International Chiropractors Association

ICA Endorses IHPC “Moving Beyond Medications” Educational Resource to Aid Consumers and Health Care Professionals to Understand Non-Opioid Options for Pain Management

The International Chiropractors Association (ICA) has endorsed the concise and practical educational resource “Moving Beyond Medications” developed by the Integrative Health Policy Consortium (IHPC) to assist health care professionals and consumers to understand and access non-pharmaceutical and especially non-opioid care pathways for pain and other health issues.
“The input and leadership of ICA’s Vice President Dr. Stephen Welsh, working within the with IHPC process, was vital to the development of this important tool which will help millions avoid opioid exposure and all of the proven and largely avoidable negative consequences,” said ICA Government Relations Director Beth Clay.  “Drug free options such as chiropractic care are preferred by a majority of Americans for pain management according to a recent Gallup-Palmer College study,” she continued. 
The ICA has mobilized on a wide range of fronts to assist public policy makers, the media and consumers in understanding the importance, indeed urgency, of utilizing the proven, highly cost-effective drugless chiropractic care pathway as a first line of intervention for many common conditions and situations, rather than rush to prescribe addictive opioids.   ICA is working through the Integrative Health Policy Consortium (IHPC), a coalition of health care professions, organizations and educational institutions to develop a model state policy on opioids and to produce educational materials on the importance of opening up access to drugless healers as a first step in care for patients who will otherwise likely be prescribed these drugs. The IHPC Task Force on Opioids is being co-chaired by ICA Vice President Dr. Stephen Welsh, who is leading the ICA effort in this important public policy area. 
This new resource has been developed in the context of a national opioid crisis where overdose death rates in the US have more than doubled over the past decade, surpassing motor vehicle accidents as a cause of death nationwide.[i]  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 47,055 people, averaging 128 a day, died from drug overdoses in 2014, more deaths than recorded for any previous year.  The cumulative total is staggering with nearly half a million people having died from drug overdoses since 2000, 80 percent of which have been deemed by the authorities as “accidental.”  More than 18,000 overdose deaths in 2014 involved prescription opioids.
“These alarming statistics clearly demonstrate the need for one truly drugless care pathway such as the chiropractic profession offers patients of all ages” said Dr. George Curry, ICA President.  “ICA will continue to advocate for public policy changes that highlight what chiropractic has to offer to consumers and to educate both policy makers and the public on the need to greatly expand access to chiropractic services as a responsible and long overdue part of the solution to the nationwide prescription drug abuse crisis.”

(i) Rose A Rudd et al., "Increases in Drug and Opioid Overdose Deaths—United States, 2000–2014," MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report 64, no. 50-51 (2016).