September 2021: Drug-Free Pain Management Awareness Month

WHEREAS, the overuse, misuse, and abuse of prescription opioid painkillers leading to addiction and catastrophic outcomes has become a statewide and national crisis; and,


WHEREAS, between 1999 and 2019, nearly 500,000 people died in the United States from overdoses related to prescription opioids; and,


WHEREAS, drug overdose is a leading cause of accidental death in the United States, with 70,630 lethal drug overdoses in 2019, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and,


WHEREAS, opioid addiction is driving this epidemic, with more than 70 percent of the nation's overdose deaths in 2019 - more than 136 American deaths per day - involving an opioid, according to data from the CDC; and,


WHEREAS, the state of Michigan has been hit particularly hard by this health care crisis, as in 2019 there were 2,354 total drug overdose deaths, with 1,768 of them - more than 75 percent - involving an opioid, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services; and,


WHEREAS, last year the challenges of the COVID-19 global pandemic, such as increased social isolation and decreased access to treatment services, exacerbated this deadly drug overdose epidemic, as preliminary data for January through June 2020 show Michigan opioid-related overdose deaths increased from 874 in the first half of 2019 to 1,045 in the same period in 2020, an increase of 20 percent; and,


WHEREAS, in 2019, Michigan health care providers wrote 58 opioid prescriptions for every 100 Michiganders, compared to the national average of 46.7 opioid prescriptions for every 100 Americans, according to the CDC; 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 80 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 thousands of chiropractors across the state represented by the Michigan Association of Chiropractors 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 neuromusculoskeletal 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 2021 as Drug-Free Pain Management Awareness Month in Michigan.