The repercussions from a major car accident can be life changing. Car accidents can range anywhere from a fender bender to a rollover accident. Either one can result in an accident victim having life-long pain and physical effects. For those who do seek treatment for chronic pain resulting from an accident, there is also an increased risk for another life-long battle: addiction.
A 2014 study by the University of North Carolina evaluated the outcome of musculoskeletal pain in those who were involved in a motor vehicle collision. They found that nearly 4 million individuals visited U.S. emergency rooms for evaluation but 90 percent (90%) of them were discharged immediately. The study enrolled individuals from eight (8) emergency departments in four (4) states. The study found that six (6) weeks after each accident, over 70 percent (70%) of those individuals reported persistent musculoskeletal pain. Even more frightening is that only 17 percent (17%) of the 948 individuals contacted a lawyer six (6) weeks after their wreck. Furthermore, 28 percent (28%) had persistent moderate or severe neck pain, 13 percent (13%) had pain in seven (7) or more body regions and 4 percent (4%) suffered from fibromyalgia symptoms.
However, what about the small percentage who do seek medical attention for their chronic pain? Is there a safe way to go about treatment?
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New guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were released and it is urging patients who suffer from chronic pain to keep a watchful eye. This exact subject correlates to those accident victims who need medical assistance, but who also have to deal with the dangers of prescription pain killers.
According to the CDC, about 40 Americans die each day from overdosing on prescription painkillers. In 2013, an estimated 1.9 million people abused or were dependent on prescription opiates. The director of the CDC went on to say, “We know of no other medication routinely used for a nonfatal condition that kills patients so frequently.”
If you have been treated with an opiate/painkiller, it is important to follow up with your physician every three (3) months. While the chronic pain may be treated, the dangers of addiction can stem from treating the pain.
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We urge you to take action if you are suffering from chronic pain, but also know the importance of how addictive these types of drugs are if prescribed. The health, well-being and justice served to our clients is of the upmost importance. If you are suffering with chronic pain from a car accident, please give us a call immediately.
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