Preventing Chronic Pain is Better than Opioid Use
A lot of work has occurred and is underway to prevent unnecessary major health conditions such as avoidable chronic pain. While it remains an enigma to much of the general public, more health care system and the scientific community are taking notice. Chronic pain is the primary symptom of many health issues, and we need to prevent it.
The Institute of Medicine and the National Pain Strategy both recognize that chronic pain conditions are:
- the main reason for the use of opioids
- the No. 1 cause for seeking medical care
- the primary factor behind disability
- and the No. 1 driver of rising health care costs
Many people assume that cancer, heart disease and diabetes are the big factors behind our explosive medical system costs. However, the use of opioids in the United States alone burdens the system with over $700 billion in health care and lost work. This is equivalent to 25 percent of total health care costs and nearly 5 percent of the U.S. total gross national product.
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