President Donald Trump has declared the opioid epidemic a national emergency. It is estimated that nearly three million Americans are currently addicted to opioids. A report released by the White House stated, “the opioid epidemic we are facing is unparalleled. The average American would likely be shocked to know that drug overdoses now kill more people than gun homicides and car crashes combined.” But there is evidence that CBD for opiate withdrawal can help with this health crisis.
OPIOID CRISIS IN AMERICA
With the opioid crisis at such a deadly climax, it is clear that important steps must be taken to help curb opioid addiction. Preventative care to dissuade people from becoming addicted to opiates is the logical first step. However, helping current users recover from their addiction cannot be neglected. Recent research seems to suggest that both THC and CBD – which are the most prominent active compounds found in cannabis – can help addicts recover from their opiate withdrawal symptoms.
HOW CBD HELPS OPIATE WITHDRAWAL
There is still limited evidence to definitively suggest that cannabis can help people recover from opioid addiction. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t promising data that CBD for opiate withdrawal can be a viable treatment, In fact, a study conducted in 2014 found that states with medical marijuana laws had addiction rates that were 25% lower than states where cannabis was illegal. While THC and its pain-relieving properties can be useful for some people battling opioid addiction, it is CBD that may help treat the aggressive withdrawal symptoms.
WHY CBD IS BETTER TREATMENT THAN THC
CBD is non-psychoactive, which opioid addicts would find more desirable than THC. CBD will not give an individual a high. However, CBD does have anti-inflammatory, antipsychotic and neuroprotective qualities which greatly help aid in the recovery process. CBD will help limit depression and hallucinations that the patients may experience during opioid withdrawal.
More research is needed to determine which ratio of CBD/THC works best in addiction recovery. What we do know is that current scientific and anecdotal evidence proves combining these two cannabis compounds may be useful alternative to slowing down the opioid crisis in America.
PAINKILLER OVERDOSE DEATHS INCREASE 400 PERCENT IN WOMEN
In what is seen as an alarming wake-up call, prescription drug overdose deaths among women in the United States have QUINTUPLED – or have become five times as common since 1999.
By Catholic Online
Prescription pain pill addiction in the U.S. became a national epidemic among workers doing backbreaking labor in the coal mines and factories of Appalachia.
Today, the typical death from prescription drugs in the U.S. is women who are abusing pain medications.
Deaths from such overdoses have now overtaken cervical cancer and murder as a cause of death in U.S. women.
Some women are blaming the changing nature of American society.
The rise of the single-parent household has thrust immense responsibilities on women, who are not only mothers but the primary breadwinners.
Some women described feeling overwhelmed by their responsibilities that they craved the numbness that drugs bring.
“I thought I was supermom,” one 42-year-old recovering addict. “I took one kid to football, the other to baseball. I went to work. I washed the car. I cleaned the house. I didn’t even know I had a problem.”
For years, drug overdose deaths in the U.S. were seen as mostly an urban problem that hit blacks the hardest. Opioid abuse, which exploded in the 1990s and 2000s and included drugs like OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet, has been worst among whites, often in rural places.
The Centers for Disease Control analysis found that the overdose death rate for blacks in 2010, the most recent year for which there was final data, was less than half the rate for whites. Asians and Hispanics had the lowest rates.
One surprising statistic found was the while younger women in their 20s and 30s tend to have the highest rates of opioid abuse, the overdose death rate was highest among women ages 45 to 54, a finding that surprised clinicians.
Findings indicate that at least some portion of the drugs may have been prescribed appropriately for pain, Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, says.
If death rates were driven purely by abuse, then one would expect the death rates to be highest among younger women who are the biggest abusers.
C.D.C. Director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden said the problem had gone virtually unrecognized.
The study offered several theories for the increase. Women are more likely than men to be prescribed pain drugs, to abuse them chronically as well as get prescriptions for higher doses.
The study’s authors hypothesized that it might be because the most common forms of chronic pain, like fibromyalgia, are more common in women. A woman typically also has less body mass than a man, making it easier to overdose.
In addition, women are also more likely to be given prescriptions of psychotherapeutic drugs, like antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, Volkow says.
That is significant because people who overdose are much more likely to have been taking a combination of those drugs and pain medication.
NEW MEXICO POLICY MAKERS ASKING FOR MARIJUANA TO FIGHT THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC
NEW MEXICO HAS THE HIGHEST DRUG OVERDOSE DEATH RATE IN THE NATION FOR MAJORITY OF THE LAST TWO DECADES
The number of overdose deaths involving opiates and heroin has almost doubled around the country since the year 2000. In 2014, 547 New Mexicans died of a drug overdose. Drug overdoses killed more New Mexicans than firearms, motor vehicle crashes, and falls combined. This statistics have New Mexico policy makers asking for marijuana to fight the opioid epidemic.
Pain specialists, people recovering from addiction, community members, and drug policy reformers came together to call for the allowance of medical cannabis to treat addiction.
“I am trying to save my hometown and my state with something that works,” said Anita Briscoe, M.S., A.P.R.N.-B.C, “As a medical practitioner I’ve seen evidence over the years of medical cannabis working to help people stop or reduce opioid use. We have to make this option accessible to prevent needless deaths and patient suffering. Our communities are broken and in desperate need responsible solutions.”
In the midst of the opioid crisis, lawmakers have been trying to find an alternative solution that treats drug use as a public health issue. The laws and policies in New Mexico remain on criminalization of drug offenses, and deaths from opioid related drug overdoses have not fallen. Research has shown that medical marijuana is not only an effective pain treatment, and it can lower the amount of opioids people take.
LEGAL MEDICAL MARIJUANA AND OPIOIDS
Statistics have shown that States with medical marijuana as an option have a significant reduction in mortality from opioid abuse. There was a 25 percent reduction in opioid overdose deaths, resulting in 1,700 fewer deaths in 2010 alone. Similarly, another recent report by Castlight Health, found almost double the occurrence of opioid abuse in states that did have legal medical marijuana. Specifically, in those states, 5.4 percent of individuals with an opioid prescription qualified as abusers of the drug, whereas only half or 2.8 percent of individuals with an opioid prescription living in medical marijuana states qualified as opioid abusers. Used in combination with opioid pain medications, marijuana can lower opioid side-effects, cravings and withdrawal severity as well as enhance the pain relieving effects of opioids, thereby allowing for lower doses and less risk of overdose.
“The bottom line is making medical cannabis accessible to New Mexicans who are dependent on opioids for pain management or who are struggling with opioid or heroin use will save lives,” says policy coordinator Jessica Gelay.
OPIOIDS AND MEDICAL MARIJUANA
“Cannabis and cannabis-derived products have been found to be safe and effective for treating certain types of chronic pain conditions, with over 9,000 patient/years of data from modern clinical studies in existence (Russo & Hohmann, 2012). A lethal toxic overdose of cannabis has never been documented because, unlike opioids, cannabis derived compounds, such as THC, do not depress respiration due to sparse receptor density in medullary centers ofthehumanbrain(Glass,Dragunow,&Faull, 1997; Herkenham et al., 1990). Furthermore, lifetime use is not significantly associated with increased morbidity, brain damage, or cerebral atrophy (Karst et al., 2003, Weiland et al., 2015, Russo et al. 2002).
Researchers have found that THC works in concert with opioid-based painkillers, to increase their combined effectiveness, particularly in cases of neuropathic pain. In addition to enhancing the pain relieving effects of opioids, THC also serves to lower the dose of an opioid necessary for relief thus minimizing the inherent risks of opioid use (Abrams, et al., 2011; Abrams et al., 2007, Desroches & Beaulieu, 2010; Lucas 2012; Wallace et al., 2007; Welch & Eads, 1999). Research in animals has also demonstrated that the addition of cannabinoids to opioids enhances analgesic efficacy, helps diminish the likelihood of the development of opioid tolerance, and can prevent opioid withdrawal symptoms (Morel et al., 2009).
Data gathered from states that have medical cannabis programs has shown a 24.8% reduction in deaths attributed to opioid- related overdose compared to states without programs (Bachhuber, Saloner, Cunningham, & Barry, 2014). Examination of the association between state medical cannabis laws and opioid analgesic overdose mortality in each year after implementation of the program showed that such laws were associated with a lower rate of overdose mortality that generally strengthened over time.” Safe Access Now
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Sources: Drug policy Alliance