An Update to Dr. Waring’s Biz New Orleans Op-Ed Regarding Louisiana Opioid Laws

My opinion piece, “Louisiana Needed New Opioid Laws” was published in Biz New Orleans Magazine in October 2017. You can read it here

Nearly one and a half years later, very little has changed. The pharmaceutical industry continues to perpetuate the myth that opioids are “safe and effective” for the treatment of non-cancer chronic pain even though all the evidence points to the opposite conclusion.  Many pain doctors continue to prescribe large doses of opioids to their patients claiming that opioids are safe IF patients are monitored properly with drug screens and testing, IF the right formulation of opioid is used, and IF other therapies that are non-narcotic are also utilized. Big opioid pharma and the pill-pushing pain doctors keep going.

In my practice at the Pain Intervention Center, I take the opposite approach and continue to use non-narcotic, non-surgical approaches to most spine-related pain problems. I do not like to refer to myself as a “pain doctor,” but as an interventional pain physician. I continue to believe that the liberalization of opioids to manage non-cancer pain states has unleashed the greatest iatrogenic (the cure is worse than the disease) public health disaster our nation has ever faced. Patients should be very suspicious of what the so-called “experts” recommend when organized medicine’s preferred method of narcotic pills to treat pain problems actually led to 70,000 American deaths per year.

What we offer at the Pain Intervention Center is a VERY different prescription for pain management. We believe that our model of high-quality, interventional pain techniques without opioids prevents unnecessary spine surgeries by reducing the pain associated with most spine degenerative conditions and injuries. We also believe that most opioid prescriptions could be avoided by providing real and immediate pain relief with interventional pain modalities. Patients should be offered real choices between providers and treatments for their painful spine conditions. Our experience over the last twenty years reveals clearly that our patients want neither pills nor surgery. They almost always choose interventional therapies when conservative options have failed and when they are given a choice.


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