AAN Takes Anti-Painkiller Stance

A recent article on Time.com revealed a groundbreaking and unprecedented position taken by the American Academy of Neurology against the use of painkillers for conditions such as headaches and back pain. The organization found that powerful painkillers commonly used to treat the above conditions do more harm than good. The statement comes during a time when the whole country is in the grips of widespread prescription opioid epidemic, which many officials and treatment professionals are finding is leading to graduation to heroin abuse. The AAN stated their position in a paper published earlier this year and confined their assertions to non-cancer-related pain.

Written by Dr. Gary Franklin of the University of Washington’s occupation and environmental health sciences and neurology departments, the position represents the first time that a major medical body has come out against excessive use of opioids for back pain, migraines and headaches. Connecting the over-prescribing of opioids to the national abuse epidemic, the paper states that the short-term pain relief benefits of these drugs are outweighed by the long-term risks and do little to improve patients’ overall health. 

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