Selected Podcast

American Pain Medication Addiction

American Pain Medication Addiction
Americans think of pain in regards to physical manifestations. We rarely think of pain as related to emotional or mental well-being. 

We also consume 80 percent of the world’s pain medications. Women consume more pain pills than men.

Why do we need so much pain medication?

First, our technology has surpassed our emotional resilience. We’ve developed a desperate need for validation by trying to digitally capture our 15 minutes of fame. We get overwhelmed and distracted as we try to seek validation. The results are increased stress, loneliness, identity challenges and lack of fulfillment. People feel empty inside.

Second, opiates relieve emotional pain. Opiate abuse may stem from the relief delivered by the drugs. Addiction might be believed to be due to physical pain, but emotions very well could be the root of the problem.

Third, it has been common for women to take pills to help them sleep or relax. Women have twice the levels of diagnosed depression as men. They’re more likely to be diagnosed with general anxiety disorder. Popping a pill can delay the response to problems for the short term.

The solution? You need to become resilient. Build some skills to handle the problems you will face. Reduce your dependence on a pill to help you handle life.

Beating a pain medication addiction requires an integrative approach. Holistic treatment can help you heal. Emotional growth is an important part of the healing process.

Listen as Dr. Reef Karim joins Dr. Pam Peeke to discuss pain medication addiction.


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Featured Speaker:
Reef Karim, DO
Dr. Reef KarimDr. Reef Karim, known as Dr. Reef, is a double board certified psychiatrist, addiction medicine physician and relationship therapist. With expertise in human behavior, Dr. Reef is the founder and director of Lumion Center in Beverly Hills, a day treatment center specializing in mental health, addictions, toxic relationships and personal development. 

Dr. Reef is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and the host of the new online show Reef Madness, a comedic, smart, topical news show, which can be seen at

Dr. Reef is a well known international speaker, author and thought leader with recurring appearances on Oprah, CNN, Today, Good Morning America and many other shows.

Dr. Reef spends much of his time helping people focus less on external validation and more on building their internal sense of self including identity, purpose and self expression.