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November 3, 2015

Jarring Surge in Deaths in White Middle-aged Folks.

Within a Dream; in front of a closed door.Both the New York Times and the Sacramento Bee reported a significant increase – comparable ony to the HIV/AIDS epidemic – of the mortality rate in whites 45-54 years old, stemming from suicides, alcoholic liver disease, and overdoses of heroin and prescription opioids.
Researchers Deaton & Case found that middle-aged whites with limited educational and financial resources

• were committing suicide at an unprecedented rates
• had an increase of deaths from drug and alcohol poisoning
• had a significant increase in the prescription of opioid drugs and their misuse
• were reporting more pain in recent years than the past, including chronic pain issues.

With the pain and mental distress data, Deaton said, “we had the two halves of the story.” Increases in mortality rates in middle-aged whites rose in parallel with their increasing reports of pain, poor health, and distress, he explained. They provided a rationale for the increase in deaths from substance abuse and suicides.

Comment by Dr. Stehle: This research is so saddening, and shows that not enough is done to treat chronic pain and its effects. We know that chronic pain cannot be treated by medications and opioid, yet the medical community offers only that: medication, medication, and more meds. It is my hope that chronic pain programs, like the one our clinic offers, will reach the main stream. Our clinic is currently educating local residents in family medicine in non-medication based approaches to chronic pain management. We also offer a free consultation to patients suffering from chronic pain. Please, let’s all help reverse this very sad and desperate situation.

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