I have spoken to many people that either have, or know someone who has, struggled with addiction to popular painkillers. They all say you don’t see it coming, that you are just trying to find a brief escape from the pain when one day…you’re hooked. Google: “painkiller addiction” and you quickly see how powerful these drugs are. Page after page tells stories about families and individuals torn apart by secrets and addiction. One headline:, “8 signs your loved one is addicted to opioids,” reveals how strong opioid addiction can be and the lengths some will go to hide it from their family and friends.
The Department of Health and Human Services has issued a public health alert to notify the population that we are in the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic. What does epidemic mean? In this case, every 19 minutes someone dies from prescription drug overdose.
As a nation, we have been waging a war on drugs for decades, yet, as recently as 2015 opioid overdoses claimed more lives than car accidents. In an aggressive effort by our government to demonize drugs and drug dealers, a treatment for drug addiction took a lower priority.
Meanwhile, in the same time period as the drug war, pharmaceutical companies launched a legal opioid industry that quadrupled the amount of available narcotics to the public in just 20 years.
Enter, Medical Marijuana
There are many medical professionals who claim that medical marijuana is the solution. Research is starting to emerge after years of data collection that shows painkiller overdoses are far lower in states where medical marijuana is available.
Slowly but surely, evidence is cropping up (no pun intended) that medical marijuana is providing a safe and effective alternative for those seeking pain relief through prescribed painkillers.
And it gets even better. Not only is irrefutable evidence regarding the powerful medicinal value of marijuana emerging, but legislation is also beginning to lean in the same direction.
Republican Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch and a bipartisan group of senators are pushing to fill the void of medical research into the benefits of medical cannabis. Surprisingly, even as we find ourselves in a national epidemic and while medical marijuana has been legalized in several states, there are very few studies on the long term benefits of marijuana to address opioid abuse in the use of pain management.
“I worry, however, that in our zeal to enforce the law, we too often blind ourselves to the medicinal benefits of natural substances like cannabis,” Hatch said in his introduction to the bill.
The new bill proposed by Sen. Orrin Hatch will allow for more research to be conducted on the benefits of medical marijuana, particularly in cases of opioid addiction.
Co-Founder at Good Weed