American Chiropractic Association Adopts Summit's "Drug-Free Approach" to Health Care

Washington, D.C.--The American Chiropractic Association's (ACA) House of Delegates (HOD) today adopted language describing the profession's approach to health care and the use of drugs by chiropractic physicians during it's annual meeting Feb. 28- March 1 in Washington, D.C.

The statement was originally written and approved by the Chiropractic Summit, an umbrella leadership group of more than 40 prominent chiropractic organizations, during a meeting in Seattle in November.

The statement reads, in part--
Summit Promotes Drug-Free Approach:

"The drug issue is a non-issue because no chiropractic organization in the Summit promotes the inclusion of prescription drug rights and all chiropractic organizations in the Summit support the drug-free approach to health care."
As you can imagine, this statement was crafted very carefully and after long discussions by all participants of the Summit, which includes organizations and individuals from all corners of the profession and with widely varying viewpoints. When the group first approached the task, it realized that the profession could not legitimately use the word "drugless" to describe itself. Surprised? It makes sense when you consider the FDA classifies the use of certain vitamins and supplements to treat a condition a form of drug use. With so many doctors of chiropractic using nutritional therapy to help their patients, it was obvious to even the most conservative among us that "drug-free approach" more accurately describes what we all do.

Granted, there are wide variations in the scope of practice for chiropractic based on the state in which DCs practice. Some states are quite expansive in what they allow doctors of chiropractic to do; others are rather restrictive. The Summit's role is not to define scope (that is the function of the states themselves), so any statement on chiropractic practice drafted-to be accurate-needed to keep into account those who may have more tools in their toolbox.

Nevertheless, the approach that all doctors of chiropractic take, regardless of their available tools for patient care, is first and foremost drug-free. This is what unites us; we as a profession can be proud that the organizations representing the Chiropractic Summit came together and unanimously agreed on this very positive and powerful statement.

"ACA is proud to adopt the Chiropractic Summit's statement, which succinctly describes the intention behind our profession's conservative approach to health care," said ACA President Keith Overland, DC.

The HOD met in conjunction with the 2014 National Chiropractic Legislative Conference (NCLC) and Education Symposium. Be sure to visit ACA's Facebook fan page for photos, updates and videos from the conference. Twitter users can talk about the event using the hashtag #NCLC2014.

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA), based in Arlington, VA, is the largest professional association in the United States advocating for more than 130,000 doctors of chiropractic (DCs), chiropractic assistants (CAs) and chiropractic students. ACA promotes the highest standards of ethics and patient care, contributing to the health and well-being of millions of chiropractic patients. Visit us at


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