More than 42,000 people died in 2016 from an opioid overdose. Forty percent of these deaths involved a prescription opioid. Overall, deaths from opioid overdoses have contributed to a decrease in American life expectancy for the second year in a row. The last time that happened was in 1962 to 1963.
In light of such statistics, it's not surprising that a recent article explaining how opioids aren't always necessary after surgery made a bit of a splash. Firoozeh Dumas, who wrote the article, underwent a laparoscopic hysterectomy in Germany. She was told that ibuprofen – the nonprescription medication found in Motrin and Advil – would be sufficient. What she really would need was rest. Dumas, who had moved from California, worried that her pain would be undertreated. But, it turned out that her worry was misplaced. She recovered well, with the help of very little ibuprofen and lots of tea and rest.