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Fatal Drug Overdoses More Than Doubled Since 1999, CDC Finds

In yet another indictment against the health care industry’s rampant reliance on opioids and other prescription drugs to address pain, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that fatal drug overdoses have doubled since 1999, according to ABC News. It’s estimated that 91 Americans a day die from opioid overdoses, ABC said.

Time and again the unprecedented number of drug overdoses points to this growing public health emergency. Yet, even in the wake of issuing a warning against the use of opioid pain killers for long term pain control, the FDA not only approved yet another drug with high abuse potential, but extended the approval of the use of opioids to children.

Not to be cynical, but moves like this truly belie U.S. health officials’ wringing of hands over the opioid problem. Instead of addressing the root cause of chronic pain, they just march onward with other, stronger and potentially more dangerous drugs.

Of course, strong pain killers have a place in medicine, such as after a severe injury or surgery. But for treating chronic pain, they just don’t do the trick — if they did, overdoses would not be happening. Surprisingly, it’s possible to address some types of chronic pain with movement. For example, with back pain, movement appears to be the most effective strategy. Simply standing up as much as possible each day also may improve back pain.

And finally, mechanical low-back pain, typically triggered by injury or strain, is best managed by controlling inflammation and engaging in a variety of exercises to restore range of motion, and improve strength.
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