The alarming statistics are impacting Americans from all walks of life:

130 people die of opioid-related overdoses every day and 11 million people a year misuse prescription opioids.

A message from the president of Greenwich Hospital

The alarming statistics are impacting Americans from all walks of life: 130 people die of opioid-related overdoses every day and 11 million people a year misuse prescription opioids.

Greenwich Hospital’s initiative to reduce the number of opioids prescribed during a hospital stay and upon discharge were instituted well before the current epidemic gripping our nation. Our specialists use a multimodal approach to address acute and chronic pain with methods that lessen the use of opioids, whether patients are hospitalized or seeking outpatient care at our Center for Pain Management.

The results have been impressive. We have seen a 50 to 60 percent reduction in the use of opioids and side effects such as nausea, vomiting and constipation among surgical patients since implementing the multimodal approach. Nearly all patients undergoing total joint replacements, spinal fusions, bariatric surgery, reconstructive breast surgery and obstetric procedures are ordered multimodal medications. Patients are more comfortable and recover from surgery faster, while taking fewer opioids.

Innovative techniques such as regenerative medicine, spinal cord stimulators, epidural injections and radiofrequency ablation are improving the quality of life for patients of all ages. Zevi Tilles, for example, has returned to the soccer field thanks to epidural injections with non-opioid medication to treat back and leg pain. Linda Ricci has a spinal cord stimulator to keep chronic back and knee pain at bay.

While the abuse of opioids certainly warrants national attention, we also recognize that these medications still have an important place in pain management, especially among cancer patients. These patients may also benefit from interventional pain procedures such as nerve blocks, infusion pumps and other techniques that in some cases can decrease their need for pain medications.

Although managing pain can be challenging because we all have different perceptions of pain, people should not hesitate to seek assistance. Our pain physicians can help patients to responsibly prevent and relieve discomfort so they can lead productive lives free of the complications of chronic pain.

Norman G. Roth, President and Chief Executive Officer