Another warning about a drug, that many people won’t even be aware of unless they happen to see one of the many commercials concerning lawsuits. Fentanyl, an opiate painkiller used in a transdermal patch for those in severe pain, has been implicated in numerous cases of death and other serious but non-lethal side effects. This method of pain management, for those in need of relief on an ongoing basis, has been misused in many instances. However, the companies producing this narcotic, which has been described as a hundred times stronger than morphine, need to step up their labeling and marketing procedures. Better instructions to patients, and warnings about the potential hazards involved, are needed. There have been some voluntary recalls of this drug; however, the government has not yet done more than make suggestions about its use.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, fentanyl’s effects can be intensified by heat, including a patient’s fever; it can interact with other medications, just as most pharmaceuticals; and it has been linked to outbreaks of aggression in some of its users. The trouble is, in a lot of situations, people turn to heavy-duty analgesics when something milder would work. For example, a sprained ankle, while it may be extremely sore, can’t hold a candle to the pain experienced by cancer sufferers, therefore shouldn’t be treated with the same level of painkillers. Yet many people are willing to risk addiction to this substance when they could have used a bag of ice just as effectively. Why, one should ask, do some physicians even prescribe narcotics to those who don’t really need them?
For those who want to use non-drug methods for pain relief, there are opportunities such as acupuncture/acupressure, massage, hydrotherapy, chiropractics, and herbal medicine (including Traditional Chinese Medicine). Numerous possibilities exist that can be tailored to the individual’s needs. Here in our Detroit area, we’re fortunate to have so many outlets for such non-pharmaceutical treatments; below is a brief list, to name but a few:
Touch Therapy Associates–30095 Northwestern Hwy., Farmington Hills–248-626-6277
Alternative Health Wellness Institute–1575 Cherboneau Place, Detroit–313-567-0718
Bio Health Center–19215 Centralia, Redford–313-534-1860
For more information on the hazards associated with fentanyl, see:
To learn more about substance abuse in general, see: