As more organizations, presidential candidates and physicians speak out against the country’s growing opioid epidemic, the public’s perception of prescription painkillers begins changing, and with this change — patients begin asking additional questions about treatment choices. 

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) plans to work with doctors of chiropractic (DCs), chiropractic assistants (CAs) and chiropractic doctoral students to continue bringing attention to the public health crisis caused by pain by launching a new campaign. This year’s theme: #PainFreeNation.

Opioid medications involve the risk of overuse and addiction. Beyond the risks of overuse and addiction, prescription drugs that numb pain may convince a patient that a musculoskeletal condition is less severe than it is, or that it has healed. This misunderstanding can lead to overexertion and a delay in the healing process or even to permanent injury,” said ACA President Anthony Hamm, DC, in a statement.

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The ACA expects to launch this intiative during National Chiropractic Health Month (NCHM), which is in October. According to the ACA, the campaign’s goal is to continue ongoing efforts to educate the public about more conservative approaches to alleviating acute and chronic pain, instead of going with higher risk treatments — such as opioids.

“Each patient is unique, and care plans should be tailored to focus on what is the safest, most effective treatment for the individual. Chiropractic physicians stand ready to work together with medical physicians to help address this epidemic that has caused unnecessary suffering, enormous loss of human potential and massive financial and personal costs,” he added