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Moving From Pain Medication to Pain Management

Feb 27, 2008
Recently, the entertainment world was shaken by the untimely death of Heath Ledger, one of Hollywood's brightest and most talented young stars. During the weeks following his death, there was much speculation and suspicion surrounding his drug-related passing, most people assuming it was an overdose. It was fairly obvious from the evidence at the scene that drugs were involved, but many questions loomed as to whether his death was accidental or an act of suicide.

Autopsies, which were initially inconclusive, finally determined that Ledger's death was not an overdose at all, but was drug related. Ledger had taken "safe amounts" of painkillers Oxycontin (Oxycodone) and Vicodin (Hydrocodone), anti- anxiety drugs Valium (Dizepam) and Xanax (Alprazolam), as well as the sleep aid Restoril (Temazepam) and the over-the-counter antihistamine, Unisom. While none of these drugs were taken in excess, investigators determined that the combination of these drugs -- many of which affect the central nervous system (CNS) -- was lethal.

Authorities have now decided to investigate the physicians that prescribed these drugs to determine whether any fault might lie with them in Ledger's death, because there is a question as to whether he needed all these drugs.

Ledger's death has many people questioning the numerous medications that our society consumes. We are an extremely medicated nation, it seems, and we could be on the verge of getting out of control. Utah, in particular, is a highly-medicated area. People are seemingly quick to run to pain medications for ailments that probably don't warrant them.

Utah Pain Management

There are other methods of pain management in Utah without being dependent on drugs. Several pain doctors in Utah have developed methods that are safe, effective, and far less risky than heavy narcotics. Furthermore, pain clinics in Utah often specialize, not only in pain relief, but in pain management. This entails the eradication of the "pain cycle" and helps manage and prevent pain on a long-term basis.

The Pain Cycle, simply put, is that pain leads to inactivity, which leads to muscle weakness and atrophy, and thus, more pain. Those experiencing chronic pain in Utah (and elsewhere) often fall victim to this pain cycle and begin to lose hope that their pain may ever leave them. It is important for these patients to be able to overcome the pain cycle and move towards wellness.

It is unlikely that Heath Ledger suffered from chronic pain, but it is very likely that he was over-medicated and that is what led to his untimely death. In Utah, back pain, depression, anxiety, and sleeplessness are bound to happen, but it's important to be mindful of our medications and not to be dependent on chemical relief when there are other options available.
About the Author
Art Gib writes for Nexus Pain Care (http://www.nexuspaincare.com), a Utah pain management company that specializes in helping manage chronic pain in Utah.
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