New England School of Homeopathy

Thoughts on the Treatment of Pain & the Ongoing Opioid Crisis

Anyone who listens to, reads or watches the news, knows that there is a galloping opioid crisis in America. In 2012, 259 million physician prescriptions were given for opioids, more than plenty to for each American adult to hold their own bottle of pills.(1) More to the point, 4 of 5 five new heroin users began their addiction roller coaster misusing prescription painkillers.(2)

It’s not only important for prescribing practices to change, which is happening state by state, we also need to be able to offer patients better options in pain management and options that work! If you’d like to read further on the topic of the opioid epidemic and natural medicine perspective, see the pieces below

We are increasingly motivated to help and support our patients who suffer with all manner of physical pain, including to help prevent their starting on opioid medications, which when absolutely indicated and used judiciously, can be very useful. But there are so many ways it can go wrong and patients can easily become addicted.

(1) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Opioid Painkiller Prescribing, Where You Live Makes a Difference. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at
(2) Jones CM. Heroin use and heroin use risk behaviors among nonmedical users of prescription opioid pain relievers – United States, 2002-2004 and 2008-2010. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2013 Sep 1;132(1-2):95-100. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2013.01.007. Epub 2013 Feb 12.

Naturopathic medicine’s role in fighting the opioid crisis
Published in the Boston Globe April 20, 2017
by Amy Rothenberg ND

Naturopathic Medicine’s Role In Fighting The Opioid crisis: First-Line Non-Opioid Treatment of Chronic Pain
Published in the Huffington Post April 21, 2017
by Amy Rothenberg ND

THE ACCIDENTAL ADDICT: America’s Hidden Opioid Epidemic – Homeopathy’s role in pain treatment and recovery from addiction
Published in Homeopathy Today Summer 2016
by Amy Rothenberg ND

Naturopathic Doctors and Pain Relief
by Paul Herscu ND, MPH

Naturopathic Doctors Approaches to Prevention/Treatment of Opioid Addiction
by Paul Herscu ND, MPH

Naturopathic Strategies for Pain Relief
by Staff of Institute for Natural Medicine

How do naturopathic doctors help people manage chronic pain without highly addictive opioids?
From the INM FAQ series
A piece to which Drs. Rothenberg & Herscu contributed