Every day, over 90 Americans die after overdosing on opioids. The misuse of and addiction to opioids is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.
One doctor is tackling the problem using approaches that go beyond the normal standards for dealing with pain. Dr. Subodh Agrawal, esteemed cardiologist and owner of Athens Heart Center and Specialty Clinics, recognized the opioid crisis and saw an opportunity to treat his chronic pain patients in a new way. By teaching yogi philosophies to his patients, employees and the community at large, Dr. Agrawal hopes to offer an alternative to opioids for those patients suffering with chronic pain.
“A yogi lifestyle encourages change in communities that promote healthier options,” said Dr. Agrawal. “When communities participate at home and at work – the small changes equal huge benefits: lowered healthcare costs, improved health, and ultimately, a higher quality of life.”
According to Harvard Health Publishing, yoga can help people with arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine, low back pain, and many other chronic pain conditions. A study published in Annals of Internal Medicine found that among 313 people with chronic low back pain, a weekly yoga class increased mobility more than standard medical care for the condition. WebMD reports that up to 90 percent of all doctor visits are linked to stress-related problems and over 40 percent of adults suffer adverse health effects from stress. According to the Harvard Medical Health Letter, “available reviews of a wide range of yoga practices suggest they can reduce the impact of exaggerated stress responses”.
Dr. Agrawal co-founded The Human Yoga Project, which aims to make a yogi lifestyle accessible to everyone, with all these benefits in mind. “Our focus is to increase longevity and live a healthier more connected lifestyle while reducing healthcare costs and improving quality of life,” said Dr. Agrawal. “We hope through yoga, we can reduce opioid dependency and help people live a life with less pain.”
SOURCE Athens Heart Center and Specialty Clinics