Chiropractic Helps Addicts Kick the Habit

The July 14, 2006 issue of the Psychology Today Online carried a story with the subtitle " Beating addiction may take an extra nudge from the chiropractor." This article, in a mainstream psychological publication, starts off by following the success story of one individual enrolled in the Exodus addiction treatment center of South Florida. The article notes that this center has a much higher rate of success in addiction treatment than the national average for such centers.

When this one patient was asked what he attributed his success to he noted, "I think that chiropractic care was an integral part of my recovery." The Exodus center adds chiropractic care to the normal treatment of addiction. The article then asks, "But what does the spine have to do with addiction?" The connection is explained by the effect chiropractic care has on the nervous system and brain chemicals called neurotransmitters that under chiropractic care are released in a specific sequence and a state of well-being.

The article notes that "subluxations" interfere with normal nerve transmission and therefore interfere with the normal chemical sequence. Chiropractic care is designed to correct subluxations, return normal nerve functions and therefore allow the chemical sequence to return to normal.

The article recalls a study, previously published in the scientific journal Molecular Psychiatry, that proves the reasoning behind the success seen at Exodus. In the original study, 98 subjects enrolled in the Exodus program for addiction treatment received frequent chiropractic adjustments over a 30-day period. These subjects were compared to two other groups of patients who did not receive chiropractic. One group called the passive group, underwent only standard rehabilitation, and another, a placebo group, received sham chiropractic care.

The national average for completion of addiction programs is about 55 percent. In the study noted above the two non-chiropractic groups had completion rates similar to the national average. However, the patients in the group that received chiropractic care displayed an unprecedented 100 percent program completion rate.

Dr. Jay Holder (pictured right) of the Exodus center stressed in the article that chiropractic care does not represent a new form of treatment for addiction. He noted that chiropractic helps patients use existing treatment more thoroughly.