Prescription Drug Use and Abuse

According to National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), approximately 54 million people in the U.S. have misused prescription drugs at least once in their lifetime.  Contributions to the problem may include ease of access and misinformation about the addictive properties of prescription opioids and perception that prescription medications are less harmful than illegal drugs.

Many people who have medical reasons use prescription painkillers, tranquilizers and antidepressants for pain relief.  Medications like these can be effective for dealing with the symptom of pain short term. The problem with these medications is that they only temporarily reduce the pain and they can lead to dependency.

The Chiropractic profession is in a unique position to provide a more natural approach to dealing with pain and actually treat the underlying issue causing this symptom. The most important intervention in many cases can be education about the physiological process with these prescriptions drugs. If the patient is informed about the use of these medications and that they can provide temporary relief they are less likely to continue long-term use. This can help reduce the number of patients that will develop some level of dependency.

Although a chiropractor can educate patients about the medications, you should discuss with your prescription provider about prescription drug dosage, side effects and long-term alternatives.