This week’s confirmation that pop star “Prince” died of a drug overdose brings attention to the dangers of prescription drugs containing opioids which are extremely powerful painkillers. These pain killers have killed thousands in the United States where they’re prescribed more frequently than in the Cayman Islands.
It is believed the pop star overdosed on the prescription drug called Fentanyl which is usually administered by a patch applied to the human body. Doctor John Lee, a pain management specialist with the Health Services Authority (H.S.A) says much is unknown about opioids like Fentanyl.
” Many people don’t understand that Fentanyl is in fact many, many hundreds of times more potent than morphine and needs to be treated with extreme care,”
Dr. Lee, says the use of opioids alone does not help the management of pain and said looking at other factors that may alter a patient’s quality of life is essential when giving treatment for pain.
“We all know if we feel great and happy you know we have less problems so it’s definitely part of treating the whole patient rather than just the pain itself or the opioid responsive part of that pain,” Dr. Lee said.
Dr. lee said over the last three years sixty percent of the 50-thousand drug related deaths in the United States have resulted from legal, prescription drugs that are abused.