Overcoming Opioids: When pills are a hospital's last resort - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Overcoming Opioids: When pills are a hospital's last resort

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By LAURAN NEERGAARD
AP Medical Writer

BALTIMORE (AP) - The U.S. opioid crisis is forcing hospitals to begin rolling out non-addictive alternatives to treatments that have long been the mainstay for the severe pain of trauma and surgery.

There are no one-size-fits-all replacements. But some hospitals seek to make opioids more of a last resort, so they don't save patients' lives or limbs only to have them fall under the grip of addiction.

Options range from mixing medications that attack pain in different ways to procedures that bathe certain nerves in a numbing drug.

A University of Maryland emergency room gave Stuart Anders one of those ultrasound-guided nerve blocks after a car crash shattered his thigh.

Anders calls it "a Godsend" because it eased his fear of an addiction relapse by dramatically cutting his need for opioids.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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