In response to a study titled “Hospitalizations for Poisoning by Prescription Opioids, Sedatives, and Tranquilizers” published in the April issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the Waismann Opioid Detox Method encourages Americans to take steps to better understand and recognize the potential dangers and addictive nature of prescription pain medications. The seven-year study found that accidental poisoning is the second leading cause of accidental death in the United States, even surpassing car accidents as the leading cause in people ages 35 to 54 in 2005. The report also shows that over a 10-year period (1996-2006), the number of hospitalizations in the United States for prescription painkiller overdoses increased by 65 percent.
The statistics, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, correlate highly with the results of a recent Waismann Method survey of prescription pain medications, which found that 78 percent of respondents took more than their prescribed amount of medication and avoided pain medication friends or on the street. The same survey found that 71 percent of people who take prescription pain relievers said they experience as much – or in some cases more – pain than they did before taking prescription pain relievers, suggesting that these opiates are not for long-term use suitable for pain treatment.
“The availability of prescription pain relievers, coupled with the perception that they are safe and may become less of a habit because they are prescribed by a doctor, largely contributes to these findings,” said Dr. Michael Lowenstein, Medical Director of the Waismann Method. “When used correctly, these drugs are extremely effective in treating chronic pain, but they need to be monitored very carefully.”
Prescription painkillers are becoming more and more accepted by the general public and are becoming easier to obtain. In fact, the Group Health Research Institute estimates that three to four percent of all American adults currently use opiates and/or have them in their medicine cabinet.
“Education and awareness-raising is the first line of defense against accidental injury and the increase in hospitalizations due to inappropriate use of prescription pain medication,” Lowenstein said. “We encourage chronic pain sufferers and anyone taking prescription pain relievers to be aware of the power of these opiates and to consider the potential consequences of abuse or long-term use.”
The Waismann Method, a pioneering medical practice for opiate detoxification, offers an alternative way to treat addiction to prescription painkillers. The Waismann Method, performed in a hospital intensive care unit, gently administers medication to break the physiological dependence on opiates while controlling withdrawal symptoms. During the procedure, the patient experiences minimal conscious withdrawal. After treatment, patients are opiate-free and reside at Domus Retreat, where they are cared for by a team of professionals as part of the recovery and transition process.
The Waismann Method continues to work on its mission to educate people about the dangerous and potentially deadly effects of painkillers and to raise awareness of alternative treatment options for those who have problems with addiction.