NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - There is a new movement to encourage people not to use opioids to tackle pain following surgery. The push is the result of high addiction rates across the country from the prescription drug.
"10 percent will get addicted for every 70 million surgeries for soft tissue or orthopedic," said former professional volleyball player Gabrielle Reece.
The model, wife and mother had full knee replacement surgery three months ago.
While she did take an opioid to manage the pain while hospitalized, she refused to take any after being discharged.
"This is a topic close to my heart. I wanted to avoid taking opioids.I had friends who got addicted. In the long run, I knew it was better," said Reece.
She is now a spokesperson for alternative pain medications.
"New medications can be injected directly into the site. It is a numbing medicine that lasts 24-72 hours," said Dr. Scott Sigman, US Ski Jump Team Physician.
"My concern is before this opioid crisis, we had a real problem with under treatment of pain. Doctors disproportionately prescribed pain medication for blacks, Hispanics, Asians and children. The people more vulnerable in society have the most problems with pain," said Dr. Devi Nampiaparampil.
While she is not calling for the end of opioid use, Dr. Nampiaparampil says there is a huge problem with over-prescribing.
For more information on opioid alternatives, visit PlanAgainstPain.com.