The Hippocratic oath taken by doctors avows to ‘First do no harm’. But Canadian doctors are in a quandary. They have patients in chronic pain for which opioids are the prescription drug of choice. Yet the harm from them is significant.
Canada is now the second largest consumer of opioids in the world, and recent news headlines alert us that overdose deaths from opioid use have spiked.
Members of the medical community indicate that one solution is to simply write fewer opioid prescriptions. Even though chronic pain remains a serious issue, they see no high-quality evidence showing that opioids work for long-term pain.
Dr. Conrad Sichler, an addiction specialist, wrote in a letter to the Globe and Mail, “the causes of addiction are not the drugs; they are emotional pain, social emptiness.” He suggests an alternative to potential dependency is “learning how to connect with others, and that finding meaning and purpose can address the roots of addiction”.
Promising solutions based on paying attention to the emotional as well as the physical needs of patients are on the rise. One therapy has to do with exploring the role love plays in the healing process.
Since some studies show that something as simple as a hug can relieve pain and stress, what effect could being conscious of an unlimited, permanent, divine source of love have on ending pain and enabling a drug free life?
The Scriptural promise “ God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” provides a practical way to think differently about the source of our health. Better understanding this promise can shift a dependency on drugs to the liberating realization that each of us is governed by a divine Love – expressed through greater joy, health and harmony.
When John was in sales, he travelled extensively and suffered from migraines and stomach ulcers. He kept painkillers in his pocket and used them daily.
He was familiar with the Bible, but a relative introduced him to a book that highlights and explains the healing work of Jesus, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. It caught his interest as he read of the principles of healing that can be learned and applied in modern day life.
One idea that convinced him that he could find health and freedom was the sentence, “God is the creator of man, and, the divine Principle of man remaining perfect, the divine idea or reflection, man, remains perfect.”
John felt the power of this concept of being perfect because he has this loving and close relationship to his Creator. As he studied more deeply, he understood that his health and freedom were not based on the pills in a bottle, but on the truth that he was the man of God’s making – made in his likeness as the Bible says.
He realized one day that he had stopped taking the painkillers some time earlier. The migraines and ulcer were gone and this took place many years ago. Today, he sometimes celebrates that he can eat hot and spicy food!
The relentless cycle of pain and drug dependency can be broken. An expanded view of a universal source of divine Love is a practical starting point for anyone.
As I am a community blogger throughout Ontario on Metroland Media, you can read this article on the Brampton Guardian edition.