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Industry News for Florida Chiropractic Association

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Oakland, Florida 34787
(407) 654-3225

    Chiropractic Care can help the Nationwide Opioid Epidemic

    On May 3, Governor Rick Scott of Florida took an unprecedented action. He declared an Opioid Epidemic State of Emergency. In Florida alone, opioids took 3,900 lives. Nationwide, 33,000 are affected. It is clear we are dealing with a public health crisis.

    Opioids are substances that work on the nervous system in the body or specific receptors in the brain to reduce the intensity of pain. While initially meant to benefit patients, the overprescribing of opioids has made them harmful. The facts are appalling.

    ·      Deaths from drug overdose are up among both men and women, all races, and adults of nearly all ages.1

    ·      More than three out of five drug overdose deaths involve an opioid.1

    ·      According to the CDC, more than 500,000 people died from drug overdoses between 2000-2015. That is 91 American deaths per day – almost 4 people per hour.

    ·      The newest estimates on the cost of opioid abuse to U.S. employers is estimated at $18 billion in sick days, lost productivity and medical expenses.2

    With the U.S. opioid epidemic continuing, federal and state governments, as well as health agencies, are making appeals for more conservative methods of care with the hope of decreasing addiction and overdose. The CDC is urging health care providers to reduce the use of opioids in favor of safe alternatives and use non-pharmacologic therapies for chronic pain.3 In 2015, the Joint Commission updated its Pain Management Standard to include chiropractic and acupuncture care as an important component of patient-centered care thus recognizing the importance of non-pharmacologic approaches.4 Even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has stepped in. On June 8, the FDA requested that Endo Pharmaceuticals remove its opioid pain medication from the market. This is the first time the agency has taken steps to remove a currently marketed opioid pain medication from sale due to the public health consequences of abuse.5

    The Florida Chiropractic Association (FCA) believes chiropractic care is an important method in helping end this crisis. The hands-on, non-invasive approach is documented to be effective in the acute and chronic neuro-musculoskeletal pain environment, yielding improved clinical outcomes, reduced costs and high levels of patient satisfaction.6 "While patient satisfaction with chiropractic care is very high and use of chiropractic in the United States has tripled in the past two decades, more needs to be done to educate our communities on non-pharmacologic alternatives for pain relief," said April Dodd, D.C., President of FCA. "This country deserves better and that is why attacking the opioid epidemic will be an issue at the forefront, when more than 5,000 in the field will gather in Orlando for The National by FCA Convention, August 22-25 of this year."

    With chiropractic care as a first line of care and with ongoing treatment, it can help patients avoid risks of misuse, addiction and overdose.

    To learn more about The National Convention & Expo by FCA visit


    1.     Rudd RA, Seth P, David F, Scholl L. Increases in Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths — United States, 2010–2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 16 December 2016. DOI:


    2.     Carabello, Laura, Gerard Clum, DC, and William Meeker, DC. "Chiropractic A Safer Strategy than Opioids." Foundation for Chiropractic Progress. N.p., 2016. Web. 1 June 2017.


    3.     Dowell D, Haegerich TM, Chou R. CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain—United States, 2016. JAMA. 2016;315(15):1624-1645. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.1464


    4.     "Clarification of the Pain Management Standard." Joint Commission Perspectives® 34.11 (2014): 11. Web. 1 June 2017.


    5.     U.S. Food and Drug Administration. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. FDA Requests Removal of Opana ER for Risks Related to Abuse. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. N.p., 8 June 2017.


    6.     National Board of Chiropractic Examiners; Practice Analysis of Chiropractic 2015; Chapter Two;; accessed June 1, 2017


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    About the Florida Chiropractic Association

    The Florida Chiropractic Association (FCA) is the largest state chiropractic association in the U.S., with a membership nearing 5,000.  It serves as a representative membership organization of the chiropractic profession in Florida and as its official spokesman, seeking to maintain the science of chiropractic as a separate and distinct member of the health arts professions, protecting and advancing in every way not contrary to law the philosophy, science and art of chiropractic and the professional welfare of its members.  It does so through advocacy, public education, and the provision of information, resources and leadership to its members.  The FCA hosts the largest and most diverse educational and expo events in chiropractic worldwide each year, offering license renewal continuing education approved in 45 states. For more information, visit


    Contact Information

    Florida Chiropractic Association, Inc.

    Debra Brown


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