Your Body: Opioid overdoses on the rise
2/23/2017 3:05:06 PM
Your Body: Opioid overdoses on the rise

Ingram Publishing/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

The handwriting on the wall was clear when President Obama spoke at a drug summit last year.

He said that we’re seeing more people killed because of opioid abuse than traffic accidents. And now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that heroin deaths outnumber deaths from handguns, and deaths from synthetic opioids -- like fentanyl -- more than doubled from 2014 to 2015.

So here’s what you need to know when it comes to opioids:

In the short term, this class of pain meds can be safe and effective for things like surgical pain or an acute injury. But the lowest dose that works for the shortest period of time should be used.

And remember that other non-opioid kinds of pain relievers can work very well for pain, along with acupuncture and other therapies.

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