The opioid epidemic claims yet another

It was just released in the press a few days ago that rock legend Tom Petty lost his life due to an accidental drug overdose.  Just last year we lost another legend, Prince, the same way.  Sadly, these are just two examples.

2015 was reported “the worst year for drug overdose deaths” that was until 2016 came along; in 2016 the number shot up 21% for a total of 64,070 deaths.  To put that in perspective, more people died in 2016 from accidental drug overdoses than all of the US casualties in Vietnam….let that sink in.

Statistics like these are what lead NYC  Mayor Bill de Blasio to file a lawsuit against the manufacturers and distributors of opioid prescription drugs.

The pharmaceutical companies are only the makers of the drugs so who are these horrible drug dealers putting this garbage on the street?  The answer may be surprising to some…it is your trusted medical doctor.

Before we light the torches lets just take a step back and look at this from the beginning.  Back in the late 1990’s pharmaceutical companies really pushed opioid pain relievers and they assured the medical community that addiction wasn’t a concern.

The medical community, in an effort to do what is best for the patient, took the pharmaceutical companies word and began utilizing opioids to treat a wide variety of pains.

I worked as a registered nurse from 1998 until 2011 and I can tell you from first hand experience that it was clear from the beginning of my career that narcotic pain medications were being abused.  However, in defense of the professionals that were prescribing them, it was a very faint line in the sand between who truly needed narcotic type pain relief and who was taking advantage of the medications.

As the years went on, and I started working in various emergency rooms, and this problem became even more apparent.  I saw people demand narcotic pain medications as well as other narcotics such as Xanax.  There reasons for wanting them ranged from true need to substance abuse to even an income source.  You heard me right, an income source!  I’ve met plenty of people who either made a living or supplemented their income by selling their drugs.

By this time the doctors that I worked with were getting wise to the abuse and some curtailed their use of certain medications while others just kept doing what they always did.  I was actually told by an ER physician that I worked with “we get bonuses for efficiency (seeing a high volume of patients) or patient satisfaction…it is much easier to please people by giving them what they want”.

This made my blood boil and it stuck with me.  It is what came to mind when people would come in being violent and yelling that they “needed” Lortab, Vicodin, Percocet, etc and the doctor would say no leaving the nurse to have to take the brunt of the anger.  It also came to mind when we would see a name pop up on the screen of people waiting to be seen and without knowing anything more we all knew what they were there for.  It also came to mind when we called a code on someone who lost their life to prescription drugs.

It made me sad and mad at the same time because often times the people that were affected by the opioid crisis started out, most likely, innocently using these medications for a valid reason.  It also was frustrating to know that  we, the medical community, were there suppliers and when we finally realized there was a problem, labeled them as “drug seekers” and turned our backs on them.

It was this anger that lead me to chiropractic and as fate would have it I was lead exactly where I need to be.

I practice a technique called Torque Release Technique or TRT for short.  The technique was born out of research to see if chiropractic care could help people who suffer from addictions.

Per Dr Holder, the developer of this technique ” What sparked the direction of Torque Release from the start was our discovery that only vertebrates have an opiate receptor site brain reward mechanism, placing the spine in intimate relationship with our state of well being”.  In laymen terms, misalignments in your spine can disrupt the normal supply of dopamine (your “feel good” neurotransmitter) causing you to seek pleasure from another source.

Dr Holder along with Kenneth Blum PhD refer to this as this state of well being as the “Brain Reward Cascade”.  Dr Holder states that when subluxations (misalignments of your spine) exist, the “brain reward cascade cannot function or express itself in an acceptable manner.”

He blames this disruption in the normal brain reward cascade as being the cause to all addictive behavior, including opioid dependency.

The National Institute of Drug Abuse offered several possible solutions to the opioid crisis, one of which was non-addictive strategies to manage chronic pain as well as technologies to treat opioid use disorders; TRT offers both.  Dr Niccie Dearing of Vitality Chiropractic is advance proficiency certified in TRT and is currently accepting new patients.

Give our office a call today at 864-761-0322 to learn more and, if you are not in the immediate area we will find you a TRT practitioner near you!

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