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Do We Really Need Opioids for Pain?

opioids for chronic pain

Story at-a-glance -

  • A study evaluated the effects of four different combinations of pain relievers — three with different opioids and one opioid-free option composed of ibuprofen and acetaminophen — on people with moderate to severe pain in an extremity
  • The patients had an average pain score of 8.7 (on a scale of zero to 10) when they arrived at the emergency room; two hours later, their pain levels decreased similarly, regardless of which drug-combo they received
  • Opioids are not always necessary to treat moderate to severe pain, as ibuprofen and acetaminophen (which admittedly have their own set of risks) may work just as well

By Dr. Mercola

The U.S. is in the midst of an opioid crisis, with more than 91 Americans fatally overdosing on the powerful drugs every day. The statistic includes prescription opioids, heroin and fentanyl, but many of the deaths stem from prescription drug use. In fact, of the more than 33,000 Americans killed by opioids in 2015, nearly half of them involved a prescription for the drugs. Even the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states:


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