Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse

Most of us think we know the tell-tale signs of drug abuse. Some of us thankfully only witness the debilitating effects of drug abuse by viewing its portrayal on a television show or movie.  We may think that drug abuse mainly affects the homeless, lost, or crazy.  There are, however, millions of people who live …

Opioids in Pain Management

As we all know, opioids are commonly prescribed for pain. The news has portrayed some scary stories, highlighting celebrity opioid overdoses and stories of addiction. Although opioids have definite risks, they can be quite effective for certain patients with chronic non-cancer pain In patients with cancer pain or those experiencing pain at the end of …

Opioids and Chronic Pain: What You Should Know

It has been 7 weeks since Prince passed away from an unintentional opioid overdose. Prince suffered from chronic pain after a hip surgery in 2010. While his death was tragic, he brought about the discussion of opioid use and chronic pain back to the table. Opioids are an extremely effective way of treating chronic pain. …

What Hollywood Gets Wrong About Addiction

When we think about Philip Seymour Hoffman, Kurt Cobain, Cory Monteith, and Marilyn Monroe, we think of tragedy. These artists not only died, they went out with a bang by “living too hard”. Addiction is not what it seems in the movies or on TV. Cheryl Strayed’s recent book turned movie Wild depicted recovered heroin addicts …

Addiction, Opioids, and Recovery, Part II

Drug addiction is a serious threat to our country’s public health because it leads to lost lives and lost productivity.  Opioids have been a special concern because there have been an escalating number of deaths related to their misuse. Our special guest is Chris Herren. As a professional basketball player, Chris played for the Boston …

Addiction, Opioids, and Recovery, Part I

Drug addiction is a serious threat to our country’s public health because it leads to lost lives and lost productivity.  Opioids have been a special concern because there have been an escalating number of deaths related to their misuse. Our special guest is Chris Herren. As a professional basketball player, Chris played for the Boston …

War on Opioids, Part II

The war on opioids began around 2010 when the Centers for Disease Control announced there were over 16,000 opioid-related deaths. That’s a big number – but not all of those deaths involved opioids alone. Our first guest, Angelika, suffers from a painful joint hypermobility condition called “Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.” Despite having a traumatic biking accident, she refused to go to the emergency room, fearing that she’d be labelled an addict, that her opioids would be taken away, and her pain would be left out of control. Author and journalist, Maia Szalavitz, then joins us. She’s written about the war on drugs and how it’s hurting patients who need them the most.

War on Opioids, Part I

The war on opioids began around 2010 when the Centers for Disease Control announced there were over 16,000 opioid-related deaths. That’s a big number – but not all of those deaths involved opioids alone. Our first guest, Angelika, suffers from a painful joint hypermobility condition called “Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.” Despite having a traumatic biking accident, she refused to go to the emergency room, fearing that she’d be labelled an addict, that her opioids would be taken away, and her pain would be left out of control. Author and journalist, Maia Szalavitz, then joins us. She’s written about the war on drugs and how it’s hurting patients who need them the most.

Pain and Addiction

Opioids can be invaluable for treating pain, but prescription painkillers can lead to abuse and addiction.  In fact, up to 7% of patients prescribed opioids to treat chronic pain may develop the disease of addiction. Christopher Kennedy Lawford, author of two, New York Times bestselling books on addiction, Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Office …

Blood, Sweat, Tears, and…Urine? Part I

We’re familiar with blood testing, but other specimens like sweat, hair, saliva, and nails can be tested too. How about testing our urine? Patients using opioids or other controlled substances for pain relief typically do have their urine checked. Jackie, our first guest has been a nurse for 30 years. Opioids have given her the …