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Salem Health Responds to Opioid EpidemicSalem-News.com
Salem Health Responds to Opioid Epidemic
(SALEM, Ore.) - The use of opioids—including prescription pain medication—was labeled an epidemic long before the president declared a “public health emergency,” last month.
Everywhere you turn, this trend has been in the news. But this news isn’t fake. Statistics in Oregon alone back up the claim:
A patient’s road back from addictionThe best view of this crises is through a patient’s eyes—a patient like Ron Cox from our own community. “I wasn’t living, I was just fighting the pain,” Ron said. “I literally thought I was going to die. Opioids are a one-way ticket to a place you don’t want to go.” Learn more about how Ron conquered his addiction in this short video. The clinic follows a two-pronged approach: Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guideline to Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, combined with a holistic approach to reduce dependency through all aspects of health — physical, social and mental. “The biggest hurdle we help patients overcome is accepting they have a problem with pain medication,” Dr. Coelho said. “After all, nobody wants to be labeled a drug addict, especially if they’re using prescribed drugs.”
The truth about opioidsOpioids — such as hydrocodone and oxycodone — are beneficial when taken for fewer than three months, Coelho noted. Studies show that long-term use doesn’t improve function. “It’s a vicious cycle because the brain likes the drug, so the body tells the brain it wants more, just to feel normal,” Coelho said.
“Our approach is to change the brain signals to change the pain cycle, similar to the classic 12-step recovery process.” The clinic aims to help patients understand their pain, not feel stigmatized and reduce dependency by prescribing other medications and teaching other options.
For information on non-lethal medication choices:
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