Ketamine infusion therapy has been used to treat neuropathic chronic pain associated with various disorders since the early part of the century. Ketamine has proven an effective chronic pain management solution for such conditions as fibromyalgia, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and migraine headaches, Lyme disease and diabetic nerve pain, etc. In addition, ketamine can also treat chronic pain associated with acute trauma—it creates new, healthy neural connections that replace the damaged connections causing chronic pain. Studies have shown that ketamine infusions can relieve chronic pain for up to six months. Miraculous!

Over 25 million people in the U.S. deal with chronic pain every day, many of whom rely on powerful opiate painkillers to manage their symptoms. With the opioid crisis escalating—21-29% of patients who are prescribed an opiate painkiller end up addicted to or abusing their medications—medical professionals are challenged with finding new, non-narcotic pain management solutions for patients suffering from chronic discomfort. Ketamine infusions are quickly gaining as an alternate for opiate prescriptions, in hopes that opiate abuse and addiction can ultimately be reduced.

Recently, the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ASRA), the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM), and the American Society of Anesthesiologists released a set of guidelines for ketamine administration for chronic pain management. This is a huge first step towards reducing opiate consumption while still effectively treating chronic pain in patients who are suffering.

Over the past seven years, opiate addiction has increased by an astounding 500%. The opiate crisis has impacted millions of Americans—it’s hard to find a person who has not been impacted by opiate addiction in some way, shape or form. In response to the dramatic increase in opiate abuse and addiction, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has implemented changes to the way doctors may administer and prescribe opiates. And while this change has forced doctors to lean more heavily on non-opiate painkillers as a first line of defense against pain, it has also left many chronic pain patients frustrated and unable to access the medications that keep them functional.

It comes down to opiate addiction vs. chronic pain, and it’s a lose-lose battle. With opiates, a patient’s symptoms are alleviated—but with the risk of developing a dangerous physical and mental dependency on opiates. However, without opiates, a patient will be destined to live with severe, debilitating pain—a road which only leads to depression and mental health deterioration.

But with these recent difficulties in chronic pain management comes a silver lining: doctors are at least aware of and talking about ways to reduce the risk of opiate addiction in both chronic pain patients and those suffering from short-term pain conditions.

Doctors now rely more on non-opiate painkillers, and patients find that there are non-narcotic options that are highly effective for managing pain. However, many insurance providers don’t cover these pain management alternatives in their prescription coverage programs, making these drugs inaccessible outside of a hospitalization setting.

Some states also notice a correlation between the legalization of cannabis and a reduction in opiate addiction. However, after a 4-year study which was recently published in Lancet Public Health, researchers found no connection between cannabis use and chronic pain reduction.

And still, ketamine continues to offer new hope to doctors and chronic pain patients alike. Ketamine has been known for its powerful painkilling properties since it was introduced in the 1960s, but has recently garnered attention for its ability to reduce chronic pain for up to six months in patients suffering from such conditions as CRPS, fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, migraine headaches, diabetic nerve pain, and more. Because ketamine has a bad reputation as being a “club drug,” many people are skeptical of its use as an alternative to opiates. However, ketamine infusions are administered in a clinical setting under close supervision. Most trustworthy ketamine clinics will not provide patients with a take-home prescription for ketamine since it is much less effective when administered orally, intranasally or sublingually. By keeping ketamine infusions within the walls of a clinic, riot reduces the risk of the medication getting into the wrong hands, or of patients developing a psychological dependency on the drug.

With or without an opiate epidemic, no doctor wants to leave patients suffering in untreated pain. Now that some attention is being given to the topic of pain management and addiction, hopefully we’ll see insurance providers expand their prescription coverage plans and patients explore a wide variety of pain management options—both pharmacological and therapeutic. Opiates have their place in the medical world—they are oftentimes the most effective way to keep chronic pain patients functional—but it’s important that patients are given non-addictive options to help with pain management. Addiction can be just as painful for a patient, not to mention for that patient’s friends and family.

Contact Elev8 MD Wellness Center

If you or a loved one is suffering from chronic pain, ketamine infusions could be the solution you’ve been looking for. Our Charlotte area ketamine clinic and wellness center treats patients suffering from a wide array of chronic pain conditions—everything from CRPS, fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, nerve pain and more. Request a free consultation and speak with a member of our team about your needs, and learn if you are candidate for ketamine infusions or any of our other chronic pain management solutions.

Over the past seven years, opiate addiction has increased by an astounding 500%. The opiate crisis has impacted millions of Americans—it’s hard to find a person who has not been impacted by opiate addiction in some way, shape or form. In response to the dramatic increase in opiate abuse and addiction, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has implemented changes to the way doctors may administer and prescribe opiates. And while this change has forced doctors to lean more heavily on non-opiate painkillers as a first line of defense against pain, it has also left many chronic pain patients frustrated and unable to access the medications that keep them functional.

It comes down to opiate addiction vs. chronic pain, and it’s a lose-lose battle. With opiates, a patient’s symptoms are alleviated—but with the risk of developing a dangerous physical and mental dependency on opiates. However, without opiates, a patient will be destined to live with severe, debilitating pain—a road which only leads to depression and mental health deterioration.

But with these recent difficulties in chronic pain management comes a silver lining: doctors are at least aware of and talking about ways to reduce the risk of opiate addiction in both chronic pain patients and those suffering from short-term pain conditions.

Doctors now rely more on non-opiate painkillers, and patients find that there are non-narcotic options that are highly effective for managing pain. However, many insurance providers don’t cover these pain management alternatives in their prescription coverage programs, making these drugs inaccessible outside of a hospitalization setting.

Some states also notice a correlation between the legalization of cannabis and a reduction in opiate addiction. However, after a 4-year study which was recently published in Lancet Public Health, researchers found no connection between cannabis use and chronic pain reduction.

And still, ketamine continues to offer new hope to doctors and chronic pain patients alike. Ketamine has been known for its powerful painkilling properties since it was introduced in the 1960s, but has recently garnered attention for its ability to reduce chronic pain for up to six months in patients suffering from such conditions as CRPS, fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, migraine headaches, diabetic nerve pain, and more. Because ketamine has a bad reputation as being a “club drug,” many people are skeptical of its use as an alternative to opiates. However, ketamine infusions are administered in a clinical setting under close supervision. Most trustworthy ketamine clinics will not provide patients with a take-home prescription for ketamine since it is much less effective when administered orally, intranasally or sublingually. By keeping ketamine infusions within the walls of a clinic, riot reduces the risk of the medication getting into the wrong hands, or of patients developing a psychological dependency on the drug.

With or without an opiate epidemic, no doctor wants to leave patients suffering in untreated pain. Now that some attention is being given to the topic of pain management and addiction, hopefully we’ll see insurance providers expand their prescription coverage plans and patients explore a wide variety of pain management options—both pharmacological and therapeutic. Opiates have their place in the medical world—they are oftentimes the most effective way to keep chronic pain patients functional—but it’s important that patients are given non-addictive options to help with pain management. Addiction can be just as painful for a patient, not to mention for that patient’s friends and family.

Contact Elev8 MD Wellness Center

If you or a loved one is suffering from chronic pain, ketamine infusions could be the solution you’ve been looking for. Our Charlotte area ketamine clinic and wellness center treats patients suffering from a wide array of chronic pain conditions—everything from CRPS, fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, nerve pain and more. Request a free consultation and speak with a member of our team about your needs, and learn if you are candidate for ketamine infusions or any of our other chronic pain management solutions.