Press Release: July 11, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
 
Bill Promoting Alternative to Opioid Treatment Endorsed by New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners  
 
PLAINSBORO, NJ — Assemblyman Daniel Benson (D-14) recently introduced bill number A3901, which provides for a 12-month study initiative to be known as the Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Pilot Program. The program was created in response to State’s prescription drug abuse epidemic, and seeks to establish: 

  • holistic treatment approaches  
  • creation of new screening protocols for addiction initiated by primary care physicians. 
“Manipulation therapy” is a medical procedure in osteopathic medicine that means the application of manual pressure or force to the bones, joints, tissues, or muscles of the body to restore functionality, remove barriers to motion or healing, and to relieve pain performed by a licensed osteopathic physician trained in the provision of osteopathic manipulative treatment. Manipulation therapy is also known as osteopathic manipulative treatment. 
 
The effects on individuals, their families, and society of the opioid and heroin addiction crises are well known, and efforts to combat addiction often fail to address the underlying medical reason for which opioids were initially prescribed: pain or chronic pain due to injury or disease. In specific, the new legislation will call for The Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services, in the Department of Health, to create and administer the initiative, and report findings to the Governor at the conclusion. At the June 15th meeting, the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners voted to unanimously support A3901.  
 
“The objective of the pilot program is to provide manipulative therapy to individuals who are treating for an addiction or substance use disorder and suffer from chronic pain; to assist these individuals in their recovery,” notes Leonard Schuchman, DO, MPH, FAAFP, President of the New Jersey Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (NJAOPS). “Additionally, this program will seek to highlight the efficacy of manipulation as a viable alternative to prescription drugs for pain relief. If found to be an effective replacement for opioids, this would signify the expanded use of manipulative therapy beyond the pilot program.”
 
Principles of osteopathic medical practice and “manipulation therapy” assert that treatments relieve pain without the use of opioids help individuals to survive or avoid addiction and live their lives more fully. By investigating measurable outcomes, the program will evaluate the viability of having such treatments more widely available as an alternative to prescription drugs.  
 
“The profession of osteopathic medicine has the ability to provide medical professionals and the patients of New Jersey with an additional tool in combating this opioid epidemic. Towards that end, we are pleased to have a strategic partner with Seabrook House, and we are in strong support of this legislation. We thank the Assemblyman for his hard work and dedication in finding unique solutions to fight this devastating opioid epidemic” noted Tajma Kotoric, Executive Director of the New Jersey Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons.  
 
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Media Contact: 
Tajma Kotoric 
Executive Director, New Jersey Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (NJAOPS) 
Phone: (732) 940-9000, ext. 303 
E-mail: tkotoric@njosteo.com 

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About NJAOPS
The New Jersey Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (NJAOPS) is a professional medical association that represents the interests of more than 5,000 osteopathic physicians, residents, interns and medical students in New Jersey. NJAOPS works to unite New Jersey’s osteopathic physicians and supporters of quality patient care to take action on important professional and public health issues. Membership in NJAOPS provides you with a comprehensive and growing array of benefits and services to meet your professional and personal needs.