Opiates, Dependency, and Chronic Pain
100 million Americans have chronic pain. Krueger (2016) tells us that “nearly half of prime age men (or men ages 25 to 54) who are not in the labor force take medication on a daily basis. Two-thirds of those men – or about 2 million – take prescription pain medication on a daily basis.” A follow-up analysis points to the fact that “many people who are out of the labor force find it difficult to return to work because of reliance on pain medication.”
Clavel and Weisberg (2017) tell us that the number of opiate prescriptions has quadrupled from 1999 to 2013, and the number of deaths associated with opiates exceeds the number associated with firearms. Although the U.S. makes up 5% of the world’s population, it uses 80% of the world’s opiates. These findings are often discussed in the context of what has come to be thought of as “The Opioid Epidemic.”
Lower back pain is the most common type of chronic pain and LBP is the most-common reason for the prescribing of opiate medication. Healthcare professionals, and the lay public, are slowly coming to recognize that opiates are not a risk-free alternative to other medications as they were once touted to be.
Oyster Point Psychological can help patients safely “dis-attend” to their sensations of pain and achieve an ideal healing state to treat LBP and other conditions in which opiates are present. We can also help patients become weaned from opiate medications, and reduce central sensitization while tapering opiate medication. The inclusion of clinical hypnosis, as it is currently practiced, can facilitate healing in a multi-modal paradigm of care for reduction of pain and medication dependency and move selected patients from a treatment paradigm of fixing to a paradigm of healing.
Professional services for this patient population includes didactic and experiential components and close collaboration among caregivers. Patients must be willing to facilitate this aspect of care and do so as a condition for participating in the program.
Prospective patients are invited to call Dr. Billups at 804-435-6777 to discuss their particular needs, fees, and availability.