In the United States today, more than 33 million Americans ages 12 and older have misused prescription opiate drugs. In 2016 alone, there were more than 63,600 overdose deaths… that’s an average of 115 opioid overdose deaths per day. If nothing is done, A forecast by STAT predicts that as many as 650,000 people will die over the next 10 years from opioid overdoses. That is more people than the population of the city of Baltimore — in just one decade. With statistics like that, it is easy to see why experts say that the United States is in the throes of an opioid epidemic.
Those affected by the opioid crisis come from all walks of life and all segments of society. From software engineers to soccer moms, college students to rock stars and everyone in between, the headlines are filled with those we have lost to this epidemic. While the population affected is diverse, one thing that many have in common is that the addiction began with a standard pill prescription for pain management.
Despite the statistics, and although on the decline from a staggering 282 million opioid prescriptions in 2012 to 236 million in 2016, prescriptions for the drugs continue. Once a person begins treatment through opioid drugs, complications and addiction become very real concerns. Nearly 1 in 12 employees who were prescribed narcotic pain medicine due to being injured on the job were still taking the medications six months later, according to a recent study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute.
Used to treat moderate to severe pain, opioids are unpredictable. In many cases the pain does not improve over time and patients experience a myriad of side effects. While there are programs in place for the implementation of psychological screening to help reduce narcotic use or determine if a patient would not be a good candidate for narcotic pain reliever use, it is estimated that only 4-7% of injured workers receive this type of evaluation and less than 25% of injured workers who were on the medications long-term received at least one drug test, which is also used to monitor the use and aims to prevent misuse of the medications.
While opiate drugs have known benefits when used properly, the potential risks and serious consequences are far outweighing any benefits. However, for the millions of Americans who suffer from chronic pain, there are safe and drug-free alternatives for pain management. Chiropractic Neurology is one such treatment that addresses the underlying cause of the pain and presents patients with a non-pharmacological option. Using chiropractic treatments in concert with neurological treatments, Chiropractic Neurologists take a functional approach to the treatment of pain, one that is backed by high-quality research.
With the prevalence of chronic pain and the documented effectiveness of the drug-free, non-invasive care that Chiropractic Neurology provides, many throughout the medical community are advocating Chiropractic Neurology as a safe and effective alternative to more traditional care plans that rely heavily on drugs.
Do you, or someone you know, suffer from chronic pain or another ailment that has not been effectively treated with traditional medical therapies or drugs? Visit www.healthybrainnow.com for more information on safe, effective and non-invasive treatment options and contact the team at Georgia Chiropractic Neurology Center for your consultation.