Opioid Crisis National Emergency

Something I definitely don't like to talk is politics, there are lots of opinions and conversation can go sour fast. I think that is something we all realize after last years election, all you had to do was sign on to Facebook, and you'd be guaranteed to find someone bashing someone else's opinions. But last weeks news, did catch my eye and I think it is something we can all agree on. The opioid crisis has been considered a national emergency. Prescription drugs are being misused and over-prescribed in our country, and it is changing our health and taking too many precious lives.

I thought I would share some eye opening facts and information, that everyone should pay attention to. Overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999. From just 1999 to 2014 165,000 people have died in the U.S. alone from overdose. To put this into perspective this is 3 times the amount of deaths that occurred in the U.S. military during the 20 years of the Vietnam war! In 2014, 28,647 people each year died due to opioid overdose, 78 people per day, which is more than 3 people per hour. By 2015 this number grew to over 30,000! I know sometimes reading things like this, the numbers don't mean much, but when it happens to someone you know, these numbers will hit closer to home. The sad thing is with the numbers as horrific as they are, opioid abuse has likely affected someone you know. A friend, a spouse, a neighbor, a co-worker, or a family member. Just because opioid use hasn't killed them, doesn't mean that it hasn't affected them and more people may be struggling with this than you even realize. The United States makes up only 4.6 of the world population, but we consume 80% of its opioids, and 99% of the world's Hydrocodone.

Something needs to be done, and as a chiropractor, I feel our profession plays a role. Chiropractic care offers a natural, drug-free, non-invasive, and cost-effective alternative to prescription drugs. Patient surveys reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine state that chiropractors are used more than any other alternative provider, and patient satisfaction is very high. Patient use of chiropractic in the US has tripled in the past two decades. Recent recommendations from the CDC, FDA, and IOM call for a shift away from opioid use toward a non-pharmacologic approach to address pain. This is so important because if someone's problem can be managed by an alternative method, before opioids are even prescribed or introduced, the chance of addiction can be totally eliminated. With all of this being said, I do not want you to get the impression that I am anti-drug. I do believe that there is a time and a place for prescription medications. The issue I am addressing is the abuse and misuse of drugs.

Something that I also find that the chiropractic profession has in it's favor, is that they are not only trying to stop the pain that the patients are experiencing, but they also dig to the root of what is causing the pain. Many medications are prescribed just to mask the symptoms, so once patients stop taking them, the pain returns. With chiropractic care, the problem that is causing the pain is addressed and treated, helping to prevent pain in the future. We are an overmedicated society who needs an adjustment, I firmly believe that Chiropractic care is a key to America's opioid exit strategy!

If you would like more information please visit http://www.f4cp.com or send me a personal email at [email protected]

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