Chiropractic Care In Addiction Recovery and Substance Abuse Treatment

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Chiropractic Care In Addiction Treatment

Article Contents

Drug abuse is a serious issue facing our country. The rampant misuse of alcohol and other substances accounts for 50% of all traffic fatalities, 60% of drownings, 83% of arrests, and 35% of suicides.

In 2014 alone there were 47,055 drug overdoses. In particular, opioids have been linked to 18,800 deaths in relation to prescription pain medication and another 10,500 as a result of heroin usage. These rates have skyrocketed since the 1990s, and they continue to rise.

Drugs Aren’t the Only Addiction

Dr. Jay Holder, D.C. — A chiropractor who himself touts the benefits of chiropractic care in addiction recovery — said there are five primary addictions: work, food, sex, gambling, and drugs (including alcohol). “Each one of those simple terms is huge arenas in clinical treatment, he added.

A Unique Approach

There is a new supplemental approach to addiction recovery, and it’s gaining momentum among the treatment community. According to research, sessions with a professional chiropractor can be an important part of recovering from addiction – especially if it’s an addiction to drugs and alcohol.

How Chiropractic Care Can Help

The human spine contains neurotransmitters. These connections act like wires that carry information and signals between the brain and the rest of the body. Pain, pleasure, and movement are all transferred along the same lines. However, misalignments, also known as subluxations, can disrupt this process.


Subluxations can cause pressure and damage to the spine and the nerves within it. Sometimes these infractions are caused by exercise or traumatic activity. Regardless of the reason, these misalignments interrupt the proper function of the neurotransmitters. Thus, emotions and reactions may not be regulated properly.


Chiropractic care is effective because it can correct subluxations. Working the spine relieves the pressure and allows the nerves to send the right signal at the right time. When neurotransmitters fire properly, patients are more likely to resist drug cravings, which can improve their chances of recovery.


In simpler terms, chiropractic care may be effective because it’s relaxing. Sessions leave patients feeling refreshed, both physically and mentally. This is a safe and efficient manner to help recovering addicts deal with stress and stay positive throughout the program.

The Evidence of Dr. Holder

Dr. Holder is a chiropractor that is familiar with addiction treatment, so he has firsthand experience with the power of proper chiropractic care among drug addicts. He completed a study of approximately 100 participants to measure the difference chiropractic care can make during addiction recovery.


During his study, Dr. Holder compared three different types of patients. The control group saw no chiropractic therapy during their treatment. The second group was offered chiropractic adjustments to eliminate and relieve subluxations as part of the program. The third group underwent fake spinal alignments in the form of chiropractic exams without actual results. This group was added to measure the placebo effect, if any.

After a period of 30 days, the patients from the second group saw a 100% completion level for the program. In addition, these patients described reduced feelings of anxiety and depression during their stay. The other two groups saw only 55% completion rates, which is an average number for drug recovery.

These findings are important to the world of drug recovery. If patients can successfully complete a recovery program, they’re less likely to relapse after treatments are complete.

The Future of Chiropractic Care and Treatment

The results from Dr. Holder are proof that chiropractic care has a place in treatment programs and facilities. No doubt, more and more facilities will begin implementing these tactics to help patients get their lives back on track and addiction free.

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