Did you know that over 100 million Americans who suffer from chronic pain are dependent on opioid painkillers, including Vicodin, or addicted to street opiates, like heroin?
It is no secret that communities across our country are being devastated by the rapidly growing abuse of prescription and illegal opioids, addiction, and overdose over the last two decades.
In fact, in 2016, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), more than 11 million Americans misused prescription opioids, approximately one million used heroin, and nearly 2.1 million had an opioid use disorder due to prescription opioids or heroin.
Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that six out of 10 drug overdose deaths involve opioids.
However, there is one statistic that simply can no longer be ignored: the fact that opioid usage is going down in states with legal medical marijuana.
A number of studies and articles in publications, including Journal of Neuroscience, Trends in Neurosciences, Addiction Biology and other medical journals, have undertaken medical marijuana studies in recent years. While much of information is preliminary, many of these reports lay the essential groundwork to forge ahead with even more studies and data regarding the therapeutic use and benefits of cannabis for a wide range of reasons, specifically, opioid addiction.
So, What Exactly Are Opioids? Why Are They So Addicting?
Opioids can be defined as an entire class of drugs that includes substances like heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine and others. These pain-relieving drugs interact with the brain’s nerve cells to reduce pain and generate pleasurable effects.
Doctors often prescribe opioids for severe or chronic pain management. The powerful drugs bind to opioid receptors throughout the brain, spinal cord and other areas of the body, which help lower the body’s perception of pain and create a sense of well being.
However, here’s the bad news: For those individuals undergoing opioid withdrawal, there are numerous, unpleasant effects that often occur, such as depression, insomnia, anxiety, lack of appetite, fatigue among many others.
Many individuals and doctors are discovering that cannabis can be a compelling option to battle these unpleasant effects. Cannabis can help subdue or, in some cases, eliminate, many opioid withdrawal symptoms. A study published in the American Journal of Addiction stated that cannabis use was associated with a reduction in withdrawal symptoms from opioid abuse.
Furthermore, many experts say that cannabis not only helps people stay off harder substances, but it can also help them manage the symptoms they were looking to treat with opioids in the first place, including chronic pain.
Consider this eye-opening fact: In states where there is a form of legalized marijuana – either medicinal or recreational – opioid addiction is down approximately 25 percent.
Some Final Thoughts
There is no easy answer to managing our country’s current opiate addiction and overdose epidemic. We realize there is no single solution that will be 100 percent effective.
To facilitate cannabis as at least one of the answers to our country’s intensifying opioid crisis, we urge lawmakers to consider allowing healthcare professionals to incorporate cannabis into treatment plans for addiction and pain management.
Cannabis is an ancient healer. While it may not be the answer for everyone, there is no reason people should be denied this medicine.
Americans facing opiate addiction need another option – a solution that enhances life rather diminishes it. At Cannacopia, we believe cannabis is key to ending the opiate epidemic.
Ultimately, if healthcare providers support the use of medical cannabis before introducing patients to opioids, many patients might that find cannabis is a successful treatment for their chronic pain.
Best of all, they may never have to walk down the complicated path of opioid use that all too often leads to abuse.
Check Out Our Free Mobile App Today!
The Cannacopia mobile app is available for free on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.
Cannacopia is the only app that enables you to discover which marijuana strains will help you feel the way you want based on your desired mental mood, physical effects, medical condition, and taste preferences, then shows you where to purchase.
Are you new to Cannacopia? It’s easy, simply slide Cannacopia’s four touch-screen buttons to choose your medical condition, mental mood, physical effect and taste preferences. With over 7,500 different marijuana strains to choose from, Cannacopia will display the strain or strains that best match your choices, along with near-by state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries or legal retail outlets where you can obtain them.