PAIN KILLER EPIDEMIC
Running a Chiropractic & Wellness center, we get to see a lot of patients presenting with back pain, in conjunction with addiction issues. Many of these patients were not treating the root cause of the structural issues to start with, rather masking them with pain killers. They are getting these drugs too easily from their physicians. In turn when the doctor stops prescribing them, the damage is done. The patient may be hooked, yet still has the same underlying cause of their pain present. On top of that, they often move on to heroin, as it is usually easier to get and cheaper to buy. Four out of five new heroin users started with prescription painkillers. It’s frustrating as a natural health care provider that many of the times, safer options were not recommended, such as Chiropractic, Massage, Home Exercises and so on.
America is less than 5% of the worlds population, however consumes around 80% of the entire worlds supply of painkillers. Drug overdose deaths and opioid-involved deaths continue to increase in the United States. The majority of drug overdose deaths (over six out of ten) involve an opioid. The CDC reports; since 1999, the amount of prescription opioids sold in the U.S. nearly quadrupled, yet there has not been an overall change in the amount of pain that Americans report. Deaths from prescription opioids have more than quadrupled since 1999.
Employers also are losing production. In 2011, more than 25% of workers compensation prescription drug claim costs were for opioids. Even when driving today, its not just drunk drivers to look out for, in 2014, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed 10 million people reported driving while on drugs.
A CNBC reports showed, “Almost half of all Americans personally know someone who has been addicted to prescription painkillers.” Perhaps even more concerning is that most people who have abused prescription painkillers reported getting them from friends or relatives. Many don’t know that sharing opioids is a felony.
Chiropractic philosophy has advocated for improving function, not solely masking pain signals. This concept of wellness, not sickness care is greatly overlooked in health care, which has led to an epidemic!