Something happens when you lose a hero. I’m not a huge music buff, but I was a fan of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. I didn’t own his albums, don’t have a t-shirt. I just loved the passion and intensity of the music. I loved the way the Tom Petty’s music could unify a crowd, to get thousands to sing in unison – despite their differences. Talent, wherever we see it, transcends the things that separate us. Tom Petty had that talent. I aspire to have a talent that does that.
Petty is just another in an alarming trend of a new cause of death, the “accidental overdose”. Now, I understand that people feel pain and that pain can be a huge distraction in life. I also understand that masking pain with pharmaceuticals is a popular choice. I recognize that, generally speaking, pharmaceutical approaches are easy, convenient and relatively inexpensive. I also know that many people are lead to believe that such approaches are their ONLY option, despite clinical evidence to the contrary. People don’t know what they don’t know.
Where I take issue is when spin doctors start to soften the harsh reality of pharmacological approaches with language. Here is the harsh reality: deaths from overdose were up 21% in 2016. Over 64,000 Americans were victim of this approach – that’s more death than the losses we saw during the entire Vietnam War. The impact of this staggering loss of life has lowered the US life expectancy figures as a result… think about that. So many lives were extinguished this past year that it impacted the projected life span for the remaining 330 million Americans. This is a major loss of POTENTIAL! And in the case of Mr. Petty, the potential to unite people, to get them to unify for the sole purpose of singing out loud and enjoying human connection. We are losing gifts, talents, answers, passion, relationships and wisdom at an alarming rate.
So what is an “accidental overdose”? Was it not clear to Mr. Petty’s prescribers that 5 to 6 big-time pain meds can have a fatal effect? What is the accident? If I smoke 3 packs of cigarettes a day, is it an accident that I get lung cancer? If I drink 6 Coca-Colas a day, would the diabetes that manifests be considered accidental? What is happening, as I see it, is a continued, and perhaps intentional, erosion of personal responsibility. It is also the effect of people that don’t have hope for a change in their circumstances. Every action you make – everything thought, every step, every meal – has a consequence. It builds you up or it breaks you down. Over time we learn, as a culture, what builds us and what breaks us. Years ago, it was common for people to enter a shoe store, step up on an x-ray tube and get an x-ray picture of their feet – so the salesman could find the “best fitting shoe”. Guess what happened OVER TIME? Yep… people started having some bad crap happen to them as a result of this action… particularly the shoe salesmen, who climbed on frequently to demonstrate to customers. So what did we learn? DON’T DO THAT!!! Have you been on an x-ray machine at a shoe store? No. We recognize the ill effects and change the behavior.
So how can Mr. Petty’s untimely death be remotely considered an accident? When an American dies every 19 minutes as a result of overdose, is it an ACCIDENT? Is it a surprise? By the language being used, it is taking the responsibility away from the individual of our own wellbeing. I am not suggesting people don’t have real problems and real pain. But it is VERY CLEAR that the current popular approach is deadly. The undesired effects, including overdose, of participation in this approach cannot be considered an accident. If people knew they had options, other than participating in pharmaceutical roulette, would they choose a less risky path? I think they would. But people don’t know what they don’t know.
Over the years, we have worked with all kinds of people with all kinds of problems. In almost every situation, a choice was made to take a safe, effective and scientific approach to restore health. The vast majority of these folks DID NOT KNOW that they could be helped through specific, neurological-based chiropractic care. Once they learned what they didn’t know, and changed their actions accordingly, healing could be manifest. It didn’t matter what they “believed”, they improved!
Will you join us in helping get the word out? Our culture is at a crossroads. We can continue pretending that the next new drug will be safe and effective and stop killing so many people OR we can seek solutions elsewhere. Solutions that allow the full expression of one’s potential and their capacity to heal. Share us with your friends and family, your co-workers and neighbors. There are answers and solutions. They may just be in places you wouldn’t have expected.
Dr. Don Piche and Dr. Julie Brons have been serving Grand Traverse region families with specific, neurological based Chiropractic since 1995. Have questions? Feel free to give our office a call and request a phone consult with either Dr. Don or Dr. Julie at 231.922.0110.