Want to know something frightening? By 2015, the number of Americans who suffer from prescription opioid addiction rose to 2 million. Scary, right?

An opioid epidemic is changing the way doctors prescribe painkillers. And it seems to be getting worse, before it gets better. Today, 115 people overdose on opioid and related drugs every. single. day. Have I terrified you enough? Statistics like these show that anyone can be affected by addiction. It may be as easy as a trip to the doctor’s office. Or a post-surgery medication regimen.

How can we end the OD.CRISIS? Alternatives to opioids can make a big difference.

It’s becoming common for people to request non-addictive pain relievers for surgery recovery. In fact, there is now a form addicts can fill out requesting non-opioid pain relievers in the event of a hospitalization.

Aside from forms, there is a whole slew of prescription painkillers that can work even better than opiates, without the addictive side effects. Here are a few of them: over-the-counter NSAIDs, corticosteroids like prednisone, or Tegretol, an antiepileptic.

Going in a different direction, non-pill routes like yoga, acupuncture and eastern meditation can provide pain relief as well. I personally use yoga when I have hip pain from running. As someone who used alcohol to self-medicate, I remain weary of addictive prescription drugs — in this way, I enjoy stretching and strengthening through exercise, and find natural alternatives beneficial to relieving my aches.

Preventative measures and recovery alternatives can keep a person from suffering an opioid addiction later on down the road. I have met amazing people who have recovered from this disease, and I have known many who have died of overdoses. If we can get serious about the OD.CRISIS then maybe we can save lives instead of continuing to bury our children, friends, parents, and loved ones.

Start today by asking your doctor about alternatives to opioids. It just might save your life.

For more statistics related to the opioid OD.CRISIS check out the NIH page on opiate addictions.

Even as a junkie I stayed true [to vegetarianism] – ‘I shall have heroin, but I shan’t have a hamburger.’ What a sexy little paradox. – Russell Brand



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Joanna is an aligned vinyasa RYT-200 certified yoga instructor registered with Yoga Alliance. Joanna's mission is to bring the teaching of yoga to everybody in an accessible, welcoming and gentle way. Check out Joanna-Yoga.com for services, blogs and updates on all things yoga. Namaste.

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