Pain management medication is one of the most vital components of effective pain treatment regimen. Despite all the naysayers regarding opioid medications and the risks involved, there are a significant amount of benefits associated with narcotic prescription medications. They definitely have their place in pain management.
The key is for Arizona pain doctors to prescribe as safely as possible with a compliance check list in place along with prescriptions provided according to evidence-based medicine.
The Facts of Narcotic Prescription Drugs
Every 14 seconds in America, there is a prescription drug overdose fatality. Each year, there are approximately 20,000 narcotic overdose fatalities in the United States. Between the years 2000 and 2010, opioid prescriptions in America quadrupled with Vicodin now being the number one prescribed drug in the whole country.
According to the CDC, for every person who has a fatal overdose from opioid medications, there are 32 more that end up in an emergency room with a nonfatal overdose. That means over 600,000 individuals per year!
Benefits of Opioid Medications
What a lot of people forget when looking at these incredible statistics is that when prescribed and taken properly, opioid prescription medications can provide incredible pain relief to those dealing with either acute or chronic painful conditions. So the key with pain management doctors is for the medications to be prescribed appropriately and as safely as possible.
Arizona Pain Specialists has put together a 12 step opioid protocol in an attempt to make narcotic prescriptions as safe as possible. The protocol consists of:
- Pain Scale Assessment
- A clear documentation of the patient’s condition as it applies to opioid management. This may include degenerative disc disease, chronic low back pain or something such as peripheral neuropathy.
- The next component is that the patient has received a beneficial response to the narcotic medications.
- Specific Goals being addressed by the opioid treatment.
- Updated complete medication list.
- Documented social history including drug abuse if applicable.
- Risks and benefits or narcotics explained and documented.
- Referrals and additional treatments offered (e.g. procedures, rehabilitation).
- The board-certified pain management doctors in Arizona at the clinics perform routine physical examinations and document the risks and benefits of the narcotic medications being prescribed.
- The pain centers conduct pharmacy board reviews and
- Have patients sign opioid agreements to facilitate compliance and safety.
- In addition, patients receive urine drug screening to ensure compliance with treatment protocols.
Radiofrequency Ablation treatment may provide 12 to 18 months of pain relief.
All in all, Arizona Pain Specialists leads the way in responsible and safe opioid medication management.
The key factor in how Arizona Pain instills medication management into treatment is having it as just one of many options for treatment.
Others include interventional pain procedures, physical rehabilitation, chiropractic treatment, spinal decompression therapy, acupuncture, TENS units and more.
By customizing these treatments to the patient’s individual needs, successful results occur over 90% of the time and most individual stay on fairly low doses of medications.