Every day, more than 115 Americans die after overdosing on opioids, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The addiction to and misuse of pain relievers, heroin and synthetic opioids like fentanyl have become so severe the situation’s been designated a national crisis.
In addition to the devastating impact it has on the lives of so many, it’s also estimated to cost the United States $78.5 billion a year, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including the cost of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment and criminal justice.
The statistics concerning opioids are deeply unsettling:
- Roughly 21–29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them, and between 8 and 12 develop a disorder.
Nearly 80 percent of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids.
While the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are making efforts, the problem is so complex, there is no one, straightforward answer. If we can implement methods of effectively treating pain without the use of opioids, we’re one step closer to fixing (or significantly helping) the problem.
That’s where acupuncture comes in.
Learn more about acupuncture and pain management.