The opioid addiction crisis claims 115 American lives every day due to overdoses. This epidemic started in the early 1990’s with the increased availability of prescription narcotics.
Opioids are highly addictive because they not only reduce pain, but they also interact with the reward center of the brain by releasing dopamine or endorphins.
Studies have shown that repeated use of analgesics also affect the body’s ability to cope with pain. Consequently, some individuals who use opioids for the first time after surgery note they they become dependent on opioids to feel normal and help them cope with pain.
Voyage Healthcare physicians are committed to making sure that you have the pain relief you need after surgery while also reducing the amount of opioids prescribed. Studies have shown that education about what to expect for post operative pain, prophylactic use of Tylenol and Ibuprofen immediately prior to surgery, early feeding after surgery and ambulation all reduce the need for opioids. These measures have reduced our patients opioid usage to almost 50% less than the local average after similar operations.
Given that many young people’s first experience with opioids is due to a family members unfinished opioid prescription, we believe that reducing opioid usage is important for not only our patients but also for their families.