​Opiates and Pain Management:

      In 2012, Gavin Bart, MD, indicated in his National Institute of Health article, that two  “medications approved by the FDA” are “the opioid agonist methadone and the opioid partial agonist buprenorphine (suboxone)” can be utilized for pain management.
      “Once in the brain, the primary target for

opiates is the mu opioid receptor. This receptor is present throughout the brain with

highest density in areas modulating pain and reward (e.g., thalamus, amygdala, anterior

cingulated cortex, and striatum).”

     The author further states that, “recent increases in methadone associated deaths are primarily related to its minimally regulated use in the treatment of pain and not due to its use in the treatment of opiate dependence. This may be due to too rapid dose escalations and a differential rate in development of tolerance to the analgesic and respiratory suppressive effects of methadone.” As well, “deaths associated with buprenorphine have been reported following its more rapid delivery through injection or when combined with

benzodiazepines.”

     Besides the administrative risks, there is an inherent stigma that can be attached to people wirh chronic pain being on either of these two particular medications. As well, more and more physicians are veering away from prescribing them at all because their prescription rates are being compared negatively to their colleagues by federal and state officials. 

      In essense,you cannot rely on opiates strictly for long-term pain relief. Instead, it is necessary to develop a long-term, pain management lifestyle’ that consists of multiple ways to reduce your chronic pain.

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