The Opioid Crisis: How Did We End Up Here?

Bottom Line:

If you make it a habit to watch the news, you’ve probably wondered on more than one occasion “How did the opioid crisis start?”

Well, the answer might surprise you.

About 30 years ago, there was a fundamental shift in medicine regarding how pain was understood and treated.

The number of people with chronic pain seemed to be rising, and it was thought that the options to address the pain weren't adequate.

Why it Matters:

As doctors paid more attention to assessing pain, they also paid more attention to treating pain. Enter opioids.

Opioid medications began to be prescribed more and more frequently for chronic low back or neck pain.

Surprisingly, up until then, opioids were only prescribed for severe pain after surgery or advanced-stage cancer. But that all changed in the early 1990’s.

New opioids formulas were promoted as being less addictive, and physicians were encouraged to prescribe these drugs far more liberally than before, including for the care of chronic pain.

Prescribing these drugs very quickly created and exposed a number of problems.

Healthcare professionals noted how rapidly patients adapted to the drugs, meaning larger and larger doses had to be prescribed to sustain those promised pain suppressing effects as time went on.

That, of course, indicated these drugs weren't very effective at addressing chronic pain.

They provided short-term relief, but they seemed to become less useful for many people as time went on.

What’s more, the euphoric feelings often associated with these drugs put it’s users at a high risk for addiction.

Next Steps:

Now, some 30-odd years later, we are witnessing an opioid crisis.

If there is a silver lining to be found, we as a collective now realize that the answers and treatment of chronic pain are rarely found in a bottle.

Many leading healthcare organizations are now recommending non-pharmacological approaches to treating chronic pain including chiropractic.

If you would like to explore a drug-free approach to pain relief, schedule an appointment with us today.

As the leading natural pain doctor in Clear Lake, we have the tools and know how you’ve been looking for.

Our doors are always open, and we’re here to help!

Science Source:

Understanding the Epidemic. CDC. 2021.

Book Now


Find us on the map

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Primary Office


9:00 am-7:00 pm




9:00 am-7:00 pm


2:00 pm-7:00 pm


7:00 am-2:00 pm


8:00 am-6:00 pm


1:00 pm-5:00 pm


  • "This was my first chiropractic visit and I will definitely continue to see Dr. Venessa! The space is beautiful and clean. The person working reception was welcoming, knowledgeable and seemed happy to answer my questions. I was able to complete my paperwork before coming in so there was no wait. Dr. Venessa asked me some questions and did a sort of assessment before my adjustment. She kept me informed of what she would be doing and has a nice bedside manner so nothing seemed awkward. She finished my adjustment and I checked out. All in all I had a great experience in the office but what happened after was even better- my energy increased like crazy! At first I didn’t even consider it might have been from my adjustment. I was just talking with my husband when he asked if I thought it may have been from my chiro appointment so I googled it and apparently that’s common! So again, very happy with my experience and I will be back!"
    taryn crigler
  • "The lead chiropractor is amazing. After being adjusted I felt considerably better. Dr. Bartholomew is kind, gentle, and is a good listener."
    Jenelle Braun
  • "Dr. Bartholomew is absolutely the best. She is caring, compassionate and holistic. Clear Lake is lucky to have such an incredible resource. Be prepared to be amazed!"
    Avalon Anderson
  • "Dr. Venessa is great with her patients. She takes the time to address all of your needs. Not only will she adjust you, but she will also give you exercises that you can do that will help. Her staff is very friendly and helpful. They also have 2 massage therapists in the office and are running a great special this month."
    Tammie C
  • "Dr Bartholomew was wonderful in helping me feel better and helping with my shoulder issues. Being an ex football player, she had no issues diagnosing my concerns and was quick to make adjustments that had immediate results.
    She was very considerate of my time and has wonderful bedside manor. You will not be disappointed."
    James Monegan