President Donald Trump declared a national emergency over the opioid epidemic in August highlighting the need to rein in the random prescribing of powerful drugs to deal with chronic and severe pain.
In 2016 alone, drug overdoses killed more Americans than the entire Vietnam War. But a study by the National Institutes of Health found that one in three people in the United States have experienced pain of some sort in the past three months, notes Gaetano Morello, a board-certified naturopathic doctor who is a contributing author to “A Textbook of Natural Medicine.”
“Of these, approximately 50 million suffer from severe or chronic pain,” Morello says. “Therefore it is not surprising that many reach out for drugs that can be damaging or addictive.
“The good news is that there are alternative treatments that offer help with symptoms of pain and can keep your liver, stomach and brain healthy and are not addictive.”
Here are some examples: