The CDC and Prevention reports that between 1999 and 2010 there was a dramatic increase in the number of women who died from overdoses of prescription painkillers. Each year 6,600 women (18 daily) die from overdoses of prescription painkillers and 940,000 women are rushed to the ER for drug use and misuse. Prescription drug deaths are more frequent than those from illegal drug use; they are also more common among women than deaths from injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents. Most of the increase comes from the use of hydrocodone and Oxycontin (a long-acting morphine). The greatest dilemma occurs in patients with chronic pain. All too frequently, physicians readily turn to hydrocodone (Vicodin or Lortab) for pain relief when patients do not respond to non-addicting pain medications; and once started, it is often impossible to wean the patient off the drug.Narcotics have serious adverse effects that lead to a higher risk of suicide. Confusion, sleeplessness, memory loss and profound depression are common, as are loss of appetite, severe weakness, nausea and violent gastrointestinal distress. This constellation of symptoms creates a higher risk of inappropriate medication use.For most people with chronic pain, appropriate management with non-addicting medications, combined with local therapy (injections, heat, cooling or electrical stimulation), physical therapy, chiropractic care and acupuncture can offer great benefit. Education of the family and the patient about the appropriate use of these dangerous drugs is critical, and psychotherapy to assist with coping skills and relaxation techniques can help alleviate pain substantially.Taken from article LIFELONG HEALTH, written by Dr, David Lipschitz