Real Solutions for The Opioid Crisis
Vicodin, Percocet, and Oxycontin… what do they each have in common? Well, they are the medications primarily responsible for a drug epidemic ravaging America. Millions of prescriptions are written every year for these three It is worth actually seeing the numbers here as we can be lulled to sleep by simply saying there’s a lot of these out there causing harm. Here are the stats:
Vicodin- 127, 859,000
Vicodin is the highest prescription rate of the three most dangerous prescription drugs in America today. Vicodin is highly addictive and given for relief of moderate to moderately severe pain. It relieves pain quickly, but does not address any of the reasons the pain exists. In fact, these drugs create more pain in a variety of ways, both physically, emotionally and relationally. When combined with alcohol, it can kill. It is estimated that these three drugs could kill over ½ a million people in the next 10 years. Drug overdose deaths are now being looked at as the top killer of Americans under 50. The destruction of these drugs are causing across America is unprecedented, yet the public health response is weak and ineffective. The “PSA” and law enforcement campaigns fail to truly get to the depth and heart of the opioid epidemic. One reason for this rests in the medical community’s lack of understanding of viable, effective pain alternatives available in the integrative and holistic health models. Time is up. The whole population MUST tap into the integrated holistic-based systems that has been solving pain for generations. America is overdue in widely accessible treatment plans that go beyond symptom relief to find and correct root causes of pain and disease.
What do these holistic-based models look like? Quite frankly, it looks like embracing and leveraging the expertise of integrative practitioners such as functional-based chiropractors, acupuncture, functional medicine doctors, traditional medicine practitioners and massage therapists. These are the “boots on ground” face to face healers who give the time and energy to solutions based care rather than Band-Aid care. Combining functional-based chiropractic care with traditional/functional medicine and a long-term recovery mindset offers genuine hope for turning the tide of the opioid epidemic.
More community education about the dangers of opioid drugs and stiffer penalties for drug related crimes will not solve any of the physical pain people suffer from that is the real driver behind this crisis. Until America, on all fronts, can truly engage the integrative medical model as the first and best option for physical pain, the prescriptions will keep being written, the money will keep circulating, and the health and well-being of Americans of all ages will continue to be sacrificed.