Government reports reveal that around 11% of prime-age men have dropped out of the U.S. labor force, and 40% of them say pain prevents them for working a full-time job. Nearly half of those not in the labor force take some type of pain medication, with a majority using prescription meds.
"The fact that so many prime-age men have dropped out of the labor force is a huge loss for American businesses," remarks Will Wesch, director of Admissions for Novus Medical Detox Center, New Port Richey, Fla. "It's particularly concerning that so many rely on prescription opioid painkillers, even though the drugs are dearly ineffective at improving their condition to the point where they can return to work. In some cases, opioids may be to blame for labor-force dropouts, as they can exacerbate pain, compound existing problems, and lead to substance use disorders."
Researchers have concluded that opioids prolong chronic pain, while physicians at Harvard Medical School caution that "long-term use of opioids comes with the risk of dependence, addiction, constipation, falls, confusion, slowed reaction time, slowed breathing, and death."
Furthermore, the American College of Physicians has issued guidelines calling for noninvasive and nonpharmacologic treatment of...