To Your Health
February, 2018 (Vol. 12, Issue 02)
Why Opioids Became an Epidemic and How Chiropractors Can Solve It
By Editorial Staff
Need another reason to avoid opioids and embrace drugless options such as chiropractic care for pain relief (not to mention pain prevention)? Try money and manipulation – both used shamelessly by opioid manufacturers to fuel the opioid epidemic, which costs nearly 100 Americans their lives every day.
While growing awareness of the opioid crisis has spurred ongoing changes at both the policy and practice level, it might not have been necessary if not for the relationship between opioid manufacturers and advocacy groups, according to a shocking new report
from the U.S. Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee.
Evidence That Can't Be Ignored
Fueling an Epidemic: Exposing the Financial Ties Between Opioid Manufacturers and Third-Party Advocacy Groups "provides the first comprehensive snapshot of the financial connections between opioid manufacturers and advocacy groups and professional societies operating in the area of opioids policy," according to the executive summary, which outlines the disturbing nature of the "connections" and their impact on the opioid epidemic:
"Disclosures from Purdue Pharma L.P., Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Mylan N.V., Depomed, Inc., and Insys Therapeutics, Inc. ... describe nearly $9 million in payments from these manufacturers to 14 outside groups working on chronic pain and other opioid-related issues between 2012 and 2017. In addition, physicians affiliated with these groups accepted more than $1.6 million in payments from the five manufacturers between 2013 and the present."
"Initiatives from the groups in this report often echoed and amplified messages favorable to increased opioid use — and ultimately, the financial interests of opioid manufacturers. These groups have issued guidelines and policies minimizing the risk of opioid addiction and promoting opioids for chronic pain, lobbied to change laws directed at curbing opioid use, and argued against accountability for physicians and industry executives responsible for overprescription and misbranding."
Why Chiropractic Matters More Than Ever
If there's any possible upside to the opioid epidemic, it's that the crisis is now front and center. Policy- and practice-level changes are being implemented to replace prescription pain-relief medications such as opioids with safer alternatives as the first option – including chiropractic care. Of course, chiropractors have always practiced drugless care and provided effective, natural pain relief for a variety of conditions. Now, they're being increasingly recognized for that care not only on its own merits, but as a better, safer option that can save lives by helping patients avoid opioids – and the horrible conspiracy that fueled their use and abuse. Chiropractors didn't cause the opioid crisis, but they sure can help end it. Talk to your chiropractor for more information.