Alternatives to painkillers could help fight against addiction

The news of Prince's opioid overdose yesterday shows just how dangerously addictive opioid-based prescription drugs can be.



Doctors say there are alternatives for chronic pain that lead many to be prescribed opiate-based drugs like oxycodone. But they say the treatments aren't always a quick fix.



Salona Williams, of Stratford, is taking that alternative medical approach. Williams has to use a cane because of a burning pain in her lower back. Instead of turning to opioids, she's using a combination of injections in her back -- anti-inflammation injections -- plus heat treatments, physical therapy and nerve drugs that aim to "reset" the brain's pain threshold.



"I really don't want to get into anything that's going to make me not be aware of what I'm doing and where I am," said Williams.



Doctors say these alternative treatments are rarely 100 percent effective, but in the right combination, they can bring a patient real relief.


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