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Americans with chronic pain say that current treatments using prescription painkillers do not work, leading to years of intense suffering, thoughts of suicide,

and often dependence on the medications, according to a new national survey sponsored by the Center for Public Advocacy at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.

 

"Many people with chronic pain feel hopeless," said Dr. Peter Przekop, a leading US chronic pain and addiction treatment expert who treats patients at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California. "The pain seems unending, traditional treatment often leads to drug addiction, and many wonder if life is worth living."

The 100 million Americans who suffer from chronic pain do so at a cost of around $600 billion a year in medical treatments and lost productivity.

The survey reveals that nearly 80 percent of those being medicated for their pain would be willing to reduce or eliminate their current medications and try an alternative treatment for their chronic pain.

The Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage has a program that is unique in the country for chronic pain. According to an outcome survey by the Betty Ford Center, some 73 percent of its patients are pain-free and drug-free a year after treatment.

"The medical system is too reliant on addictive drugs that don't work and lead to costly and long-term liabilities," said Dr. Przekop. "Truly this is a situation that needs new approaches."

Other highlights of the survey:

>>Doctors are prescribing addictive medicines to people with a history of addiction.

>>Nearly half of those surveyed (48.2 percent) take three or more pain medications.

>>50.4 percent experienced lost productivity at work

>>36.5 percent faced problems with family relationships

Source: Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, hazeldenbettyford.org

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Belltown Spine & Wellness, an integrated health and spinal rehabilitation center, has helped thousands of people over the past 22 years regain their health and vitality through their natural, integrated approach to health and wellness in the greater Seattle area. Our services, which include chiropractic, spinal rehabilitation, massage therapy, acupuncture, naturopathic medicine and medical weight-loss are customized and targeted for each individual's health goals. Our signature 4-step program is specifically designed to help patients recover from neck and back pain chronic conditions. This system, created by Dr. Scott Mindel, Seattle chiropractor and owner of Belltown Spine & Wellness draws on the latest rehabilitation techniques available today.

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