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The Communities Foundation of Texas recently hosted Dr. Harold Urschel, addiction psychiatrist and the chief medical strategist for Enterhealth, for an eye-opening presentation on addiction. Urschel addressed a packed crowd and discussed an issue that’s sweeping the country: opioids.

“This is a growing epidemic across our country, and we need to shed light on it and start a conversation,” said Urschel. “There is very little education on pain and opioids. An average medical school provides just nine hours of education on pain. Between 40 and 60 percent of people with back pain will get opioids at some time, and the American Academy of Neurology actually recommends against using opioids for back pain.”

Opioids are a class of drugs which include legal painkillers such as oxycodone and hydrocodone as well as illicit drugs such as heroin, and the facts are alarming. As many as one in four people who receive prescription opioids long term for non-cancer pain struggle with addiction. Enterhealth, a Dallas-based company which offers a science-based drug and alcohol addiction treatment program, supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) opioid guidelines and is working diligently to stay on the forefront of innovative treatments, including naltrexone implants, acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and neurofeedback. During the presentation, Urschel explained the side effects of opioid use and how easily people can get their hands on the drug.

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