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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Magazine > Oct/Nov 2019 > ARE WE MISMANAGING CHRONIC PAIN?


With prescriptions for opioid painkillers at a high, the government is set to put prominent warnings on them, stating they can cause addiction. But what are the alternatives?

In the last decade, prescriptions for opioid medicines have increased by more than 60 per cent in England and Wales, reaching 23 million last year. This is worrying, and not just because they’re highly addictive: they also often don’t work for many types of chronic pain.

Common opioids include morphine, codeine, tramadol, oxycodone and fentanyl, which are derived from opium or synthetic versions. These are analgesic medicines, which work by reducing the pain messages sent to the brain, but they also have a sedative effect and can affect breathing.

Opioids used to be restricted to cancer and surgery patients, but with up to half of adults in the UK suffering from chronic pain, they are increasingly prescribed for back and joint aches.

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About Healthy Magazine

Welcome to the October/November issue of healthy. Our nutrition issue is here and in the latest edition, we look at why healthy diet is important for your physical and mental health. Plus, we’ve got some delicious seasonal recipes for you to try. We’ve all heard the phrase: ‘You are what you eat’, but to what extent is that true? Writer Charlotte Haigh attempts to give a definitive answer in our cover story, by looking at the nutrition tips we can all take to improve our health, despite the differences in our genetic makeup. In our recipe section, we’ve got a range of delicious seasonal dishes that are perfect for early autumn, along with immunity-boosting recipes to see you through the colder months. We also revisit the fermenting trend with some tips for having a go yourself. And that’s not all. In addition to our nutrition content, writer Laura Potter takes a thoughtful look at the potentially negative impact of fertility reporting, while controversial expert Ronald Purser gives powerful arguments against mindfulness in our ‘Fresh thinking’ franchise. Find all this and more in the new issue of healthy.