Each year for National PT Month the APTA decides on a public awareness campaign to highlight one aspect of physical therapy. The theme of National PT Month for 2016 is #ChoosePT and was chosen to raise awareness of the role that physical therapy can play in combatting our nation’s serious opioid epidemic.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified physical therapy as a key component in the search for a viable solution to the opioid crisis. For more than a decade, Americans have been increasingly prescribed painkillers, such as Vicodin, OxyContin, Methadone, Percocet, and others to fight chronic pain. When prescribed and used appropriately, these opioids can be an effective part of a treatment plan. However, there are risks involved. Research shows that individuals who are addicted to prescription opioids are 40 times more likely to end up addicted to more dangerous drugs, such as heroin.
The #ChoosePT campaign will highlight the risks of opioid use while raising awareness about physical therapy as a safe alternative for treating chronic pain and as an alternative to surgery. National PT Month is not only an opportunity for Physical Therapists and PT Assistants to participate in this all important #ChoosePT campaign. The National PT Month and the call to raise awareness about battling the opioid epidemic can be answered by everyone who has chosen healthcare as their profession. Now is the time to get involved in APTA’s #ChoosePT campaign by visiting the online toolkit and learning about how you can participate throughout the month. From handouts to social media messages, fact sheets and more, there are dozens of ways that you can take action and potentially save a life.
Are you planning anything for National PT Month this year? In the comment section below, tell us how you plan to help raise awareness about PT as an alternative to opioid use. You can also visit us on our Facebook page and tell us about your plans for PT Month.