WHY SOME DOCTORS ARE PRESCRIBING SUGAR PILLS TO CHRONIC PAIN PATIENTS
- December 24, 2018
As the Opioid Crisis continues to wreak havoc on the United States, you might start to feel a little more terrified about undergoing a lifesaving medical procedure. However, this anxiety most likely doesn’t stem from the procedure itself but from the medications you may be prescribed. Ultimately, opioids are a very complex medication to tackle, since they are both beneficial and highly dangerous at once. With one single pill, a person is potentially putting their life at risk for abuse and addiction. So, while some of us can endure the pain from a surgical procedure, what about people who suffer from chronic pain? Is there an alternative medication for them? According to a recent study, some physicians firmly believe so. Let’s take a closer look at why these doctors are prescribing sugar pills to chronic pain patients.
A Welcoming, Ready Brain
In a recent study, scientists from Northwestern Medicine have determined that they can accurately predict which chronic pain patients will positively respond to sugar pills based on two factors: brain anatomy and chemistry. According to A. Vania Apkarian (of the Northwestern University School of Medicine), these brains are already hardwired to respond to medication, a cognitive state that would allow them to be open to persuasion. In other words, doctors can give them the pills (telling them the medication will take the pain away), and these people will experience relief. “Tricking the brain” is a more appropriate phrase.
A Cleaner Approach to Studies
As Apkarian additionally explains, when patients receive these sugar pills, they are so convinced medications will help them heal that their brains will numb the pain (a phenomenon called the placebo effect). There is a legitimate biological response to placebos that is absolutely astonishing. Overall, the Northwestern study could benefit the medical field by:
- Prescribing non-active, safe drugs instead of deadly opioids
- Removing the placebo effect from drug studies (to a degree)
- Slicing health care costs in half
Seeking Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder
Always remember that drugs do not have control over your life. You do. Are you suffering from a substance use disorder or a severe form of addiction? Do you have a friend or family member suffering from one or more of these debilitating illnesses? If you do, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our counselors and healthcare experts are ready to walk you through every step of the detox and withdrawal process and rehabilitation and guide you towards living a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle. While the road to recovery might not be an easy road to travel, we promise to help you every step of the way. Take the first step to stay fit, healthy, and safe.
The time for you to take back control of your life is now. If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to overcome your drug abuse or addiction troubles today.