The Opioid Crisis
Drugs and addiction is nothing new in our society.
As you are probably aware, the latest problem has to do with opioids. This category of medication is used most
frequently as a pain killer and one of the dangers of this drug is that it is very addictive.
Over the last few years we have heard or seen on the news that the death rate from opioid use has been on the rise.
The problem has gotten so bad it is considered a crisis. We have lost famous people (Tom Petty, Prince,
Michael Jackson to name a few) and people around us to this medication and often it is not because of overdose.
I have heard debates on what we should do to stop this and how much government funding should be earmarked
to address this problem. But I have to wonder, how did we ever get to this state of crisis in the first place?
Especially since most of these cases are not considered overdoses.
How is it that nobody is saying anything in regards to why we are so quick to use these medications?
Are these really any worse than other medications? Maybe they are or maybe they aren’t.
I’m sure this could easily be debated at length.
Why aren’t the people that are quick to prescribe these medications being put on the stand and asked these questions?
Who should be held liable? Or is there no liability to the over prescription of a highly addictive drug?
The slippery slope here is that when people are in pain they often turn to prescription (or non-prescription)
medication to help them get through the pain. As Chiropractors we often see patients that come
in for pain relief and most of the time we can help. Occasionally the pain is a result of a condition that we
can’t help and in those situations pain killers may be necessary.
Often times pain is preventable. You have probably heard us at Full Potential talk
about “prevention” or “wellness” care (and if not let us know so we can do a better job educating : ) ).
If we can see you before the problem causes tissue changes or damage we can prevent the problem
that may someday require major intervention and therefore keep you from unnecessary medication or surgery.
I believe our society has created a problem, and here’s why: When Johnny was a baby and he got a fever the person
that cared for him took him to the medical doctor to get a pill or liquid to lower his fever.
Then when was a little older he got a cold and the person that cared for him gave him medication in the form of a pill or
liquid to feel better. This pattern can repeat over the years. When Johnny is hurt or doesn’t feel well he is given
something to ease the pain and make him feel better understanding that this is done with the best of intentions.
Now Johnny is in high school and he gets cut from the football team or his girlfriend dumps him,
one of his friends who cares for him gives him something to ease his pain but this time the pill or liquid isn’t
from the doctor. He takes it without question because the pattern has been ingrained in his
mind since he was a baby. And we wonder why recreational drug use is so prevalent.
But recreational drugs aren’t the only problem here. A 1994 from the Journal of the American Medical
Association said a Harvard Medical School research paper by Dr Lucian Leape stated:
“Steel et al found that 36% of patients admitted to a university medical service in a teaching
hospital suffered an iatrogenic (that means doctor “oops”) event, of which 25% were serious of life threatening.
More than half of the injuries were related to the use of medication.”
He goes on to state: “… inappropriate use of drugs was the leading cause of the cardiac arrests.”
“In the United States 180,000 people die each year partly as a result of iatrogenic
(remember, doctor “oops”) injury, the equivalent of three jumbo-jet crashes every 2 days.
Chiropractic is safe, it is preventative and it is non-addictive. I think we might have an answer to the opioid crisis.
Choose safe and effective Chiropractic care.
Dr Brad Pritchard DC