Due to the overprescription of pain medications like opioids, America has seen a pandemic of overdose and addiction. Dr. Ezekiel Akande explains some alternative pain treatments.
Opioids have gotten to a point that they are quite dangerous. It has been a problem for quite a while, but the recent explosion of opioid addiction and overdose among the middle class has helped shine a light on the problem and helped us to see that we really need to fix it, and fast. The solution is not simply to leave people in pain to the whims of fate; rather, they need to be able to find alternative methods of treatment so they do not have to rely on these dangerous, addictive prescription medications — such as morphine and oxycodone — and Dr. Ezekiel Akande has provided just a handful of solutions that are available.
Dr. Ezekiel Akande Discusses Alternative Methods to Fighting Pain
One of the most common and most effective things that a doctor will prescribe for their patient, Dr. Ezekiel Akande notes, is exercise and physical therapy. These are both things that, when done with care and mindfulness, can do a world of good for your pain relief. Depending on the level of pain, this will be somewhat easy or terribly difficult, Dr. Ezekiel Akande notes, but effort will go a long way for a lot of patients. Rest is always beneficial, but you do not want to rest to excess. You want to keep your body at least somewhat active; in doing so, you keep your body at the ready, able to avoid extreme pain the next time that you put your body to use again.
Dr. Ezekiel Akande on Other Medical Alternatives
One solution that has been floated is actually somewhat similar to the prescription medications floating around, Dr. Ezekiel Akande explains. Dr. Nurulain Zaveri has been working on something called AT-121. The major distinction is that it binds to both the mu-opioid receptor and the nociceptin/orphanin FQ peptide receptor, while the above-mentioned prescriptions only bond to the former. As Dr. Nurulain Zaveri explains, the bond to both may block the unwanted side effects of the drugs, like an addiction. Dr. Ezekiel Akande points out that this is still an experimental compound so things may change in the future, but if such a thing is produced, it could revolutionize pain treatment. Dr. Ezekiel Akande will always advise caution, regardless.
Opioids will always carry a potential risk of harmful side effects, but as Dr. Ezekiel Akande explains, this can be exacerbated by other factors. For instance, people with sleep apnea, obesity, anxiety, depression, and/or fibromyalgia are at heightened risk of these dangerous side effects, so any consideration for the use of opioids should be done with extreme caution, if not done at all.
Appalachia runs from New York to northern Mississippi, and the area has a shockingly high rate of an opioid overdose. People who live in Appalachia are nearly twice as likely to experience an opioid overdose than people who do not live in Appalachia. Pain management expert Dr. Ezekiel Akande weighs in on the lifestyle factors that make the area so prone to overdose.
While many people are quick to blame poverty as a reason for the opioid crisis in Appalachia, the poverty rate is only 2% higher than in areas outside of Appalachia. Dr. Ezekiel Akande explains that while poverty can be a factor for addiction, it’s clear that there are more pieces to the puzzle than living at or below the poverty level when it comes to opioid addiction.
Dr. Ezekiel Akande states that opioids are prescribed at a much higher rate in Appalachia than in other areas. It’s hard to say whether this is due to doctors who over-prescribe, or due to patients who go the extra mile to get an opioid prescription. Dr. Ezekiel Akande believes that figuring out the root of this problem is a key first step in helping the people of Appalachia through the opioid epidemic.
While education may be a factor, it doesn’t weigh as heavily as the high rate of opioid prescriptions in the area, according to Dr. Ezekiel Akande. About 23% of people who live in Appalachia have bachelor’s degrees, compared to 31% of people who do not live in Appalachia. This difference is significant, as people with a higher level of education are less likely to become addicted to opioids. Dr. Ezekiel Akande mentions that education on prescription drug addiction needs to be started early so that people of all educational levels understand the dangers of prescription drug misuse.
A lack of growth in the labor force may also be a piece of the puzzle when it comes to opioid addiction and overdose in Appalachia, according to Ezekiel Akande. While areas outside of Appalachia have achieved a labor force growth rate of 13% from 2000–2017, counties within Appalachia have only experienced an average growth rate of 3%. Dr. Ezekiel Akande states that this means that people who are in poverty may be staying there for longer periods of time than people who do not live in Appalachia. A continued life of poverty (rather than going through a temporary hard time) may make someone more likely to begin misusing opioids, according to Ezekiel Akande.
Dr. Ezekiel Akande discusses the possibility of Nigeria surpassing many first-world nations in clean energy.
Nigeria is home to a treasure trove of natural resources. Unfortunately, foreign influence, political unrest, and a devastating civil war have all prevented the African nation from reaching its full potential. As a result, many economists and historians dismiss Nigeria as a world leader — but that could all change in the coming years.
Ezekiel Akande is a medical doctor who spent years studying the political landscape in West Africa. He has also studied the effects of clean energy on human health and local economies. According to Dr. Ezekiel Akande, Nigeria has the potential to lead the world in clean energy resources and production.
Dr. Ezekiel Akande Lists 6 Ways Clean Energy Could Transform Nigeria
After years of research and a passion for Nigerian culture and heritage, Dr. Ezekiel Akande came to the conclusion that Nigeria has the potential to compete with some of the top-economic countries in the world — even the United States. Here are the 5 ways that Ezekiel Akande believes clean energy could transform Nigeria:
- “When it comes down to it, clean energy is the future. Coal and fossil fuels are unsustainable. So, if Nigeria can jump ahead of some other countries, like the US, that continue to bow to corporate interests, it could give the country a huge leg up in the decades to come.” – Ezekiel Akande
- “It’s well-established that fossil fuels and other non-clean energy sources are a detriment to human health and safety. Pollution is one of the largest killers on the planet. It is especially harmful in poor communities with limited access to high-quality healthcare. Investing in clean energy could help reduce pollution in the region, save lives, and preserve medical resources.” – Dr. Ezekiel Akande
- “The unemployment rate in Nigeria rests around 20% and has increased little by little every year for the last decade. Creating jobs via government-funded clean energy initiatives could put money in the hands of those who need it most in the country.” – Ezekiel Akande
- “Diversification is key for any country’s economic future. Historically, a huge percentage of Nigeria’s economy has relied on petroleum exports. The COVID-19 pandemic and tanking of crude oil prices prove that this kind of economy cannot remain stable through tough times. Transitioning to clean energy output could help bring economic diversification to a country that desperately needs it.” – Dr. Ezekiel Akande
- “It goes without saying that clean energy shouldn’t just be a means to a financial end. Moving away from coal and fossil fuels will ultimately help the planet. Nigeria and the rest of West and Sub-Saharan Africa have enough issues to deal with at the moment. Dying from pollution-related illnesses shouldn’t be one of them.” – Ezekiel Akande
- “I want Nigeria to further exploit other sources of clean energy that are cost effective and would enable the supply of power to at least 80% of its population thus driving development and impacting all sectors of the economy. Relatively new sources of energy like hydrogen cell, nuclear, solar, wind, etc would be areas of great advantage to look into instead of the current expensive fossil fuel based power generation. The distribution and transmission protocols must be perfected.” – Dr. Ezekiel Akande