This is worrying

The Good Life Letter 

8th March 2019

  • This warning about a painkiller epidemic is worrying
  • Just because you get prescribed this, doesn’t mean it’s safe
  • Why the drugs don’t always work
As if we didn’t have enough to deal with lately…

Brexit, global warming, obesity…

Here comes yet another threat to worry about.

It seems that Britain is about to plunge into an opioid epidemic, very similar to the problem the US has suffered since the 1990s.

Across the pond, super-strength painkillers have caused the deaths of 91,000 people in two years.

Now there are signs that the same thing might be happening here.

Last month, the Sunday Times ran an editorial on the rise in prescriptions of powerful painkillers. Over the past ten years, the number of prescriptions in England has almost doubled.

Britons with chronic pain problems are being given these drugs as a short-term measure, even though they can lead to addiction, overdoses and deaths.

In 2018, data released by the Office for National Statistics showed a 29% rise in deaths linked to fentanyl, a synthetic opioid.

Many experts are worried that the situation could get out of control.

You see, it’s not simply about doctors over-prescribing.

The problem is that opioids (including codeine, co-codamol and tramadol) are so widely available. In the USA the ease of purchasing drugs on the internet is fuelling the rise in reckless abuse.

In Britain people are finding many of the same drugs being sold in the US, and so now the problem could be repeated.

So why are we so addicted to painkillers?

The problem is that we’ve gone through decades of painkiller prescription to the point where we almost expect them.

Certainly most of us don’t really question them if prescribed, or think too deeply about the side-effects.

When people get a prescription from the GP, they tend to think that the pills are completely safe – after all, it’s what the doctor ordered isn’t it?

But no drug is without consequences.

For example, a few years ago, a study from The University of Toronto showed that as well as inhibiting pain, an ingredient in many painkillers called acetaminophen blocks other signals in your brain… the ones that help with your everyday concentration and responses to danger.

With it comes to opioids, common side effects are dizziness, nausea, vomiting, constipation and physical addiction.

And do they even work in the long-term?

Experts believe more than HALF of the UK is suffering from chronic pain, despite our widespread use of pain-killing drugs.

That’s because pain is a symptom of a problem, not a cause.

By popping a pill to stop the pain, we never get to find out the cause.

For instance there are all kinds of reasons someone might be in chronic pain:

  • Depression and mental health issues
  • Undiagnosed illnesses
  • Poor posture including computer or office-based repetitive strain
  • Bad diet
  • Lack of exercise

I wonder how many headaches are in fact caused by bad food choices, stress, dehydration, pollution, mineral and vitamin imbalance?

Yet when we get a headache many of us reach for Ibuprofen.

Or take sciatica, for instance, a debilitating and painful condition. This is often due to problems in spinal mechanics, pelvic muscle imbalance, posture, stress and previous traumas (like childbirth).

Yet for most sciatica sufferers, all they’ll get from a GP or chemist are stronger pain killers.

Why the drugs don’t always work

One of the issues is there isn’t a “one size fits all” solution to pain control.

In 2016, research at University College London (UCL) and the University of Reading showed that our nerves don’t always react to certain types of pain in the same manner.

Professor John Wood from the research team said: "We use ‘chronic pain’ to describe all sorts of pain conditions with different causes, but we now need to differentiate them so we can develop new specific treatments."

In other words, we need to look at each individual case and apply specialised pain relief solutions… NOT simply prescribe opioids as an easy, quick fix to cover up the problem.

By over-using these drugs we’re creating yet another health time-bomb, as our society becomes increasingly dependent.

We’ve seen what happened in the USA, and I wonder why we’re walking right into the same mess.

I don't think a ban on these strong painkillers is the answer, because it would be ineffective due to the internet supply chain. Besides there is a role for short term pain relief using painkillers.

However, I believe you should know the facts about what you are taking, what the repercussions might be, and any alternatives that could help tackle the cause of the problem.

For instance, there are all kinds of solutions that don’t include drugs:

  • Therapy and self-help for emotional problems
  • Education about posture, desk-alignment
  • Meditation and other forms of stress relief
  • Yoga and Pilates
  • Qigong
  • Low pressure-exercise regimes involving swimming and walking
  • A more balanced diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods
  • Avoiding trigger foods that can increase sensitivity for pain
  • Natural topical lotions and supplements
  • Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy that uses electromagnetic radiation to heal damaged tissues and relieve pain

You can also check out some of the many natural supplements and topical remedies for pain which can be found on our shop here: Pain Relief Shop

Talking of which…

Get a massive discount on eye and lip health remedies

I mentioned the other week that the Good Life shop was offering massively discounted manuka honey lip balm.
This is because the balm is close to the “sell by” date, which means you can buy it for much less, even though there’s no difference in the quality of the product whatsoever (“sell by” is just a trade term).

There are a few still left if you’re quick and click here

Yours as ever

Ray Collins



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