Chili Peppers Could Free Us From Opioids

Sometimes the media cracks me up, like with this headline. Do you know how long the medical industry has been promising a breakthrough for the treatment of pain with chili peppers? I can’t be sure, but I think it’s decades.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-27/chili-peppers-could-free-us-from-opioids

“When we talk about chronic pain, like chronic low-back pain, physicians feel like they only have one bullet in their toolbox that works for many, many patients,” says Michael Oshinsky, program director for pain and migraine at the National Institutes of Health, about opioids.

Do you think doctors feel that way because it’s true? Like, duh.

The pharma industry has struggled to come up with alternatives. No fewer than 33 experimental medicines for chronic pain went into clinical trials from 2009 to 2015, and all failed, Oshinsky says…

You can’t search for an alternative treatment for pain by trying to circumvent another problem, addiction. (Some people even believe that the quickest way between two points is a straight line.)

It appears that Big Pharma (working with the medical industry) is looking in the wrong direction. Don’t ask me what the right direction is, because I don’t know. But I do know that looking for ways to beat addiction during the treatment of pain is not a direct route to finding new ways to manage pain. Because 90% of people who suffer from pain do not need treatment for addiction.

A brain on chronic pain is not the same as a brain that suffers from addiction and some level of pain. Those who suffer from addiction have different wires crossed. Their brains react differently to opioids. Treating pain with drugs that focus on addiction will only help a very small percentage of pain patients. I think methadone and bupe have been around long enough to prove that fact.

The problem with narcotics is that in treating pain they affect an area of the brain that registers intense pleasure…

What’s the opposite of pleasure? Pain. And just like there are two sides of a coin, the areas of the brain that deal with pleasure and pain are the same ones — the same coin. These areas of the brain do the same work. They work so closely together that some people feel pain just like it’s pleasure, and vice versa. Even the very few people who are unable to feel pain don’t live a life of pleasure.

Centrexion’s drugs are designed to target pain directly, without triggering the brain’s reward system…

So, yeah, try to target pain without going through the pleasure/reward system of the brain… I’m no expert, but I don’t think it’s possible. Well, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that we already have these drugs, like aspirin and NSAIDs, which come with their own risks and lack of effectiveness.

You should eat chili peppers. Not only do they taste good, but they’re good for you. Because they work as an anti-inflammatory, they can relieve pain. Just like aspirin. And by the way, just like decongestants and antihistamines. But these drugs do not target pain directly — they’re not really painkillers.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Chili Peppers Could Free Us From Opioids

    • Everything is connected. Which makes it hard to focus on one thing, one area of the brain, without taking the whole system into account. The human body is not like a car, where one thing breaks down and it’s easy to pinpoint and fix it. But I guess that’s the way health care works these days.

      Liked by 1 person

If you don't comment, I'll just assume you agree with me

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s