Make Pain a Thing of the Past – drug – Physician Partners of America

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Host: As many of you know, prescription drugs can help mask pain and it’s just for the now, but they are never the answer for fixing the problem long term. Dr. Rudy Gari from Florida Pain Relief Group wants to help us with an alternative. Welcome back Dr. Gari, nice to see you.

Dr. Gari: Nice seeing you.

Host: Now, when you work in the field of pain relief you must see a lot of people on an everyday basis coming in who have been on many, many prescription drugs for a very long time, because they’re in such pain. What do you say to these people when they come into your office?

Dr. Gari: Well, the first thing we tell them is this is not the only option. There’s a lot of things that we can do for you, and medications, especially prescription medications that can have some significant side effects, we have to make sure, number one, is it the right medication that you’re taking? So one of the first things that we do is we perform a test called pharmacogenomics. Pharmacogenomics is using your own genetic makeup to make sure that that medication that you have is the right medication for you. So we may adjust it, and what we’re looking for is something that’s going to reduce the side effects, but give you better pain relief. Now, it’s a several step process. The other thing we’re going to do is we’re going to diagnose you. We’re going to figure out exactly what’s wrong with you, because the medications are often treating the symptoms. So we want to get right to the source, you know, what is it that’s causing that pain? And there’s a lot of things that we can do for that.

Host: Okay, so you’re looking at, in terms of side effects, I mean, addiction is one of the most obvious side effects. So, what kind of pain relief management can you offer people who are in so much pain and on drugs?

Dr. Gari: Okay, so the first thing that we need to differentiate is drug addiction and drug dependence. Okay, so let me give an example. Drug addiction, when a patient is addicted to drugs like opioids, or narcotics as they call them, when we give them medication like an opioid, the level of function decreases. When a patient is dependent on their medication and we give an opioid, the level of function increases. So here’s an analogy. Let’s just say they have high blood pressure. You are dependent on your high blood pressure medication. So what we know for a fact is that if you are in serious pain, and you’re taking medication for that pain, the risk of addiction is actually quite minimal. So we have to separate those, so that sometimes we have patients that have both. They have problems with pain, and they also may have a problem with addiction, and we treat both of them.

Host: What other potential harmful effects are there for people on certain prescription drugs, and how do you help them?

Dr. Gari: Okay, certainly for…well the main thing is a lot of patients unfortunately have a lot of psychosocial problems because…

Host: Psychosocial?

Dr. Gari: Psychosocial, meaning that, you know, it’s not just them, it’s the entire family that’s involved. So I talk to the family.

Host: So co-dependence, etc.

Dr. Gari: Yes, and sometimes the family doesn’t understand what’s going on. So we go over what’s causing the pain, what medication are we taking? Can we change some of the medication, something that might work better for you? Can we perform certain procedures that’s going to lower your dependence on these medications?

Host: And perhaps save their lives?

Dr. Gari: Yes, yes, absolutely, and some of the biggest gratification is we have these patients that come in, they’re depressed. Their families don’t understand. We talk to the family, tell them what’s going on, we help them out, and we like to give them their life back.

Host: Boy, that’s…and you know, giving somebody their life back after they’ve been on so many mind-altering drugs for so long must be the greatest gift in the world.

Dr. Gari: There’s nothing more gratifying to me than doing just that.

Host: Well, keep up the good work Dr. Gari, and Florida Pain Relief Group even schedules same day appointments, so be sure to visit their website,, or give a call 844-KICK-PAIN, and we’ll be right back with more Daytime right after this.

Gone are the days when drug testing was viewed as a punitive process. Today, it is considered to be a vital tool in the hiring process, to keep employee productivity, and identify opportunities for the overall success of the company.

The majority of employers require their employees to submit to a drug test prior and after being hired. In most cases, after being hired some employers find reasonable suspicion before requiring an employee to take a drug test. In spite of marijuana legalization in some state, employees might still be punished in case they will be tested positive. A failed drug test would include the following punishment: termination, rehabilitation, and losing employment benefits.

A pre-employment drug test is an effective way of separating those who are using drugs from those who are not. However, the best way to eliminate the use of drugs in the workplace is through a random drug testing. This test will discourage the use of drugs during employment. If you aim to have a drug-free workplace, then you should read on the benefits of random drug testing.

Ensure Employee Safety

Even if a person is completely sober, there are some jobs that are still dangerous to perform. The use of heavy equipment or driving a truck requires a worker to be alert. For instance, an employee who works at a deli counter should never use drugs while working on a hot stove or when handling sharp knives. Given this, A drug test that will be conducted before an employee starts working would make sure that he will not be under the influence, thus protecting himself and the other people in the company from potential harm.

Contribute to Employee Productivity

Undeniably, alcohol and drug use have been stigmatized- from those in the highest position down to the lowest; people would try their best to conceal their use, instead of seeking professional help. As a result, they are at risk for progression to a more serious addiction- even accidents or illnesses.

But with a random drug test employers will be alerted that is needed. When early intervention is done, any struggling employee would be able to improve in terms of productivity as well as their moral.

Rehabilitation (to retain valuable talent)

Some people develop addiction through time and a crucial juncture may occur at mid-life and mid-career. These people may have already built up some very good records at work. Their difficulty, on the other hand, may have started as illnesses progress or they experience life-changing events. In some cases, there are employees who are willing to encourage a colleague to seek help.

Motivate employees to change

There are many employees who would resort to the use of drugs when having troubles, whether in the personal or professional aspects of their lives. The consequences of such can be very negative and others may not even be able to acknowledge the problem. The good thing is, when an employer addresses the job performance and would seek assistance as part of the whole plan of addressing the problem. The likely result is to see a great turnaround from the motivation given by the employer.

Avoid potential problems

It is the company’s prerogative to screen potential employees in order to prevent problems that may arise as a result of persistent drug use. A drug use problem may escalate and a person who seems like a good employee can be unreliable when he gets hired. He may start to show up at work late or would not focus on the job. Paying for a random drug test upfront can benefit the company in the long run as there’s no need to hire people or to compensate the one that has been injured.

Creating a healthier workplace

Drug use comes with a number of health risks. But by investing on educating employees on the risk of drug use and by administering a random drug use, a healthier workplace is created. This will benefit the lives of the employees, both in and out of the workplace. By understanding the risk, they’d be able to value and live a healthier life.

It is very important for employers to always consider worst-case scenarios at work. Depending on the drug, the user, and other possible factors, casual use may lead to a drug problem. Therefore, it is important for an employer to take preventive measures. By implementing a drug-free workplace program, the employees both individually and as a whole would be able to decrease and avoid drug-related incidents and stay in a place that is conducive for work.

Given a chance, drug testing is one thing that many, if not all of us, would like to evade. But if you are working for a government agency or your job has some level of “sensitivity” such as being a teacher or driver, then you’d have to undergo a drug test at some point. Drug testing can also be required to anyone- if you are an athlete or when you have plans of adopting a child. In today’s time when government scrutiny has greatly increased, more people are required to have their urine inspected.

The main objective of a drug test is to have a negative result. This dreaded test may come in various forms. Testing labs may look for traces of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)— the active ingredient in cannabis, giving it its narcotic and psychoactive effects) in urine, hair, blood, etc. The urine test, however, is considered to be the most common. Although this is considered to be the cheapest and easiest, others might find it uncool. But when you’ve got no choice, what can you do?

The fear of getting positive results is inevitable whenever one has to undergo a drug test. This is why many people prepare the best way possible to ensure that they will not be in trouble. There are various ways that people have done to outsmart drug tests. But if you think you know well, you should see some of the most popular myths get debunked.

10 Drug Test Myths

Drinking plenty of water before a test makes THC undetectable.
Sure, your friends may tell you “drink lots of water before you pee”. But this one is more of a warning. Although drinking water will dilute urine and make it difficult to detect THC, this also sends a red flag to the company that’s testing you. The majority of drug tests today tracks the level of creatinine- a byproduct of the digestion process. When urine is diluted, creatinine is diluted as well- a warning which is likely to lead to more extensive tests.

Exercising before a drug test leads to passing results.

This one might only be helpful to smokers (especially heavy smokers) who have a few weeks left before the drug test. When you have enough time to diet, detox, and exercise then you might be saved from the urine test. But when there is very little time to prepare and for surprise tests, this one is just a myth.

Home remedies will boost the chances of passing.

When you search on Google “home remedies to pass drug tests” you will be given hundreds of results: cranberry juice, jello, niacin, and so many others. But these methods are merely based on personal stories and aren’t strong enough to guarantee that you will pass.

Secondhand smoke will make you fail the test.

As long as you’re not smoking like a chimney, it’s not possible to inhale enough smoke that will lead you to fail the test. Passive inhalation will not bring enough amount of THC to the system to register a positive result. There’s no need to fear when someone lights up a cigarette.

Mouthwash will beat a Mouth Swab Drug Test

Although there might be a lot of truth to it, you can’t just use any mouthwash from the grocery store. A special detox mouthwash that specifically made for this drug screening will do the trick. So be sure that you get the right one to guarantee that you will pass.

A saliva drug test will not detect weed

In a saliva drug test or also known as spit drug test or mouth swab test, weed can be detected. The test is becoming more popular because it is very easy and cheap. This is administered by the law enforcement or employers to detect marijuana use. This can also be deployed anytime, making it super easy to conduct random drug tests. The worse thing is, the results are immediate and accurate.

Antibiotics do not cause a false positive drug test.

There are some classes of antibiotics which may cross-react in the opiate screen. For instance, Quinolones may cause a positive screen but confirmation by some methods like LC/MS/MS or GC/MS will be negative.

It’s possible to detect marijuana use by comparing THC levels in consecutive samples.
Using THC level only does not detect new marijuana use. This is because the drug concentration may be different to the amount of water in the samples. To determine new use, THC/Creatinine ratios of the samples should be compared. When the ratio has increased in the second sample, then new use has likely occurred.

Poppy seeds will not cause a false positive opiate result.

Truth: poppy seeds can cause positive results depending on the cut-off used for a positive test. If it’s at 2000-ng/ml cut-off level, it’s unlikely.

Food and beauty products containing hemp seed will not lead to a positive THC test.

Products with hemp seed contain trace amounts of non-psycho-active THC. At the same time, given the amount of usage, some positive screens may occur in donors who use this product. Donors should avoid using this product while involved in a drug test.

A drug test can be scary especially that it can make or break whatever good is happening in your life as of the moment. But as you may never get away with it, you just have to be positive that you’ll get negative results. Moreover, it would greatly help if you are aware of the following drug test myths and know the real truth behind them.

Finding a job nowadays can be such pain in the neck. But it is something that is necessary in order to survive. Half of the world’s population push through each day, soldiering on through routine tasks and daily struggles just to make it to their jobs. However, half of the world do not even have one. There are numerous reasons why a person cannot find a job. Some of these reasons are; meager job opportunities in third-world countries because of economic factors, personal credentials are deemed not suitable for the company’s standards, or these job applicants have a history of health-related issues. These are just a few reasons. The list goes on.

In the age of technology nowadays, companies have become more cautious in who they hire. Some companies have become more intrusive, asking for personal details and history including social media accounts and posts. Some applicants in recent years lose certain job opportunities on grounds of distasteful comments and posts. Some are not hired because of physical and mental discrimination. And some people are not hired because of their health history, specifically if they have had some history with substance abuse and rehabilitation. It is a painful truth that is happening currently.

Another sad truth is that in some states and countries, this is legal. To be fair, employers are just being good businessmen and is looking out for the welfare of the company. If a company refuse to hire someone with a substance abuse history, it is their right to do so. However, they also have the prerogative to request for drug testing. This depends on the laws or statutes of the state though. For an example, Florida drug testing and Texas drug testing laws might vary but they have a lot more in common than they have differences. These laws include employment specifications and so forth. Companies have to abide by these laws or else they will suffer the consequences.

For example, a specific case of a drug test request. There are a few reasons why companies ask applicants or employees for drug testing. One valid reason is if there is a history of abuse. Another one is if a person currently employed by the company shows weird behavior that may be associated with the intake of illegal substances. In general, drugs refer to alcohol, amphetamines, cannabinoids, prescription drugs, designer drugs, among others. These drugs are commonly abused by millions of people worldwide. Some of these drugs are distributed illegally all over the world. Prescription drugs are a bit different. They are easily accessible as long as it is prescribed by a licensed physician.

So, can employees legally test for prescription drugs? Technically, yes. But there are several factors to be considered which make it a little bit more complicated than the normal drug testing process. Most states allow employers or companies to demand or request drug testing from their employees or future applicants. One of these states is Texas, U.S.A. Most companies nowadays are not taking any chances; especially because there have been occurrences that prescription drugs can be abused and even taken in the workplace. In fact, details show that there has been a considerable increase in the number of employees that has been reliant on prescription drugs. According to Quest Diagnostics, the number jumped almost 40 percent from 2005 to 2009. Those who become addicted risk losing their jobs because of causing trouble in the company. Troubles such as low productivity level, possible accidents while on the job, and might possibly cause theft in the workplace. Being addicted to these prescription drugs makes everything quite complicated; not only in the workplace but also in personal spaces and relationships. Possession and usage of illegal drugs is a criminal liability. Unlike illegal drugs, addiction to prescription drugs does not necessarily entail criminal repercussions. It is a layered process involving the cooperation of physicians and a thorough review of the health history of the subject.

Moreover, a law known as Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA provides protection to those who are using these drugs. Basically, an organization or company is limited or in some cases, restricted to question an employee’s use of a prescription drug. This presents a problem to the employer especially if said employee displays unreasonable behavior that may be because of substance abuse.  Additionally, workers are entitled to keep the details of their health information private.

There are a few exceptions though. It includes jobs that are dangerous and requires certain strengths. Also, employees who are undergoing post-recovery after an accident are supposed to tell this to their company physician. Some companies require full disclosure on their employees’ prescription drug medication.

In hindsight, it can also benefit the employees. Some people may not even recognize that they are already having an addiction to prescription drugs. In a sense, this could be a way to help employees find the road to recovery.

Find Lasting Relief for Chronic Pain with Alternative Pain Management

The most stressful thing about suffering from chronic pain is being prescribed medication after medication, masking the pain for the time being, but offering little long-term relief. At Physician Partners of America, we offer patients alternative pain management methods to help you experience safer and lasting relief.

What is Alternative Pain Management?

Alternative pain management can be defined as a medical treatment, therapy, or intervention that exists outside the realm of conventional medical practices. Some popular examples of alternative therapies and non-pharmacological treatments include:

  • Chiropractic care
  • Yoga
  • Massage
  • Acupuncture

Here at the Physician Partners of America, we strive to avoid the use of prescription drugs when possible and rather focus on finding the best form of alternative pain management for the patient. We offer nearly two dozen drug-free treatment options to help you experience pain relief for chronic pain. Some of these include:

Which Conditions Can Be Treated with Alternative Pain Management Techniques?

Our physicians specialize in treating a wide variety of chronic pain problems using non-drug methods. Whether you suffer from chronic abdominal pain, arthritis, diabetic neuropathy, lower back pain, or another painful ailment, we can help. The beauty of Texas Pain Relief is that our team of physicians views each patient as a unique individual. Our physicians take the time to listen to each patient as they describe their symptoms and how their pain is affecting their everyday life. Based on feedback from the patient, along with thorough discussion of the patient’s medical history, we are able to recommend a specific technique or combination of techniques designed to treat the patient’s unique and chronic pain.

With traditional drug therapy, the goal is often to merely mask your symptoms. Unfortunately, this is only a temporary solution. You may take a drug that helps to relieve the physical pain of arthritis, while not actually offering long-term remedy. In this case, the problem may actually be worsening beneath the surface. At our clinic, we seek to understand the root cause of your problem so that we can alleviate your pain permanently. Our doctors take their calling seriously to improve the quality of life of every patient they treat.

Learn More About Your Chronic Pain Treatment Options

Our staff is happy to answer your questions about our chronic pain relief treatment methods as well as the types of conditions we treat using natural therapies.