Combatting the Opioid Epidemic
The opioid epidemic isn’t going away any time soon. It’s a national tragedy that deserves our ongoing attention. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that synthetic and classic opioids account for six of every 10 drug overdose deaths. Still another CDC study found that one out of every four Americans prescribed long-term opioid painkillers struggle with addiction. And recently in the courts, drug manufacturers are having to answer for their role too.
How Big is the Opioid Epidemic?
It’s estimated more than 130 people a day die from an opioid overdose. An estimated 40% of opioid overdose deaths involved a prescription opioid. In fact, in 2017 HHS declared a public health emergency and announced its plan to combat the opioid crisis in America.
Doctors of chiropractic are joining with other healthcare providers to explore the complexities of chronic pain and the full range of treatment options. At Brielle, we believe in beginning with drug-free, non-invasive chiropractic care.
Medicating Chronic Pain
OTC drugs aren’t the solution either. Managing the pain with NSAIDs and acetaminophen is like replacing the tires on your car instead of fixing the alignment that’s causing them to wear.
Back pain is far better managed through the first-line option of spinal manipulation as eight out of 10 who seek chiropractic care for pain say they experience significant relief. Yet…
- 70% of new back pain sufferers say they relied on NSAIDs (Advil, aspirin and Aleve)
- 45% took acetaminophens (Tylenol) in the first year
A U.S. experiment recently reported in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that NSAIDs and acetaminophen are better at reducing the intensity of chronic pain in the back, knees and hips than prescribed opioid painkillers, but they still carry risks.
While NSAIDs are not addictive, they can cause internal bleeding and kidney damage. There is also a well-established link between their use and cardiac risks.
If you must take NSAIDs or acetaminophen, take the lowest recommended dose and only increase it if necessary for pain. Keep in mind, you have options in treating your pain. Speak to your team of health providers, including a doctor of chiropractic, about what treatments are available.
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress wants to bring their alternative to opioids to the forefront of the addiction crisis. Several states have already changed their laws to provide equal insurance reimbursement for all providers offering “conservative care” treatment. Ideally, legislation will improve nationwide to promote the awareness and affordability of this alternative care to the first-line practice of prescribing opioid medications.
We believe that we are part of the solution. Contact Brielle Integrated Healthcare to learn how our health specialists can help you or a loved one reduce pain without harmful medications.
Since You’re Here…
Click below to watch a media segment highlighting the issues, proposed solutions and creating a heightened awareness that this nationwide epidemic requires: