Painkillers have been used from centuries to treat fibromyalgia and other conditions. In the sixteen century, laudanum (an opium painkiller) was used as a painkiller. Then in early nineteen century Morphine was extracted from opium and then used as painkiller during American Civil War which makes the soldiers addicted.
The opioid painkillers making the condition of fibromyalgia more worse than making relief.
According to BBC News GPs in England prescribed 23.8 million opioid-based painkillers in 2017, the equivalent of 2,700 items every hour. The latest figures show the number of people dying from opioid-related drug misuse has reached a record high in England and Wales. About 3,700 people died in 2016 because of drug misuse. Abuse of opioids can be started in early age.
In USA, Opioid overdoses accounted for more than 42,000 deaths in 2016, more than any previous year on record. An estimated 40% of opioid overdose deaths involved a prescription opioid, according to US Dept of Health and Human Services. Every day, more than 130 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids. The number of opioid prescriptions dispensed by doctors steadily increased from 112 million prescriptions in 1992 to a peak of 282 million in 2012, according to the market research firm IMS Health.
Now a leading expert is warning the UK could face its own version of the devastating U.S. problem. According to Professor Jane Ballantyne, a pain management expert, warned persistently of the health risks of so-called ‘open-ended dose escalation’, which means that doctors continue to increase the dose of powerful opioids in patients with continuing symptoms. It’s the result, she says, of an entirely unproven belief, that ‘the existence of pain protects against addiction’. In other words, as long as a patient is feeling pain, they cannot develop an addiction to drugs that are otherwise highly addictive.
When you take painkillers – and opioid painkillers in particular – over a period of time, your body builds a resistance to their effects.That means that you might still feel a certain degree of pain even after taking painkillers that once got rid of it.
Opioids attach to receptors in the brain. Normally these opioids are the endogenous variety that are created naturally in the body. Once attached, they send signals to the brain of the “opioid effect” which blocks pain, slows breathing, and has a general calming and anti-depressing effect. The body cannot produce enough natural opioids to stop severe or chronic pain nor can it produce enough to cause an overdose.
opioids can activate receptors because their chemical structure mimics that of a natural neurotransmitter. This similarity in structure “fools” receptors and allows the drugs to lock onto and activate the nerve cells. Although these drugs mimic brain chemicals, they don’t activate nerve cells in the same way as a natural neurotransmitter, and they lead to abnormal messages being transmitted through the network.
The Professor Professor Ballantyne said about the solution to The DAILY MAIL that
‘GPs have to stick to a ten-minute appointment, and when you’re faced with someone with long-standing pain, there’s pressure to pick up your prescription pad and step up pain relief, ‘ says Dr Campbell Murdoch, a GP in Yeovil, Somerset, and Quality Improvement Clinical Advisor for NHS England. ‘The practice is for people to be discharged as early as possible, often while they are still suffering post-surgical pain,’ explains Professor Knaggs. ‘So they are sent home with opioids, often oral morphine. ‘Yet the patient’s discharge letter may not mention that this is for short-term use, and GPs may provide repeat prescriptions until it becomes difficult for patients to stop.