Is Medical Marijuana the Solution to Opioid Addiction?
As tens of thousands of Americans die every year from opioid addiction, some clinics are looking for alternative ways to help patients manage pain. Part of the problem is how traditional medicine views conditions like chronic pain. Unfortunately, the current standard involves treating symptoms instead of the actual cause.
For example, a patient suffering from arthritis is typically given a prescription painkiller to manage the pain. And that is all pain medication can do – manage your symptoms. It does not cure you and it often leads to adverse side-effects, particularly when used over a long period of time.
Instead of treating the arthritis through things like physical therapy, nutritional counseling, and PRP injections, many physicians choose to only target the pain. This often leads to patients becoming addicted to pain medication. And when their prescription runs out, they often turn to illegal drugs.
While more patients and doctors are becoming interested in alternative treatments that look at the body as a whole, it’s clear that America’s medical system still needs much improvement.
Medical marijuana may just be the answer to this problem.
How Well Can Marijuana Reduce Pain?
In fact, it works so well that researchers found 97% of patients prefer medical marijuana over opioids in a study. And 83% of that group believe cannabis actually works better than opioid painkillers.
For the most part, medical marijuana has little to no side-effects. The same can’t be said for opioids, which have the risk of addiction, nausea, lung and heart problems, accidental overdose, and much more.
While medical marijuana does have a sedative like effect, this can be beneficial for patients who have trouble sleeping due to pain.
One study even found that cannabis can help patients suffering from the devastating effects of opioid withdrawal.
Here in Cincinnati, Ohio, it’s expected that medical marijuana will be available by September 2018. Blatman Health and Wellness Center will be participating in the Ohio medical marijuana program.