A Dallas Doctor Offers Pain Management Programs as an Alternative to Opioids

I missed this a couple weeks ago, but I found it to be a well-reasoned writing approach to a very important topic, so I wanted to pass it along. Dr. Carl Noe, medical director at the Eugene McDermott Center for Pain Management at UT Southwestern Medical Center, takes on the topics of potential alternatives to prescribing opioids for chronic pain. Here’s Noe:

But the convenience of offering a prescription for quick relief won over doctors, and our country’s pill culture appeals to patients. We in the medical community should have known better.

There’s no scientific data to show that opioids are effective in treating chronic pain, and there is a better solution. Interdisciplinary pain management programs, which combine physical therapy, behavioral counseling such as stress management and therapies including acupuncture or non-opioid drugs with analgesic effects, have proved more effective at reducing pain with far less risk.

He does go on to note that the approach isn’t for everyone, and that opioids are still worthwhile for short-term pain. But at a time in which there’s an overwhelming amount of reporting on opioid-related statistics, Dr. Noe offers a straightforward take on one way to decrease our dependence on the drug. There’s also some interesting history about opioids in Texas. If you’re so inclined, you’ll find the full piece right here.