us of how insidiously narcotics have threatened all elements of our society.
How bad is it? For the first time in 2016, more people died of drug overdoses than died in motor vehicle accidents. The NY Times framed the crisis and then followed up with the tragedy of an Ohio farmer who lost two children to heroin overdoses and has his lone surviving child in rehab. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services recently sent a letter to all of the state’s physicians asking that they help with the narcotic epidemic by using a database that tracks every prescription that a patient gets at any pharmacy. In other words, how many Oxycontin pills has the patient gotten before they hit your office complaining of pain? Make no mistake: pills are easy to get. So-called “pill mills” churn them out and heroin may be easier and cheaper to get on the street. But you know the problem is huge when prime-time television ads repeatedly market a laxative specific for opioid constipation.
How did we get here?
At least one orthopedic surgeon thinks it all began when institutional medicine decided that “patient satisfaction” became the benchmark for quality care. If the patient demanded pain medicine and then complained that no one responded, care must have been lacking. Making pain a vital sign caused the opioid crisis. Here’s how. US Senator Claire McCaskill thinks the blame may belong to the pharmaceutical companies. But the story of the opioid disaster is a complex one, at least partially driven by American culture’s desire for instant gratification.
America is addicted to immediate satisfaction: pills for any disease, TV shows, movies, and shopping anytime you want, sports 24/7, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. Isn’t it reasonable to expect your pain to go away immediately, without consequence? And so what if you get hooked and overdose? Naloxone is now here to save you. Instantly.
At EHOP Health, your journey is not going to instantly make your diabetes, high blood pressure, or extra weight go away. Your addictions and cravings will not dissipate overnight. Rather your Journey to Health will teach you the three pillars of health: Eat Well, Move Well, and Live Well. Changing directions is not easy, but with the proper help, extremely doable.