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The opioid epidemic taking over the United States is like the black plague and growing.

In 2016 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that 64,070 people died from drug overdoses. Increase 21 % from 2015.

75% percent of all over doses are now caused by opioids. These opioids include pain medication you get at the hospital, primary care doctors and urgent cares.

Research by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), an independent research organization that focuses on “critical issues in policing,” puts those numbers into context.

According to the report, more Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016 than the number of American lives lost in the entirety of the Vietnam War, which totaled 58,200.

The group says it is focusing its efforts on the opioid epidemic because “despite the groundbreaking work that police, DEA and other agencies are doing, the epidemic is worsen.”

The report concluded that the year’s 64,070 drug fatalities outnumbered:

  • The 35,092 motor vehicle deaths in 2015.
  • AIDS-related deaths in the worst year of the AIDS crisis, when 50,628 people died in 1995.
  • The peak year for homicides in the U.S., when 24,703 people were murdered in 1991.
  • Suicides, which have been rising in the U.S. for nearly 30 years and totaled 44,193 in 2015.

The CDC identified

  • 5,466 deaths from heroin overdoses in 2016,
  • 20,145 deaths were caused by fentanyl or other synthetic opioids.

This is consistent with research suggesting that many people who become addicted to prescription painkillers often move on to heroin or synthetic opioids when it becomes too difficult to or expensive to keep obtaining prescription pills.

Congress, drug enforcement agencies, elected officials and doctors are trying to understand how to control these issues and seem to have a few solutions however they continue to mask the problem by offering drug centers, mental health facilities and even centers where you could get high for free offering clean needles and free heroin instead of finding what is causing the need for the drug. Many times people start the drugs because of a simple body injury, disorder or pain.  Fixing the root cause with Physical Therapy could help alleviate the pain and is a better solution than these addictive medications.

Studies show that the pain medications that many doctors prescribe have a euphoric effect similar to Heroin. When the doctors stop prescribing their medication, the patient will buy heroin which is easier to find and cheaper.   What the victims don’t understand is that heroin is more addictive and deadly.

I once went into a doctor’s office trying to promote my Physical Therapy business and the doctor bluntly told me he doesn’t prescribe physical therapy because he could get the same result with pain medication. I tried to inform him why Physical Therapy was a better solution but he was very resistant to the concept. At that time, I realized there are many doctors with the same bias. Medications do not heal the injury, disorder or the root cause. It simply masks it and your body will over time heal itself. What physical therapy does is to help your body heal itself in less amount of time.

Many doctors believe now that Physical Therapy is a much better solution than medication for pain. And the doctors and patients have realized how addictive and dangerous are these medications.

Physical Therapy has one goal, to return you to your optimal performance as you once were without any pain so you do not need any pain medications.

We are trained and educated at understanding many physical and neurological disorders at the molecular level and how to restore patient’s physical function.  It is quicker and safer to use the physical therapy with non-addictive pain medication to restore your physical abilities. Physical Therapist achieve these goals by performing many manual techniques combined with corrective exercises and some modalities and new technology that have been developed in recent years. So, before you take that pill for that neck, back or joint pain, think Physical Therapy Now first.

Physical Therapy Now has many centers in Miami Dade, Broward and Leon County.  Call us for a free telephone conference or to schedule your Physical Therapy Consultation today. Physical Therapy Now accepts most insurances.

By Andy Zapata, CEO of Physical Therapy Now


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