America is experiencing an opioid epidemic or crisis due to the increase in the use of prescription and non-prescription drugs that act on the opioid receptors to produce morphine-like effects. These drugs include painkillers such as OxyContin®, Percocet®,Vicodin® and fentanyl. They are strong, and also addicting, and can cause fatal overdoses. The drug sedates that part of the brain that regulates breathing which can cause respiratory failure and death.
According to the U.S.Drug Enforcement Administration the opioid problem has reached “epidemic levels.” Nearly half of all opioid overdose deaths in 2016 involved prescription opioids. Is there something that could be done? How about a drug-free approach to healthcare? How about chiropractic?
Although it’s only a single case report, this can be an inspiration for others who are hooked on prescription and recreational drugs of all kinds. In a study published in the journal Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research we see the clinical case of a 21-year-old man under chiropractic care who was an opioid addict.
The 21-year-old came to a chiropractic office suffering from opioid addiction, anxiety, depression, insomnia and cluster headaches. His medical doctors had placed him on four different medications in an attempt to manage his symptoms and withdrawal. This approach had interfered with his life; he had dropped out of college 11 months prior due to the adverse effects on his daily life as well as the destructive coping mechanisms he had adopted.
The chiropractor examined the young man, took x-rays and found structural/spinal distortions in his neck, mid-back and low back that can cause nerve interference (subluxations). In addition, x-rays also revealed scoliosis and a loss of the normal curve in his neck.
Chiropractic Care for Opioid Addiction
Chiropractic care was begun to reduce his vertebral subluxations with the result that the patient recovered from opioid addiction and was able to stop all prescribed medication. His headaches, anxiety, depression, and insomnia resolved completely.
Prior research has shown that chiropractic can have a profound effect on:
- brain function
- mental health
- pervasive developmental disorder
- Tourette’s Syndrome
- obsessive compulsive disorder
- other neurodevelopmental disorders (1)
- Labelle S, Steiner M. Resolution of Anxiety, depression, insomnia, scoliosis & cluster headaches, in a patient with opioid addiction undergoing chiropractic care to reduce subluxations: a case study & review of the literature. Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research. October 4, 2017:176-188.