N.H. 'Drug Czar' Eyes Expansion Of Chiropractic Care To Cut Down On Opioid Prescriptions

Jun 26, 2018

David Mara
Credit CREDIT SARA PLOURDE / NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu’s advisor on addiction and behavioral health, David Mara, visited with physicians and chiropractors at a Dartmouth-Hitchcock facility in Lebanon Tuesday.

They met to discuss chiropractic care as an alternative to opioids for management of back pain, a common condition.

A recent study found New Hampshire patients who were treated by chiropractors for non-cancer-related back pain were significantly less likely to fill a prescription for an opioid-based medication.

Based on those results, Mara said he’d encourage the governor to expand access to chiropractic care across the state. “If it’s something that’s science-based and the data is there, I’m sure he’d take a really good look at supporting it,” he said.

Mara is tasked, in part, with identifying gaps in New Hampshire's response to the opioid crisis. One challenge with access to chiropractors has been the high costs for patients, either due to lack of insurance coverage or high co-pays.