The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reports our nation is in an unprecedented crisis. Opioid abuse is claiming the lives or more than 130 people every day, and government officials are addressing the problem through greater access to health centers, sharing best practices, and education on opioid use disorder. As the opioid crisis continues to threaten the well-being of many men and women throughout San Antonio, it’s critical to understand the issues involved.
Opioid Pain Relief versus Opioid Abuse
To understand how we arrived at this critical juncture, it’s important to note the difference between opioid pain relief versus opioid abuse. But let’s take a moment to learn how we got here.
Cancer-related issues aside, chronic pain is the most widely reported condition and the most challenging to address. Patients reporting an urgent need for treatment, the ability of chronic pain medication to provide relief, and limited treatment options jointly create an environment for opioid abuse to take root.
The New England Journal of Medicine reported in a March 2016 article that 30% of Americans report dealing with chronic pain and that number increases to 40% among older adults. As a result, opioid medications are the most commonly prescribed pain management medications, but there remain more significant issues that have contributed to the current crisis.
Opioid medications are often improperly used, resulting in large numbers of overdoses. In 2013, there were 44,000 cases of overdosing and more than a third were connected to prescribed opioids. As the medical community weighs the benefits of opioid pain relief versus opioid abuse, the types of pain medication prescribed to patients is being reevaluated.
Choosing the Right Pain Management Physician
If you suffer from chronic pain like so many others in San Antonio, you want to know the treatment you receive will not only provide the relief you seek but also in a manner that keeps your health and safety as the top priority. You want to know your physician is not only knowledgeable in the condition you’re dealing with but is a pain medicine specialist as well.
The challenge is finding a doctor who stays current on issues such as the current opioid crisis and will keep patients’ best interests in mind at all times. This may leave you feeling anxious about your search to find the right physician, but we believe that every patient deserves to know they’re receiving the very best treatment in the safest manner.
Dr. Raul Martinez and his team of Texas pain specialists in San Antonio understand the nature of the opioid crisis and are working diligently to ensure the safe and effective treatment of our patients. For close to two decades, Dr. Martinez has been building a reputation of serving those facing debilitating, chronic pain with the latest techniques in pain management. His first concern is always the well-being of the men and women he treats.
We combine experience, education, and insight to provide tailored pain management strategies for our patients using the most up-to-date methods and cutting-edge technologies. An understanding of advanced techniques and compassion for patients has allowed Dr. Martinez and his team the opportunity to bring hope to thousands of men and women struggling with pain, and in the face of the current opioid crisis, we remain committed to finding treatments that won’t put our patients at risk.
If you would like to learn more about how we can help you, we encourage you to visit our website to see a list of conditions we treat. We know that many feel their lives are controlled by the pain they face, but we don’t believe you have to live that way. Our goal is to find the right treatment for you so you can regain control of your life.
We want to partner with you to help accomplish your pain management goals. Click below to schedule your first visit with us at one of our convenient locations.