The United States is in the midst of what some are calling the worst drug epidemic in our nation’s history. What makes the current situation so dangerous, is that primary drugs associated with the current epidemic are largely of the legal, prescription variety. According to a recent expose on Vox:
“In 2015, more than 52,000 people died of drug overdoses, nearly two-thirds of which were linked to opioids like Percocet, OxyContin, heroin, and fentanyl. That’s more drug overdose deaths than any other period in US history — even more than past heroin epidemics, the crack epidemic, or the recent meth epidemic.”
With so many individuals, families, and communities suffering from addiction to opioids, health care practitioners today are actively lobbying for greater use of alternative treatment methods for pain medication. In recent months, several victories associated with the approval of chiropractic care as a (covered) medical treatment option for certain types of pain management have been in the news. A recent article on STAT.com highlighted several of them:
“Chiropractors scored a big victory recently in Oregon, where the state Medicaid program decided to cover spinal adjustment for lower back pain starting in 2016. Vermont, Virginia, and Nevada are considering similar moves.
Another win came earlier this year, when the American College of Physicians recommended non-surgical interventions such as acupuncture, yoga, and chiropractic care as the go-to treatments for lower back pain.
“The American College of Physicians is our new best friend,” said Robert Hayden, a Georgia chiropractor and spokesperson for the American Chiropractic Association. Hayden said the the industry considers the decision “a direct result of the fact that we are in an opioid crisis in this country.”
With such a severe opioid epidemic afflicting the United States, let your elected officials know if you think alternative treatments such as massage therapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic care should be covered by major insurance plans. The last thing our communities need is greater reliance on opioid medications that fail to treat the root cause of patient pain.