Compounding pharmacies can be a solution to the opioid abuse problem in the United States. Compounding pharmacies create customized medication for pain patients. Prescription Opioid abuse is a very real problem in the United States. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), “Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the US, with 47,055 lethal drug overdoses in 2014. Opioid addiction is driving this epidemic, with 18,893 overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers, and 10,574 overdose deaths related to heroin in 2014.” Opioid and narcotic pain relief patients run an active risk of addiction and other side effects when trying to manage their pain. The scariest thing about this type of addiction is that the user is often caught unaware. There is a general trust factor associated with prescription medications, but when dealing with prescription opioid or narcotics medication adherence is paramount to surviving the therapy.
Want to learn more? Check out the National Institute on Drug Abuse for more information about America’s Addiction to Opioids, as well as the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Opioid Addiction 2016 Facts & Figures
Compounding Pharmacies & Chronic Pain Management
Chronic pain management can often render standard prescription pills useless after a certain period of regular use. This leads to doctors ordering prescriptions for opioids that are extra strength and thus even more addictive. But topical compounds can be an alternative form of treatment that can help better manage chronic pain while reducing the risks associated with opioids or narcotic pain relievers. However, using topical compounds might actually be a better solution. Statistics and research suggest that the medium used to deliver traditional narcotic pain relievers is at the root of the addictions. Compounding pharmacies might be an ideal solution for the opioid abuse problem.
The Impact of Compounding Pharmacies and Topical Compounds
Topical creams can help deliver the compounds directly at the site of the pain with instant relief due to the medium. Topical compounds are absorbed into the bloodstream by transdermal means. The instant effect, coupled with a mild deep tissue massage can help in better absorption of the compounds to help the pain without overwhelming the body with addictive substances or medications.
Lesser Ratio of Systemic Abuse
When applied topically the compounds do not have to travel via the digestive system and then the blood stream to reach the site of the injury. The pain receptors in the brain are just as easily triggered with topical application as with compound opioids but in the case of the latter, the full strength of it is exposed on the organ systems. Since most chronic pain management routines require long-term use of opioids, it can affect multiple organs in the body and over time make you completely dependent on them.
Why Aren’t Topical Compounds Prescribed More Often?
In light of all this information you are probably wondering, “Why aren’t topical compounds being prescribed more widely? Well, the short answer is partly because regulations regarding lesser coverage for compounds have been put into effect. Major insurance carriers are dropping their coverage plans for compound ingredients as they have become expensive for pharmacies as well as patients to keep up with compound medications for their chronic pain management. Since the issue requires a steady purchase of topical compounds over a long term, it can get quite expensive for most patients if not covered by insurance. They are soon bound to reduce their choices to standard pain pills in extra strength prescriptions. Unfortunately, this will continue to increase the issue with opioids abuse as long as the patients have to cover the costs.
But there is a solution wherein patients can receive the medications they need to manage their chronic pain!