Taking medical marijuana is “much less risky” than opiates and has been shown to help people addicted to prescription opioid drugs and heroin in kicking the habit. Further, there is considerable research to support something that many many physicians have been saying for quite a while: people are effectively turning to cannabis to treat pain (including the pain that got the hooked on opioid medications such as oxycodone.)
Findings of two studies revealed this month underscore the efficacy in both helping addicts get off the drugs and pain management.
W.David Bradford, University of Georgia public policy professor, said there is less likelihood of dependency with medical marijuana as compared to opioid medications and, of course, heroin. Moreover, he said, cannabis poses “no mortality risk.” Opioids, on the other hand, most certainly do.
The concept of using medical marijuana to manage the long-term, excruciating pain associated with many conditions is not new. However, the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine confirmed, in a Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine article, that “there’s good evidence that cannabis is effective at treating pain for some conditions” and that people in pain who have access to medical cannabis are less likely to start taking prescription opioid painkillers.
In fact, Bradford said that, in states where medical marijuana is legal, opioid use appears to be declining.
Medicare concurs, having recently released results of a study that reviewed the impact of legalizing cannabis on medicare prescriptions for opioid painkillers.
- There is a measurable decline — 14 percent — in opioid prescriptions filled in states where people can legally visit dispensaries and obtain medical marijuana.
- Fourteen percent may sound trite, but not when you look at the numbers. In this case, a 14 percent drop in opioid prescriptions amounts to 3.7 million daily doses or 1.8 million fewer opioid pills sold at pharmacies in the U.S. each day.
It’s important to note, however, that scientists involved in these studies are not suggesting people should stock up on cannabis. It’s important to speak with your physician to determine the best course of action for you based on your own health situation.
If you are interested in learning more about how medical marijuana can help an opioid addict kick the drugs or in finding out more about managing pain with cannabis, there’s no better way to find out than making an appointment with Dr. Jahan Chaudhry of the Long Island Compassionate Medical Center.
Plan a visit to our private, friendly center where, we promise, you will feel comfortable and able to get the help you need from our compassionate and knowledgeable team. Call today and be on the road to a life without pain tomorrow.