Handling chronic and acute pain has long been a problem in our society. Long ago it was a problem that was largely ignored by the medical community. If you suffered from back pain or nerve pain you were expected to find ways of coping with it. A few decades ago this viewpoint changed dramatically when more prescription painkillers came onto the market. Doctors were prescribing the addictive drugs for all sorts of pain issues, not realizing how addictive the pills were going to be for some people. As a nation, we have realized that the over-prescription of narcotic painkillers is a real problem, however there still needs to be a way to address pain.
Prescription drug abuse is one of the leading causes of death in our country. Addicts oftentimes become hooked on the pills because they were given a prescription for some sort of pain issue. Since the pills also produce a euphoric effect as well as temporarily masking the pain, many people develop addictions to the narcotics.
Once the dependency is created, addicts tend to start abusing heroin as well. Ingesting heroin allows the addict to feel the same high they would receive if they took a pill, but heroin is stonger, cheaper and easier to obtain. Federal and state government agencies continue to seek solutions for the prescription painkiller epidemic. One road of discovery points to finding a new way to treat pain so that other people will not be sucked into a pain pill or heroin addiction.
Scientists believe they are closer than ever to developing a way to treat pain without the creating more addicts in our society. Cora Therapeutics recently came out to say that they are developing a pain reliever that has proven to be safer than other painkillers currently on the market. By “safer”, the company means that there is less chance for addiction with these new pills than there are with the leading prescription pain remedies. However, as has been seen with many other types of prescription drugs, dependency cannot be absolutely ruled out.
If more doctors begin prescribing these less addictive painkillers, it would seem that a much needed shift in the addiction problem may occur. While this will not stop people from becoming addicts, and it certainly will not cure those who are already addicted, it could be a positive step in the right direction.