The Opioid Crisis Leading to Record Levels of Addiction

Chiropractor calling for greater awareness around painkiller side effects including addiction and accidental overdose.

A record number of Australians are accidentally overdosing on prescription medicines in what medical authorities have labelled ‘an opioid epidemic’.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the number of deaths from prescription painkillers – opioids – has increased 61 percent between 2004-2014. Further key facts and figures are showing no stopping this hidden health crisis.

However, the real question is, why is this happening?

Medical authorities such as Australia’s Penington Institute note that the deaths caused from opioid overprescription between 2008-2014 underscores how severe the overdose crisis is in Australia.

  • 69 percent of all drug-related deaths in Australia come from prescription painkillers.
  • Additionally, 58 percent of non-cancer opioid prescriptions are for musculoskeletal issues, commonly including back pain and neck pain.

To bring more attention to this public health issue, Sydney based Chiropractor Doctor Rosemarie Jabbour (Chiropractor) is raising awareness of The Penington Institute’s findings and is looking for different options to help those people who suffer from pain caused by musculoskeletal issues.

“Prevention is better than cure, we all know that. However, when it comes to our spine, chiropractic is found to be a good form of care for back and neck pain. In many cases, chiropractors aim to address the underlying cause of pain,” Doctor Jabbour (Chiropractor) said.

The medical compound in question – opioids – are one of the most commonly prescribed drug classes for pain. Alarmingly, the efficacy of long-term opioid use has been called into question.

An Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology Review highlighted the uncertainly about the appropriate role of these drugs in the treatment of pain, and that the long-term administration of opioids for the treatment of chronic non-cancer pain continues to be controversial.

“That is why chiropractic is the more natural and logical choice. It is a drug-free alternative. Hence the side effects you could otherwise get from these painkillers are avoided,” Doctor Jabbour (Chiropractor) said.

Although the increase in opioid overdose and accidental death is an urgent issue to be addressed, there is also growing awareness that other forms of treatment, including manual therapies such as chiropractic, have a role to play in aiming to address pain caused by musculoskeletal issues.

“We see many patients who have been on this opioid merry-go-round for a long time and it’s quite difficult for them to break the cycle of addiction. For some patients, the benefits received through chiropractic care and the rehabilitation we offer in many cases outweighs the long term taking of these drugs,” Doctor Jabbour (Chiropractor) said.

All forms of healing have their place, but when research shows an increase in troublesome addiction and overdose, perhaps we need to rethink our approach to pain management. In the first instance, natural and lower risk treatment options, such as chiropractic, may be considered in some cases.

If you think you may have a dependence on painkillers or are looking for natural treatment options, why not phone your local chiropractor and ask about the services they offer.

– ENDS –

Advice for people suffering addiction

1) Recognise that you’re not alone

Lots of other people have gone through the same thing, even if it’s something many are reluctant to discuss.

2) Realise there is help available

You can talk to friends and family members. You can consult your local doctor or chiropractor. There are also community organisations that deal with addiction and issues like depression, including Heads Up, Black Dog, Lifeline.

3) Be aware that there’s a lot more awareness nowadays about pain, natural therapies and medication side effects

For example, chiropractors, physiotherapists, remedial masseurs. Finally, be aware addiction challenges are survivable.

Media Contact

Doctor Rosemarie Jabbour (Chiropractor)

New World Chiro

02 9687 4011

rosemarie (@) newworldchiro.com.au



Marshall Thurlow

Orion Marketing

marshall (@) orionmarketing.com.au


About New World Chiro

New World Chiro, owned and managed by experienced chiropractor Dr. Rosemarie Jabbour (Chiropractor), has been proudly servicing the healthcare needs of the Parramatta community for over two decades.



  • Harrison CM, Charles J, Henderson J, et al. Opioid prescribing in Australian general practice. Med J Aust 2012;196:380–1.
  • http://www.penington.org.au/overdoseday/ Penington Institute Australia’s Annual Overdose Report – 2016. Based on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
  • Rubinstein SM, van Middelkoop M, Assendelft WJJ, de Boer MR, van Tulder MW. Spinal manipulative therapy for chronic low-back pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD008112.
  • Chou R, Qaseem A, Snow V, Casey D, Cross JT, Shekelle P, et al. Diagnosis and Treatment of Low Back Pain: A Joint Clinical Practice Guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society. Ann Intern Med. 2007;147:478-491.
  • UK BEAM Trial Team. United Kingdom back pain exercise and manipulation (UK BEAM) randomised trial: effectiveness of physical treatments for back pain in primary care. BMJ. 2004 Dec 11;329(7479):1377. Epub 2004 Nov 19.
  • Richard A Deyo, Michael Von Korff, David Duhrkoop. Opioids for low back pain. BMJ 2015;350:g6380.
  • Jeffrey Freund, PharmD Connie Kraus, PharmD Christopher Hooper-Lane, MA. How effective are opioids for chronic low back pain? J Fam Pract. 2015 September;64(9):584-585.
  • Roelofs PDDM, Deyo RA, Koes BW, Scholten RJPM, van Tulder MW. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for low back pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD000396.
  • Rosenblum, A., Marsch, L. A., Joseph, H., & Portenoy, R. K. (2008). Opioids and the Treatment of Chronic Pain: Controversies, Current Status, and Future Directions. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 16(5), 405–416.
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Dr. Rosemarie Jabbour (Chiropractor) is the owner and chiropractor at New World Chiro, Parramatta. Rosemarie is an experienced and highly professional healthcare practitioner with over 25+ years experience in caring for the local community. Rosemarie was also one of the chiropractors for the Sydney 2000 Olympic games. With a keen interest in spinal health, neuroscience and sports fitness, Rosemarie is a natural health champion and advocate.

In addition to running New World Chiro, Rosemarie runs corporate health and wellness training programs, chiropractic assistant training, and networks within a variety of local business networks.


- B.Sc.(Biol.Sc.)
- B.App Sc (Clin.Sc)
- B.C.Sc.
- The International Chiropractic Sports Science Diploma 1997
- Graduate Certificate in Sports Chiropractic in 1998

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