How people overdose on painkillers

Americans overdose on the painkiller acetaminophen every single day, and new research shows how quickly and easily it can happen to almost anybody.

In a series of experiments, 500 outpatients were tested on proper acetaminophen doses.

It was a test they failed, often spectacularly.

Many of them didn't know that the same drug is used in everything from cold remedies to painkillers. As a result, a patient with a headache and runny nose might take two drugs with acetaminophen without realizing he just doubled his dose.

And in the tests, nearly half of the patients showed they were at risk of doing just that.

But even when given proper dosing information, many people still didn't get it right. More than a quarter showed they could exceed the daily limit for the drug, and 5 percent could've exceeded that limit by as much as 50 percent.

Fortunately, no one actually took the drug for the study so no one overdosed in the name of science.

But most people don't have researchers looking over their shoulder -- and that's why acetaminophen overdose is now the nation's leading cause of acute liver failure.

The daily limit is supposed to be 4,000 mg in any given 24-hour period, but I have a much better way to cut the risk of overdose as well as all the other side effects linked to this drug: Don't take any if at all possible.

For simple pain relief at home, I recommend either curcumin or MSM. A great
go-to for just about any kind of ache and pain is Soothanol X2 from our affiliates over at NorthStar Nutritionals. Just rub a few drops of this remarkable pain reliever with MSM where it hurts and the pain starts to melt away in a matter of minutes.

For ongoing pain issues, consider a drug-free treatment such as acupuncture or cold laser.

And for recurring pain issues, don't just treat the symptom -- find the cause and correct it. For more help treating chronic pain, contact the Stengler Center for Integrative Health.