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Iowa Chiropractic Society Marks September 2017 Drug-Free Pain Management Awareness Month

Thursday, September 7, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kailah Schmitz
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Iowa Chiropractic Society

Marks September 2017 Drug-Free Pain Management Awareness Month

Ankeny, IA, September 6, 2017 -- September 2017 is designated Drug-Free Pain Management Awareness Month, an opportunity to raise public awareness about non-pharmacologic options, such as chiropractic care, to safely and effectively relieve acute, subacute and chronic pain. Sponsored by the Iowa Chiropractic Society (ICS) and in collaboration with the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP), this month of observances will educate and inform consumers, managed care, state legislators and patient referral sources.

“We are very concerned about the opioid problem in Iowa and nationally. Drug addiction often begins with opioid prescriptions for pain,” says Dr. Wes Nyberg, president, ICS. “A better model is pain management that begins with evidence-based chiropractic as a first-line option to reduce pain and increase function for individuals who are suffering.” 

Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) shares some staggering statistics in its report, Heroin and Opioid Use in Iowa: An Update. Thought to be an issue only in major U.S. cities or more populated states, use of heroin and other opioids (Hydrocodone, Oxycodone) is quickly becoming a problem of epidemic proportions in Iowa. In the last decade, significant increases have been observed in the number of individuals identifying heroin and other opioids as their drug of choice at time of admission to treatment, in addition to the rise in overdose deaths. 

Staggering statistics demonstrate the increase in heroin and other opioids. For example, opioid treatment admissions increased from 608 in 2005 to 2,274 in 2016. Opioid overdose deaths rose from 28 in 2005 to 67 in 2016 (provisional data), and opioid-related deaths have escalated from 59 in 2005 to 146 in 2016 (provisional data).

National statistics indicate the need for drug-free pain management:

• “Four out of five heroin abusers started with prescription pain killers.” —Marc Siegel, MD, NYU Langone Medical Center, Fox News Medical Correspondent, “American Opioid Epidemic,” Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2017. 

• Between 2000 and 2014, the rate of death from prescription opioid overdose nearly quadrupled. 

• 80 percent of heroin users reported using prescription opioids prior to heroin. 

• Across the U.S., 91 people die each day from opioid overdoses. 


“Prescription painkillers have yet to be proven effective for long-term pain management, and the public needs access to safe and effective drug-free options, including chiropractic. Non-pharmacologic pain management should be a primary alternative to prescription opioids,” says Sherry McAllister, DC. Dr. McAllister serves as executive vice president of F4CP (The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to informing and educating the general public about the value of chiropractic care.

The Drug-Free Pain Management Awareness Month observance will be included annually in the American Hospital Association official health care observance calendar.  



The Iowa Chiropractic Society (ICS), since its founding in 1964, has been the leader on behalf of the profession to ensure patient access to a comprehensive range of health care services including chiropractic. Today, the mission of the ICS is to dramatically increase the number of Iowans experiencing improved quality of living through chiropractic care. The ICS is the only statewide association in unifying and advancing chiropractic in Iowa.


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