Second Nature Care Blog

Opioid Epidemic - Alternative Pain Management

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 9, 2016 6:00:00 AM / by Dr. Isadora Guggenheim


Opioids are not always the best pain treatment route to take. Compared to alternative medications used for moderate to severe chronic pain significantly increase the risk of death.

Not only do they increase the risk of accidental overdose but also increase the risk of mortality due to cardiorespiratory events and other causes. 

Lead author Wayne Ray, Ph.D., and colleagues with the Vanderbilt Department of Health Policy studied Tennessee Medicaid patients between 1999–2012 with chronic pain, primarily back and other musculoskeletal pain, who did not have cancer or other serious illnesses. “We found that the opioid patients had a 64 percent increased risk of death for any reason and a 65 percent increased risk of cardiovascular death,” said Ray, professor of Health Policy at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. “The take–home message for patients with the kinds of pain we studied is to avoid long–acting opioids whenever possible. This is consistent with recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. This advice is particularly important for patients with high risk for cardiovascular disease, such as those with diabetes or a prior heart attack.” “We knew opioids would increase the risk of overdose. However, opioids can interfere with breathing during the night, which can cause heart arrhythmias,” Ray said.

Alternative Pain Management

Ozone therapy reduces pain because it reduces systemic immunological inflammatory responses. Patients who experience chronic pain due to Lyme, MS, Lupus, RA, cancer, osteoarthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions get great relief with I.V. ozone and injectable Traumeel. There are no side effects or risk of addiction. Ozone therapy is a safe effective and natural way to address systemic pain response.

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Dr. Enzenbacher of Piermont Gynecology is a state certified medical marijuana referring physician. Medical marijuana is another natural pharmaceutical for the treatment of chronic pain. Dr. Enzenbacher works with  a state-approved and certified dispensary in White Plains - Vireo Health.

Medical Marijuana


Topics: Addiction

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Isadora Guggenheim, ND, RN, MS, CNS LMT, owner of Second Nature Naturopathic Care, LLC
For all appointments: Tel: 845 358-8385 Fax: 845 358-2963 [email protected]