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Letter: Opioid crisis cannot be ignored

Posted: January 2, 2018 1:05 p.m.
Updated: December 26, 2017 1:00 a.m.

While I am clearly not an expert on opioids, I do have 44 years experience of professional insight and experience in managing pain.

The seriousness of this opioid epidemic cannot be ignored. According to the CDC, since 1999, the number of deaths caused by overdosing has quadrupled. From 2000-2015, more than half a million people have died from such drug overdoses. In September, 35 attorneys general sent a letter to the chairman of America’s health insurance plans and encouraged them to take a more proactive position to review their payment and coverage policies and encourage non-opioid pain management options from chronic common non-cancerous patients. Among these effective non-opioid alternatives listed were chiropractic, physical therapy and acupuncture.

The joint commission, which evaluated and accredits most of 90 percent of all U.S. hospitals, will require that those accredited hospitals will provide a non-pharmacological approach to the treatment of pain and accordingly offer modalities as a necessary performance element. Those strategies include chiropractic medicine, physical therapy and acupuncture.

 Chiropractic physicians focus on disorders of the neuromuscular junction skeletal system and the effects these disorders have on the general well-being of the patient. Although we are widely known and acknowledge our expertise in spinal manipulation, chiropractic physicians practice hands on drug-free approach to health that include patient evaluation and examination, triage and diagnosis, as well as appropriate treatment based on those factors. Chiropractic physicians further offer counseling on lifestyle and dietary considerations as well. Our prayer is that insurance companies and government agency policy makers support a conservative, non-opioid approach to managing pain.

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