Since the turn of the millennium, the rate of death by opiate overdose in America has increased by eight times. In the United States, the opiate epidemic—that most citizens are now very likely either familiar with or in some capacity victims of—began its now staggering rise in the mid 1990s. As of 2024, more than 130 Americans lose their life everyday to opiate overdose. I’ll state that again for effect: Everyday, we lose 130 Americans—most of whom are in their physical or intellectual prime—to opiate abuse and misuse. Eighty-one thousand Americans—the very same strangers you pass in the grocery store, with whom you share this country, or perhaps attended school with—met their end from the ingestion of opioids: synthetic, prescription, or otherwise. 

Persons unaffected by, unsympathetic to, or uninformed about the escalating opiate crisis likely rarely consider that the epidemic finds its origins more so in the work of distinguished but irresponsible physicians and avaricious pharmaceutical companies than it does in the image in the common street drug-dealer. For instance, many Americans originally seeking out care for the suffering of chronic headaches, or migraines, find themselves later suffering not only under the selfsame headaches, but now the danger and hobbling of opiate addiction, as well. Even in 2024, where pharmaceutical treatments for migraines have advanced well beyond any need for prescribing the temporary palliative of opiates, physicians continue to overprescribe these drugs

Hands for Life was founded with this vision in mind: that the escalating opiate crisis is primarily medical in its origins, that more and more citizens were losing and continue to lose their lives, family, careers, and so forth to opiate abuse and misuse, and that education and chiropractic care could offer an alternative path that masses of Americans might follow in the stead of opiate overprescription, dependence, and overdose. A headache, though common, is hardly a condition that any person would elect into. Migraines, the much more severe, so to speak, manifestation of the headache very often become the prerequisite for opiate prescription and resulting opiate addiction and overdose. Continued in Part II.

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