Chiropractic: A Safer Strategy Than Opioids
Monday, June 6, 2016
The Unites States has awakened on every level to the crushing impact of the opioid use/abuse epidemic. Calls have come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) for a shift away from opioid use toward non-pharmacologic approaches to address chronic pain.
An important non-pharmacologic approach in helping to solve this crisis is chiropractic care.
This discussion offers greater understanding of the scope of the opioid situation, the elements that have contributed to it and an approach that emphasizes nonpharmacologic care. Collectively, we must begin to extricate ourselves from our current ineffective, dangerous and often fatal reality.
The use of opiate drugs and the abuse of these products, has become the story of the day in the popular press -- as well as in the scientific literature. In the process, pain management is finally getting the attention it deserves. The media fanfare surrounding this subject has finally caused the consumer most affected to raise awareness as never before, and will perhaps help to curb the demand for these devastating drugs.
We are being bombarded daily with grim news about drug abuse, physician overprescribing of pain medications, both in-office and at hospital emergency rooms, and the shocking realities of this nationwide drug use catastrophe. The absence of clinical logic and effectiveness for opiate use in the vast majority of settings, the real and present dangers of opiate use and the prescription practices of physicians have been called into question from every corner of health care.
When combined with the relentless pursuit of financial gain, these circumstances are magnified many times over by the nation’s drug manufacturers. The dire predictions of an epidemic drug problem in the homes of countless average Americans have come to fruition.
The data speaks for itself. Overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999,1 as have sales of these prescription drugs.2 From 1999 to 2014, more than 165,000 people --- three times the U.S. military deaths during the twenty years of the Vietnam War -- have died in the U.S. from overdoses related to prescription opioids.3
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