According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s 2016 Facts and Figures, drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death with more than 52,000 lives taken in 2015. Nearly half of those deaths were related to prescription pain relievers…OxyContin, Codeine, Vicodin, Percocet to name a few.
It’s estimated that chronic pain is the motivating factor for at least 1 in 5 patients seeking care. About 80% of adults are reported to take some kind of pain medication at least once a week! The average chiropractic patient (at least in our practice) is non drug oriented and rarely takes prescription pain medication. If they were taking OTC pain meds, that reduces or completely stops quickly once beginning care. Chiropractic consumers tend to visit medical practitioners much less for pain or run of the mill colds, etc. But as a country, our reliance and overindulgence in OTC pain medicine is just as serious a problem as the prescribed med abuse. NSAIDs, Acetaminophen, and Aspirin are taken in large quantity for all manner of ache and pain complaints. These drugs result in thousands of deaths, some from direct reaction but the majority from their destructive nature. They have catastrophic effects on the liver, kidneys, digestive system, heart, and brain especially. So the larger portion of deaths is attributed to liver disease, kidney failure, and gastrointestinal bleeding. These are some miserable ways to reach the end.
Today, a long time patient asked me if a particular adjustment ever “goes bad” and causes a serious problem. There will always be potential for some negative outcome but in more than 20 years of practice, I’ve only had a few people get a little muscle strain from an adjustment and nothing worse. Chiropractic is extremely safe and if compared to drug use, the risk is non-existent. It’s so good (and so common!) when a new patient who has been experiencing terrible pain and relying on drugs to get by is able to reduce or stop all drugs very quickly. Good health care is about correcting problems, removing causes, educating, and guidance toward the healthiest, best quality of life. I’m so thankful to have this amazing tool—the chiropractic adjustment. And when combined with safe oral or topical nutrients for pain, inflammation, etc. (when needed), my patients get well, don’t seek medicine, and don’t contribute to the worsening statistics of drug-related mortality and morbidity.
Keep using safe chiropractic for yourself and your family. Knowing how serious the drug problem is, encourage others to see a good chiropractor and get off or stay off drugs. It’s a good deed.
Harris Meyer, DC
Body Focus Health Center
San Francisco Chiropractor 94104