While chiropractic should be a first line of treatment for musculoskeletal pain issues, there are times when prescription drugs are necessary. Given the possible repercussions of misuse, it is vital to have proper storage and prompt, safe, disposal of any unused medications.
The 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. Further, they found that most of the drugs had been acquired from family and friends. Often, it had been as simple as opening the home medicine cabinet. With the ongoing opioid crisis, it is even more important that patients have a way to safely get rid of unused medications.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) instituted “National Take Back Day” to combat this “crucial public safety and public health issue.”
Collection sites across the country will be set up for Americans to safely – and anonymously – turn in prescription drugs. The DEA says this is an important way to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths. National Take Back Day has been held in the spring and fall of 2015 and 2016.
Each event has been a success with:
- Total Law Enforcement Participation: over 4,000 EACH TIME
- Total Collection Sites: over 5,000 EACH TIME
- Total Weight Collected: over 400 tons EACH TIME
Over 68,000 pounds of prescription drugs were collected across Tennessee in the last Take Back Day (October 2017). This surpassed the total collected in Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio combined!
When it comes to opioid addiction, prevention is a key factor. The first element of this is to utilize non-drug methods for pain control when possible. When prescription medications are needed, the minimum dosage for the shortest time possible should be utilized.
The risk of developing an addiction to opioid medications drastically increases after just 5 days of using the drug. By seeking #chiropractic1st, patients may be able to reduce or even eliminate the need to take prescription pain medications.
According to the FDA Blueprint for Prescriber Education for Extended-Release and Long-Acting Opioids released in 2017, “a number of nonpharmacologic therapies are available that can play an important role in managing pain, particularly musculoskeletal pain and chronic pain.” The report lists examples including acupuncture and chiropractic. Similar recommendations for conservative care, such as chiropractic, first have been issued by the American College of Physicians as well as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
When medications are used, they should be stored properly to prevent them from being abused and any unused medications should be disposed of promptly and safely. This prevents them from being a source of abuse for others, whether they are long term addicts or simply curious teens.
The first scheduled Take Back Day of 2018 is April 28th. If you have unused medications, especially controlled substances, it’s time to clean out that medicine cabinet!
Collections sites range from law enforcement offices and local government buildings to pharmacy and grocery stores. You can find a site near you at https://takebackday.dea.gov/.
The Tennessee Chiropractic Association actively promotes drug-free pain management options and strives to educate the public as well as law and policy makers about the safety and efficacy of chiropractic care for many pain patients. If you or a loved one are experiencing pain and want to avoid medications, or want to reduce the medications you currently need to manage your pain, make an appointment with your local chiropractor for an evaluation and treatment.
In addition to spinal manipulation, many chiropractors offer other services. These may include therapy modalities, rehabilitation exercises, stretches, nutritional and exercise recommendations. Learn more about chiropractic and find a doctor near you at tnchiro.com/find-a-doctor.