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Opiod Epidemic

Here’s what I did last week when I went to the Capitol to visit our legislators.  Watch the video or read below for details.

A little bit about the Opiod Epidemic, because it’s a big deal here in Florida.  In fact, over 1700 people died of opiod overdoses in 2016.  One of those opiods is Fentanyl, and I have a personal relationship with this one.  Several years ago I had a roommate who had a genetic disorder called mitochondrial myopathy, and one of the symptoms was all-over pain.  As this was years before I went to Chinese Medicine school, I stood by and watched as he descended into darkness, growing further and further addicted to his painkillers.  At one point, I had to come back from vacation several days early because he couldn’t remember having taking all of his “lollipops” – they came in a sugary sublingual lollipop.  I watched as he eventually wondered around in a haze, going from a super-smart computer program to a space cadet who accidentally put my ferret Taselhof in the freezer…thankfully for just a few seconds before I asked where he was.
Opiods rob your ability to make smart decisions.  And yet it’s one of the first painkillers people are prescribed post-surgery. Many people who get addicted to opiods were not recreational users – they were normal people like you and me, who took their meds as prescribed, and then one day realized they didn’t have control anymore.
Did you know:
  • Studies show that people who take opiods for one year are in MORE pain than they were to start?  Opiods are NOT effective.
  • AND: they cause terrible side effects like pneumonia, not being able to poop, and not being able to pee?  And that’s BEFORE we get to the problem of addiction!  And the side effects of withdrawal are severe, even including death.
  • And because of that, THEY’RE EXPENSIVE.  In fact, all of those side effects keep people in the hospital LONGER than they would be otherwise.
  • AND here’s the GREAT news!  Acupuncture has been shown to be more effective, NOT addictive, and less expensive than opiods.  In fact, $9,000-$35,000 less expensive for migraines and arthritis!
If you didn’t know that, don’t worry – you’re not alone.  In fact, that’s why 20 acupuncturists took 2 days off from our clinics last week and went to talk to our legislators.  We also got to offered stress-relief and pain-relief treatments to our dear legislators, their staff, and support.  With their 80-100 hour work weeks under very high stress situations, we were honored and grateful to get to help.  We got to meet with Rep. Boyd, and the aides of Rep. Galvano and Rep. Good.
And I need your help in spreading the word.  If you have received effective pain-relieving care from an acupuncturist, please share the word.  Going to an acupuncturist for the first time is a little out of the box.  People sometimes have to overcome pre-conceived notions, or a general fear of needles (I call them “pins” in clinic).  Help your fellow neighbor out and make sure they know acupuncture works and can help – just share your story with them.  And let them know if they want to talk to a qualified, board-certified acupuncturist, nutritionist, and herbalist, they’re welcome to come see me.  If they’re not sure, I offer a 15 min consult for me to see if they’re someone I think I can help, and for them to see if I’m someone they want to work with.
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The whole crew, Acupuncture Physicians and Students alike!  Our fearless leader, Dr. Ellen Teeter, is in the middle in red.
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I was honored to get to meet with Rep. Boyd!