President Trump is officially declaring the opioid crisis a “national emergency”—an act usually reserved for natural disasters, mass infectious disease outbreaks, and terrorist attacks. This announcement—the first of its kind—underscores the magnitude of the crisis. The amount of prescription opioids legally sold almost quadrupled from 1999 to 2010. The leading cause of accidental death in the U.S. today is from drug overdose—virtually all involving an opioid.
Harvard University health economists put the price tag for necessary services to combat the growing opioid problem at roughly $190 billion over 10 years.
Logistically, the President could use the Stafford Act to cut through regulatory red tape and make funds available through, for example, FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund. The other route would be to apply the Public Health Service Act to make naloxone treatment more readily available to those hooked on pain killers—even in rural communities. Plans also include strengthening law enforcement.
However, the underlying cause, which seems to be missing from the emergency equation, is our national pain crisis. One in three Americans suffers from chronic pain.
“In addition to the interdiction arm for dealing with medications finding their way onto the street, it’s also critical that we protect the one out of three Americans dealing with pain,” says board certified internist Jacob Teitelbaum, MD. “Fortunately, effective, new methods for pain management offer relief without the need for narcotics.”
According to Dr. Teitelbaum, medicine is starting to understand that pain is not an outside invader, but rather it is like the oil light on a car’s dashboard, telling us that something needs attention.
“By using the entire healthcare toolkit—not just medications and surgery—pain can be much more effectively treated. This way, we can stem the flow of narcotics contributing to the 64,000 overdose deaths yearly, while still making sure that people in pain get pain-free.”
Dr. Teitelbaum’s published research has shown that pain does go away when the body gets what it needs. Using the devastating body-wide pain of fibromyalgia as a model, his S.H.I.N.E.® protocol was found to provide dramatic pain relief in 90 percent of subjects. The majority of people in the study (Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, 8:2,2001), no longer exhibited symptoms of fibromyalgia after three months.
Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the world’s leading researchers on narcotic-free pain relief. He is the lead researcher on four published studies showing effective integrative treatments for pain and chronic fatigue without narcotics. He’s the author of seven popular books on the subject. He also was on the other side of the white coat, when fibromyalgia knocked him out of medical school and left him homeless for a year. For more information on Dr. Teitelbaum’s work, visit www.vitality101.com.