The opioid crisis in America today is spreading so fast and is so devastating that we have been forced to fight fire with fire just to contain it.
DR Bruce


Using opioids to treat opioid addiction may seem like reverse logic to many. However, addiction medicine lags behind other specialties when it comes to forward thinking. Mounting pressure to stem the tide of overdose deaths and the shortage of professionals trained in addiction medicine. There are very few in the field that knows much about the emerging science of pharmacogenomics and nutrigenomics. Even fewer understand the concepts as they apply to treating today’s patients suffering with the disease of addiction.

The United States loses over 160 people per day to opioids.

The cost to treat a patient with addiction and associated co-occurring disorders is roughly $4700 annually just for methadone. This may seem expensive, but it is less costly than placing the patient through the justice system. The question might be asked, is methadone-assisted treatment (MAT) or any other opioid variant the end game or just the start in this challenging national emergency? Although, on the surface it may seem like MAT may be the answer, does it really make sense for it to be the gold standard for opioid addiction treatment? We can expect that as the demand for the MAT increases so will its costs. As insurance carriers continue their quest to reign in costs, the pressure from the opioid epidemic places additional stress on existing treatment programs in an era of declining revenues

Today’s standard addiction treatment program maintains a foundation based in what is commonly called the “12 step program.”

Originally founded as AA in the 1930s to combat alcohol addiction, 12-step programs have been spun off into many other names such as NA, Al-Anon, GA, and the like. Today, prescription and street drugs that are driving the opioid crisis have become increasingly more powerful and addictive. Although, 12-step programs provide great social and spiritual frameworks to overcoming addictive behaviors, the missing links are in the understanding of how brain processes work, especially when severe physical damage has occurred. The good news is that health science already has the understanding of why relapse rates are so common and higher today.

Focusing too much on processes and not enough on results is why things don’t get done,

Pain and simple. If the standard is to simply to stem the tide of deaths, eventually there will be newer and more powerful substances and activities that will take additional lives and destroy families and relationships. All one need to understand do is observe what personal electronic devices and social media are doing to us as a nation.  Many of today’s health professionals are entrenched in their methods of treatment without really knowing or understanding that the research world has passed them by. Getting our health professionals up to speed is vitally important to getting the right outcomes, once we establish what the end game should be.

A healthier society, one in which each individual participates in the productivity cycle, regardless of ability or opportunity, would seem like the ultimate objective.

MAT is a stepping-stone to better health and not a topping point. But public health and economic goals do not often coincide with one another. So it is in our free society that we must allow the individual to choose a path for himself and his family. But the stigma of moral failure remains deeply embedded in much of Americana. The crisis is so bad that the medical system has tacitly admitted disappointment in its results and government, corporate, and medical societies are looking closely at alternatives to MAT.  A targeted treatment solution could well provide the long-term solution to a brain disease that rears its ugly head when exposed to the powerful opioid drugs that exist today. The opioid crisis may well be the beginning of precision treatment for other serious health conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.


  3. Environ Health Perspectv. 2007 Dec; 115(12); A582–A589.
  7. P T. 2017 Jul; 42(7): 478.


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DR Bruce
Doctor Bruce Hansbrough received his chiropractic medical degree from Life University, in Marietta, Georgia. He has worked in integrative settings in Martin and Palm Beach Counties since 1993. Doctor Hansbrough is board certified with the American College of Addictionology and Compulsive Disorders (ACACD) and performed his residency at the Exodus Treatment Center and Concept House in Miami.

He has served as an integrative medicine consultant for mental health and addiction recovery centers. He is also board certified in occupational health completing his occupational health residency at Northwestern Health Sciences University in Minneapolis and is a Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Board of Occupational Health.

Doctor Hansbrough is a veteran and served as a commissioned officer from 1980 through 2002 in the United States Navy and Naval Reserve with three tours of duty in the Middle East and Persian Gulf regions. Doctor Hansbrough is also a graduate of the LEADERship™ program of Martin County and received the prestigious Chiropractor of the Month award from the nationally acclaimed Chiropractic Leadership Alliance in June 2010.
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