STILL RELEVANT?  |   March 2018
Addressing the Opioid Crisis Through the Teachings of A.T. Still
Author Notes
  • Financial Disclosures: None reported. 
  • Support: None reported. 
  •  *Address correspondence to Janice Blumer, DO, Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-Northwest, 200 Mullins Dr, Lebanon, OR 97355-3983. Email: jblumer@westernu.edu
     
Article Information
Addiction Medicine / Pain Management/Palliative Care
STILL RELEVANT?   |   March 2018
Addressing the Opioid Crisis Through the Teachings of A.T. Still
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, March 2018, Vol. 118, 139-140. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2018.032
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, March 2018, Vol. 118, 139-140. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2018.032
In the early 1900s, the founder of osteopathic medicine, Andrew Taylor Still, MD, DO, found himself practicing in an opioid epidemic similar to the epidemic taking place today. After he returned from the Civil War, he discovered that many people had developed terrible habits through medications and drug use. In his autobiography, he wrote: 
More than a century later, the United States is in the midst of an opioid epidemic of plague-like proportions. From 1999 to 2010, opioid analgesic sales quadrupled.2 Correspondingly, from 1999 to 2012, opioid-related deaths more than tripled.2 In 2014 alone, nearly 29,000 people in the United States died of an opioid overdose (including heroin).3 According to a 2015 report,4 an estimated 33 million people use opioids worldwide. Fishbain et al5 estimated that abuse develops in nearly 5% of patients with chronic pain who are treated with prescription opioids, though this rate varies across studies. 
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