A recent study by medical experts has reportedly found that prescription painkillers can actually result in more pain, not less pain, in patients. The findings are particularly important in light of the fact that prescription opioid addiction and abuse have reached all-time highs in the New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and just about everywhere else in the United States.
The new research, recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer-reviewed medical journal, was conducted by highly regarded professors at the University of Colorado-Boulder. The researchers examined the effect of heavy opioid use by rats and discovered that the rats suffered from an increase in chronic pain while using the painkillers. The use of morphine for just five days resulted in advanced levels of pain, which were signaled by immune cells in the spinal cords of the test subjects. The intensified chronic pain often lasted for several months.
Peter Grace, a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at the University of Colorado and one of the authors of the study, highlighted the importance of the study’s findings. Grace said that researchers had shown “for the first time that even a brief exposure to opioids can have long-term negative effects on pain.” This means that the ways in which doctors and physicians treat pain, and the strategies that medical professionals use to manage chronic pain in particular, can contribute to the problem of painkiller addiction.
The implications of the study could be profound, according to Linda Watkins, another profession of the University of Colorado. Watkins noted that patients who are prescribed opioids such as morphine, oxycodone, and methadone could end up suffering in the long run because their pain may be more pronounced and longer lasting.
For more information, check out the Forbes.com article, “Prescription Painkillers May Worsen and Lengthen Chronic Pain.”
If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a drug crime like illegal prescription drug possession or prescription fraud, you should speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The experienced South Jersey criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty will help you fight your drug offense charges and avoid the most severe penalties. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation.