Shift from pain medicine to alternative treatment
Featured letter to the editor of Sarasota Herald-Tribune
In response to the recent Herald-Tribune article "I know treatment works": I applaud the efforts and the support of Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight and Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells. In addition, state Rep. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, and Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, have taken steps to toughen laws for possession and distribution.
As has been previously reported, Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency on the opioid crisis, which will bring in federal funds for addiction treatment.
While it is certainly necessary to provide resources to combat this epidemic, these efforts have been reactive rather than preventative thus far. What seems to be missing is a determined effort to prevent exposure to these powerfully addictive drugs in the first place.
Consider the statement in the article: "...80 percent of the people who overdose and die of heroin are people who became dependent on a prescription opiod path." So people become addicted first to legally prescribed medications and, once hooked, moved on to readily available and cheaper street drugs.
Now is the time for a shift in the first line of treatment for chronic and acute pain with solid evidence-based alternatives such as chiropractic, acupuncture, massage and functional nutrition. These well-established and safe modalities provide a solution for patients and will prevent opening the door to these dangerous and addictive drugs.
Let's move the trend in reverse and start being proactive to build healthy communities.