OKEMOS — Several local organizations and health care providers have recently come together to encourage people to think beyond medications, especially potentially habit-forming opioids, when it comes to pain management. This comes in light of the U.S.’s opioid epidemic which has ravaged communities across the country. In 2017 there were over 72,000 opioid-related deaths recorded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, compared to less than 20,000 in 1999. The Capital Area Health Alliance reports that on average, 115 Americans die every day from opioid overdose.
“There are many ways to manage pain. Medication is helpful for many patients, but other options can reduce the need for prescription medication,” said Narasimha Gundamraj, who holds an MD and first thought of the project. “This brochure will undoubtedly help many people in our area better manage their pain.”
The Capital Area Health Alliance, the Ingham Opioid Abuse Prevention Initiative at the Ingham County Health Department, the Tri-County Office on Aging, and the Barry-Eaton District Health Department spearheaded the development of a new resource for pain patients. Along with a physician from the Pain Management Center of Lansing and the Sparrow Pain Management Center, the team created a brochure that includes pain management options and local resources.
The brochure is to be distributed to hundreds of local doctors’ offices and community organizations. Brochures are also available for pick up at the Capital Area Health Alliance office in Okemos and is available online at capitalareahealthalliance.org.
“One of the goals of the brochure is to reduce the need for opioid medication,” said Dr. Gundamraj. “While opioids can help some patients with pain, they have limitations and have the potential for misuse or overdose. The brochure educates patients about some of the risks of opioids and lists many other effective options for pain management.”
Additional sponsors of the pain management brochure include: Dewpoint, Families Against Narcotics, the Ingham County Medical Society, Mid-State Health Network, Sparrow Health System and The Capital Area District Libraries.