Groundbreaking Pain Management, without Major Side Effects like Addiction, being Made

Congress can take control of this crisis – and our elected leaders in Austin can help too

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Texas Insider Report) — The United States has been deeply scarred by the opioid crisis, which traces its roots back to a significant rise in opioid prescriptions in the 1990’s. That surge in prescriptions led to a sharp rise in opioid addiction rates.

Texas has not been immune – accidental opioid overdoses are on the rise in the Lone Star State. In fact, 1-in-4 Texans has personally experienced an opioid overdose – or knows someone who has.

Recognizing the urgent need for action, Texas created the Texas Targeted Opioid Response (TTOR) in 2017, a public health initiative to save lives and provide life-long support to Texans with opioid and stimulant use disorders. Its mission is to expand Texan's access to prevention, integrated treatment, and recovery support services.
But despite the great work done by TTOR, Texans are still struggling to avoid and overcome addiction. We need to seize the opportunity that new medical breakthroughs now provide and do all we can to promote non-addictive, non-opioid pain alternatives.

The best time to break a habit is before it even starts – and it’s been encouraging to see lawmakers in Congress heed the call to make non-opioids more accessible.

In January, conservative Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa  introduced the "Alternatives to Prevent Addiction in the Nation (PAIN) Act", or H.R. 7142. The U.S Senate joined in the effort by recently introducing  the companion bill, championed by North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis.

The Texas congressional delegation would be wise to join onto this bill as co-sponsors since it would make non-addictive, non-opioid pain medications available and affordable for seniors enrolled in Medicare.
Why is this important? The Alternatives to PAIN Act has a key focus on senior citizens, an often overlooked casualty of the opioid epidemic.
Studies show that the number of seniors who have died from opioid overdoses increased by nearly 30% from 2020 to 2021. At the same time, emergency department visits for opioid misuse among seniors rose 220%.
But it’s not just seniors, veterans have been particularly impacted by this issue as well.

U.S. Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan with mental health or PTSD diagnoses are at an increased risk of being prescribed opioids for pain.

As a result, they’ve become a risk for high opioid use, and sadly, from 2010-2019, the rate of drug overdoses involving opioids among our military increased by 93.4%. pain
Congress can take control of this crisis by making non-addictive, non-opioid treatments available to older Americans – and our elected leaders in Austin can help too. Whether its making non-opioids more affordable and accessible for our state’s Medicaid recipients, or by increasing education on these safer alternatives, Texas lawmakers in the next Legislative Session can take action to complement the efforts occuring on the federal level.

Researchers are making major progress toward creating groundbreaking medical drugs that will help manage pain without major side effects like addiction. By passing the "Alternatives to PAIN Act" and spearheading efforts in the State Legislature as well, we can make sure patients have access to non-opioid medications at an out-of-pocket cost that's no more than that of generic opioid pain medicines.
To ensure access to non-addictive, non-opioid pain alternatives – and patient's ability to choose the best pain management treatment for their health – attention to this important effort is necesary.