In the past few
decades, the use of opioids in treating pain has more than tripled globally.
This phenomenon can be attributed to the increase in cases of chronic pain,
which is now a major public health challenge. There has been a rise in cases of
diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disorders, arthritis, and obesity,
which are all associated with chronic pain. Opioids have been found to be
effective in suppressing the pain. However, the main points of concern in the
use of analgesics are the negative side effects associated with them. These
drugs are addictive and may contribute to physical dependence in the end.
Research has shown that
long-term use of opioids may eventually produce a consistent state of chronic
pain as the body gets used to the drugs. This results in a vicious cycle where
patients have to use other prescribed opioids to treat the pain caused by the
use of the previous opioid. Physicians treating chronic
pain in Santa Monica are looking for alternative ways of medication
that are free of addiction and other negative side effects.
The effectiveness and
use of opioids in treating medical conditions are measured based on numerous
factors such as the underlying pain condition, demographics, and severity in
the treatment progress. Other factors considered include the dose and duration
of the therapy. It is recommended that effective use of the opioids be the last
option, as, until this point, there is a lack of sufficient evidence of its
long-term effects. When treating chronic pain in Santa Monica, the clinician
will examine the effectiveness of a drug, and long-term effects before
administering the drug.
and the possibility of adverse effects
The major challenge
that healthcare providers face is the ability to use opioids to treat moderate
to severe chronic pain. As much as they are effective, patients experience
different side effects. Some of the common side effects include constipation,
mental clouding, respiratory depression, and nausea. Cases of death have been
reported due to possible overdoses.
strategies and risk mitigation
Some of the risk
mitigation strategies applied include opioid management plan, education,
frequent monitoring intervals, as well as consultation with other health
service providers in the mental and dental field. An expert internal medicine
physician educates the patient in order to identify the most critical element
that will help mitigate the risks. Such will help manage the risk of addiction.
Research has been
advanced on the positive effects in the use of opioids in treating chronic
pain. With better research, the controversies on the application of opioids in
treating chronic non-cancer pain will be addressed. Legal and regulatory
frameworks continue to guide the research and application of the opioids. The
clinical community is however keen to ensure that abuse and addiction are
effectively countered. As such, the therapy administered should be goal-oriented.
Where the goals are not met, the therapy should be discontinued immediately.
The use of non- opioid therapy should, therefore, be administered. The goals
are set at one month or less so as to enhance the effectiveness of the