Have you ever found it strange that nearly fifty thousand Americans die from opioid overdoses every year? But does cannabis remain the real “bad guy” in the war on drugs? There has not yet been a single case of overdose death in which cannabis was the only drug consumed.
Welcome to US drug policy. It makes no sense. Millions of Americans could become addicted to opioid drugs each year. – Even so, the war on drugs continues against cannabis. Opioids are still sold legally.
Doctors have new restrictions on the number of pills and refills they can make available to patients. This was the main response to the national opioid crisis – tighter controls on the number of opioids to lower prescription rates.
But it has done little to contain the staggering number of opioid prescriptions. For example, in 2016, 214,881,622 prescriptions were prescribed to patients, according to the CDC. That was a rate of 66.5 opioid cripts per 100 Americans! Some progress was made by 2019. Doctors wrote 153,260,450 prescriptions for the drugs, at the rate of 46.7 per 100 Americans. The numbers are alarming.
With medical marijuana programs in place in thirty-six (36) states, cannabis could become the secret weapon that will help us win the opioid epidemic. Some clinical evidence suggests that cannabis may be a safer, more effective option for treating pain. The medicinal herb can also be important in helping patients withdraw from opioid addiction.
The criminal conspiracy behind America’s opioid epidemic
Drug Companies Said Opioids Are Safe? Well the truth is that Big Pharma is never 100% certain that a compound drug will not cause long-term harm. And that’s because they don’t have to submit clinical trials that are longer than ten years.
In some countries, such as the United Kingdom or Canada, drug trials can take up to fifteen (15) years to get approved. In the US, however, a drug company can accelerate approvals in less than half that time. The average drug will complete mandatory studies and FDA approval in about seven years.
There are also special circumstances under which the FDA can “speed up” a drug. One of the most prolific and harmful opioid drugs (Oxycontin) has been accelerated by the FDA. Oxycontin was aggressively marketed by Sacklers and Purdue Pharma.
In November 2020, Purdue pleaded guilty to fraud and violating federal law against setbacks. The civil settlement with the U.S. federal government was a $ 2.8 billion claw back payment. In addition, the Sackler family was sentenced to $ 225 million in damages. The settlement was intended to remedy their violation of the False Claims Act.
There was ample evidence that the potential dangers of opioid drugs were being withheld. From patients and practitioners. The massive marketing campaign and “free medical trips” have exposed millions of Americans to a potentially deadly drug. And for some patients, accidental overdosing resulted in tragic results.
Why Opioid Addiction is Now a National Crisis
Pharmaceutical companies sold a pledge to patients with chronic pain. When the most widely used opioid drugs were distributed across America, no one understood the long-term effects of these drugs. And those who developed the drugs, who knew, were unable or unwilling to say anything about it.
Prompted today with more research from America Opioid epidemic (the term used by the World Health Organization), here’s what we know about opioid drugs:
- They are addicting. And addiction doesn’t always require long-term use.
- Over time, opioids can make patients more sensitive to pain. With prolonged use, opioids can make the pain worse. Higher doses (to compensate for growing symptoms of pain) can increase this side effect.
- Some types of opioids, such as fentanyl, can be fifty (50) times more addicting than heroin. Prescription pain relievers contribute to more than that
- Side effects such as drowsiness and mental fog can lead to fall injuries in seniors.
- Nausea and chronic constipation are common side effects.
The most alarming cost of opioid drug use has been the surge in overdose deaths. Opioids were involved in 47,600 overdose deaths in 2017. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, deaths from opioid use more than doubled from 2010 to 2017. There were 46,802 deaths from opioid abuse in 2018. And in 2019, 49,860 Americans died from an opioid overdose.
The first response to the opioid epidemic was to lower prescription rates for patients. But that hasn’t solved the problem as overdose deaths are increasing annually.
How effective is cannabis for chronic pain and anxiety relief?
A poll was published in the Journal of alternative and complementary medicine While it was a small sample of participants (95), the results started an important conversation. Could cannabis successfully replace opioid prescriptions and provide effective pain management?
The study confirmed that people prefer indica cannabis strains for pain management and sleep. While sativa strains are used to improve mood and relieve stress. Basic things that most of the people who smoke cannabis are already familiar with.
However, the study also confirmed that cannabis can provide relief from conditions such as neuropathy, spasticity (muscle cramps), chronic non-migraine headaches, and joint pain. And while no scientific evidence suggests any particular strains for symptom management, the popularity of medicinal cannabis provides evidence.
In 2020, almost every state that legalized cannabis had record sales. And it wasn’t just the states that offered recreational (adult) cannabis. The pandemic is why more and more people are buying weeds – and getting their health card.
Many sativa strains are very effective in creating a euphoric effect. Can they make you happy, relaxed and … fearful? What fear? It’s difficult to explain to someone who hasn’t tried sativa before. Not only does it make you stupid; You get a mental break from your problems.
The fading social stigma about weeds
The unexpected shift in political power could make federal legalization a top priority. And while the very first priority is addressing the Covid-19 health emergency, Pot is on the agenda. Because the government and states know they need more money in their pockets now. Compensation for economic losses caused by a pandemic.
Even as the new federal leadership debates cannabis legalization, the general turning point for weeds has already come. Thirty-six states legalized. It is very likely that the rest of the states are pushing the legalization of medical cannabis in their jurisdictions.
The culture in America has also changed radically. When it comes to opinions about cannabis, Ward Cleaver poured himself two fingers of scotch after dinner in the 1950s. Today he could break out a pre-roll. Or take a few drops of a THC and CBD tincture.
We imagine Ward would keep cannabis at rock bottom. Even if he had a health card, as did grandparents who grew up in the Anslinger era of bans and racially motivated propaganda about weeds. America is catching up with other countries like Canada that have successfully legalized cannabis as a controlled substance.
Will we see addiction therapy clinics offering cannabis step-down treatments? They’re already here, working in states that allow medicinal cannabis. A natural alternative to pain management and a method to significantly reduce opioid injuries and deaths.