Chiropractic’s Unique Role in the Opioid Epidemic

While scanning my news feed this morning, a few alarming words caught my eye: “Opioids could kill nearly as many Americans in a decade as HIV/AIDS has killed since the epidemic began in the early 1980s.” Across America, people are talking about chiropractic as a safer alternative to opioid medication for pain relief, and yet, I don’t think the magnitude of this opportunity has been realized by most doctors of chiropractic in this country. This crisis has weighed heavily on my mind for weeks. Not only because of the potential to save lives in my community but because I know first-hand the effects of opioids on our bodies.

Someone I know and love suffered an injury from prescription opioids that forever changed her life. And it is not just my family that has been affected. While discussing the opioid epidemic during a team meeting, I quickly learned that everyone in my office knew someone whose life had been touched by opioid abuse. As a doctor of chiropractic and a board member for the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, I have a vested interest in supporting their goal to reach every consumer in the U.S. with the message that chiropractic is a safer alternative to opioids. The F4CP’s goal is to educate and support consumers who are struggling with chronic pain. They promote conservative, drug-free care, specifically chiropractic, as a primary option for pain management, yielding improved clinical outcomes, reduced costs, and high levels of patient satisfaction.

To achieve this goal, we started the “In for 10” (#N410) campaign. Our goal is to raise money to promote awareness that chiropractic is a safer strategy than opioids. In medical school, doctors take an oath “to cause no harm,” and the weight of those words has them seeking information on non-pharmacological approaches to chronic pain. The CDC has recommended that providers begin prescribing safer alternatives such as chiropractic care for chronic pain management.

As a profession, we all have different philosophies and techniques, but in the battle against opioids, we can speak with one voice on the value of chiropractic. As a further commitment to this effort, ChiroHealthUSA has already donated $10,000 and will further match doctors’ donations to the N410 project dollar for dollar up to another $50,000. Be a part of the N410 movement. Then, share it on all your social media. The country and our patients need to hear this message.

 

 

 

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