HARRODSBURG, Ky. (WKYT) - Studies show more than half of people with a drug addiction started with a doctor's prescription. A chiropractic office in Mercer County is teaming up with varsity athletes to make sure they don't need narcotics for pain.
"We don't use drugs. We don't practice medicine, nor do we want to," explained Dr. Paul Ragusa. He is a partner at Bluegrass Chiro in Harrodsburg. "Typically we're seen as a back doctor but we are really any joint."
Ragusa realized not long ago that only three percent of kids see a chiropractor.
"So here was a number, three percent, that should not be three percent. It's a bunch of crap because we don't use drugs and we have this drug problem," he said. "If you've got a spine, you should have a chiropractor."
Ragusa took his concern to Mercer County High School and made them a deal.
"Anybody on the varsity roster gets free chiropractic care," Ragusa said. "This way we can lower the barrier. This way kids can find out what chiropractic is and we can make a big difference."
Terry Yeast is a long-time coach at Mercer County High School. He said the drugs have seemed to slow down in the area, but the partnership with Bluegrass Chiro is a relief from worrying about putting students on prescription drugs.
"Now we don't have to talk about that at all," Yeast said. "There are no issues with anybody having to take any medication. Just let's get a treatment."
"By giving them another route to seek out for healthcare, now they can come in here and we're not going to use pain pills if we can get them out of discomfort and issues," Ragusa explained.
"I never would have thought that this would be something that would be such a huge benefit," Yeast said. "But I can tell you I had four kids last year that were all state champions, and they were all getting chiropractic care."
Chiropractors go through a four-year program after their bachelor's degree. They are not licensed to prescribe narcotics.