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New Report: Flipping the Script: Living with Chronic Pain amid the Opioid Crisis

The folks at Neurometrix just published a new report regarding their survey of 1,500 Americans living with a variety of chronic pain conditions. The results were startling (and hey hey, I’m quoted on pg. 7!):

As the opioid crisis continues to make headlines, the chronic pain community has found themselves in the midst of this chaos – grappling with how to manage their conditions under increased scrutiny.

We wanted to get a better understanding of how the opioid epidemic is impacting this community, so we partnered with Vanson Bourne to survey 1,500 Americans living with a wide range of chronic pain conditions about their feelings around the opioid epidemic, opioid use and their ongoing search for alternative treatments. We’ve compiled the findings in our latest report, “Flipping the Script: Living with Chronic Pain amid the Opioid Crisis.”

Below are just a few of the top findings you’ll see in the report:

  • The unfair stigma as a result of the opioid epidemic: The majority of respondents (84 percent) believe a stigma exists, and as a result, 50 percent indicated they have lied or hidden their opioid use from others.

  • How this stigma is affecting treatment of care: More than a third (34 percent) had to stop taking opioids because their doctor no longer prescribed them, and 42 percent stated the stigma of opioid use has impacted how they communicate with their doctor about their pain.

  • The strong desire for alternatives for chronic pain treatment: The most common reasons for those living with chronic pain to seek other treatments is because they don’t like the side effects of prescription medications (43 percent) and that they prefer to treat pain without prescription medication (39 percent).

  • The fracture in the doctor-patient relationship. Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they don’t believe their doctor is completely informed about treatment options outside of prescription drugs. Only 15 percent said their doctor has proactively suggested looking into alternative treatments.

  • Individuals are taking treatment into their own hands: Ninety percent of those living with chronic pain are actively seeking new treatment methods. When evaluating new treatments, respondents indicated that in addition to their doctor, feedback from friends and family (87 percent), online reviews (80 percent) and news coverage (73 percent) are increasingly influential sources.

  • A “one-size-fits-all” approach to treating chronic pain isn’t working: Those with chronic pain use an average of two treatment methods regularly, and are comfortable trying new treatments, with 59 percent indicating they have tried new methods in the past year.

Check out this website if you want the full report!

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