How Cannabis Could Put An End To The Opioid Epidemic
Those who don’t have a problem with opioids addiction may find it difficult to understand how severe such personal tragedies are. Statistics show that 19,000 Americans have been the victims of an overdose in 2014 alone. Also, the number of opioid prescriptions have increased four times since 1999.
On the other hand, for Stephen Mandel, dismissed from the army because of severe injuries, opioids represent a fierce struggle to manage pain. This excruciating pain can push people on the verge of committing suicide, as it’s extremely hard to endure without the help of powerful painkillers. According to Stephen, he wasn’t able to sleep for more than two hours every few days, his only concern being the next dose. He always used to count his pills a few times a day, just to make sure his fentanyl wouldn’t wear off, throwing him into the merciless claws of withdrawal. He just wanted to die.
Back in 2012, Stephen Mandel has been authorized to use medical cannabis. Unfortunately, as he was a resident of Massachusetts, he had to wait three years for dispensaries to treat him. The results of this therapy were nothing short of amazing. Stephen recalls it helping with alleviating pains, as well as with relieving his migraines, anxiousness, and depression. It took him only five months to stop taking VA meds altogether.
It’s worth mentioning here that there are states in which the number of opioid prescriptions exceeds the number of people.
A 2014 study has shown that states, where medical marijuana is legal, have seen 25% fewer deaths from opioid overdose compared to states where marijuana is still forbidden. Perhaps there are many stories like Stephen’s that prove the fact that cannabis can be useful for reducing opioid dependence. The biggest breakthrough is not that marijuana can successfully replace opioids thanks to its analgesic properties. The most surprising fact is that one of the non-psychoactive constituents of cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD), may have a very high efficiency in treating the symptoms of addiction. This means it may help addicts overcome their problem without having to fear withdrawal symptoms.