September 2020: Drug-Free Pain Management Awareness Month

WHEREAS, the overuse and abuse of prescription opioid painkillers have become a national and statewide crisis; and,


WHEREAS, drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., with 70,237 lethal drug overdoses in 2017, according to data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA); and,


WHEREAS, opioid addiction is driving this epidemic, with approximately 47,600 overdose deaths related to illicit or prescription opioids in 2017, and approximately 130 opioid related overdose deaths per day according to figures from the CDC, and NIDAand,


WHEREAS, the state of Michigan has been hit particularly hard by this health care crisis, as in 2017, there were 2,033 overdose deaths involving opioids in Michigan, a rate of 21.2 deaths per 100,000 persons, higher than the national rate of 14.6 deaths per 100,000 persons, according to NIDA; and,


WHEREAS, prescription opioids — drugs like oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), methadone, and fentanyl — are involved in a large percentage of the drug poisoning deaths in Michigan; and,


WHEREAS, in 2017, Michigan providers wrote 74 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons, compared to the national average of 58.7 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons, according to NIDA; and,


WHEREAS, prescription opioids are often recommended for the management of low back, neck, and musculoskeletal pain, and more than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, with an estimated 75 to 85 percent of all Americans experiencing some form of back pain during their lifetime; and,


WHEREAS, my administration and the Michigan Legislature have made it a high priority to combat this health care crisis and save lives by addressing prescription drug abuse more forcefully; and,


WHEREAS, the Michigan Association of Chiropractors, thousands of chiropractors across the state, and other health care providers have an important role in comprehensive pain management strategies to serve patients safely and effectively while sharing the goal of ending opioid abuse and increasing the utilization of drug-free, conservative forms of health care for the management of pain; and,


WHEREAS, chiropractic physicians are educated and trained to effectively address spinal and musculoskeletal conditions with non-surgical, drug-free pain management; and,


WHEREAS, chiropractic and other conservative, drug-free forms of health care can and must play a major role in helping to ease the immense burden facing our state;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim September 2020 as Drug-Free Pain Management Awareness Month in Michigan.