Published on: December 14, 2017

Krithika Muthukumaran

“The neighbors describe how anxious they would get whenever they heard Mrs. Amutha, a 70-year-old lady, as she banged her head on the walls of her apartment and screamed. She suffered from severe headache and facial pain caused by advanced stages of oral cancer, and this is how she dealt with it.”

These are the opening lines of an article titled “Opioid crisis: A global rethinking” by Krithika Muthukumaran, published in Mental Health Innovation Network (MHIN).

Growing up as the daughter of Dr Subathra Muthukumaran, a palliative care physician in Chennai, Krithika Muthukumaran was familiar with the challenges arising from unavailability of pain medication and lack of awareness of palliative care. When she moved to Canada for higher studies, she was shocked to find the contrast in opioid situation in opposite sides of the globe. “North American and European nations are struggling to cope with the side effects of opioid misuse, while the remaining population does not have access to opioids to alleviate pain and suffering.” She explores the origin of this chasm, and discovers why opioid prescription overshot the intended use in countries like USA and Canada. “A new strategy and possibly bringing in uniform operational guidelines worldwide for the next set of doctors will greatly help them approach pain with the right mindset and prevent the past errors,” she concludes.

Read the article: Opioid crisis: A global rethinking

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