While prescription opioid use and consumption continues to fall in the United States, the number of U.S. drug overdose deaths are reaching record levels. This is due to illicit fentanyl and other drugs, not from pain medication. To read more about what IQVIA researchers learned about opioid use, click the full article here. While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused some additional temporary decline in use, levels have returned to normal since the economy reopened. Overall, the management of opioid medication is progressing well.
Overdoses Continue to Rise
The drug overdose epidemic is worsening and is at the highest rate ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted daily life and has hit those with substance use disorders hard. Another report warns thousands of Medicaid patients are being prescribed too many opioids. Prescribers with unusual prescription patterns are also being monitored to address the crisis. To read the full article, click here.
A Possible Solution or Alternative
It is possible that the addition of light therapy could also help patients with chronic pain. NIR therapy has no known side effects, is non-invasive, and easy to administer. Light therapy can help relieve musculoskeletal pain of any cause. It works by increasing ATP synthesis in cells and triggering other biochemical and biophysical reactions in living tissue which promote healing. The light also triggers the release of nitric oxide in the body which increases blood flow, relieving pain in that way.
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