Responding to the Opioid Crisis:
Introducing The Role of Chiropractic in Opioid Use Reduction

From March 2020 to April 2021, there were over 6,900 apparent opioid toxicity deaths in Canada and over 75,600 in the United States, the highest annual toll on record. 1

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(Toronto – April 28, 2022) –  In response to the opioid toxicity death toll, the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) and the Ontario Chiropractic Association (OCA) developed an online course to help practitioners safeguard patients’ health and foster collaboration with prescribing professionals in managing, reducing, or eliminating opioid dependency.

Chronic pain often requires multiple approaches. Recognizing the high-contact role that chiropractors and other manual therapists may have with chronic pain patients, this continuing education course is a guide to identifying and managing issues through collaborative relationships with other health care providers and patient dialogue.

Using 3D character animation, the course illustrates identifiable patterns and suggests optimal scenarios in engaging patients and their health care providers. It supports the significant conversations between patients and their providers that lead to optimal outcomes.

“This course provides the most current information about opioids and tools to recognize and address suspected opioid intoxication and misuse,” says Dr. Cuong Ngo-Minh, course co-author and physician at Ottawa’s Somerset West Community Health Centre.

This new online educational resource will help chiropractors and other manual therapists increase their competency in case outreach, facilitate communication with other health care professionals, and provide quality of care to patients who suffer from chronic pain.

“It’s common knowledge that chiropractors can improve their patient’s level of functioning. This program also underscores the important role they can play in preventing the addictive spiral that can occur with opioid use and helps them to appreciate their role in the multidisciplinary care of patients,” explains Dr. David Wickes, President, CMCC.

Interactive simulation and learning assessments are used in the four chapters of the course, titled The Role of Chiropractic in Opioid Use Reduction:

  1. Chiropractic and Pain Management
  2. Opioid Facts
  3. Performing Case Outreach with Other Health Professionals
  4. Communicating with Other Health Professionals

“This course is a key component of our comprehensive resources within the OCA Opioid and Pain Reduction Collaborative,” says Caroline Brereton, CEO, OCA. “We’re proud to work with CMCC to have a significant impact on many lives.”

This practical course was developed by CMCC, an international leader in academic scholarship and training. It was produced in partnership with the OCA, which represents 80 per cent of Ontario chiropractors and is a leader in finding practical solutions to address the opioid crisis.

Contact information:

Mara Bartolucci
Associate Vice President, Institutional Advancement and Communications
Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC)

Sasha Babakhanova
Senior Communications Specialist
Ontario Chiropractic Association (OCA)

1Government of Canada, 2021; CDC, 2021