The Opiate Epidemic seems to be affecting every single one of us personally. The United States currently has about 4.3% of the world’s total population and it has been reported that we consume upwards of 80% of the world’s opiates! These numbers can all be rebutted, but the bottom line is that even if it is closer to 40%, this is still a terrible problem! Enough stats we have heard them all...
HOWEVER, these numbers only account for what is tracked on the legal market. No one is out surveying how many people are buying their Heroin, Fentanyl, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, and even Suboxone on the black market.
Who is to blame for the opiate epidemic?
WHO CARES?!?! It’s obviously a problem that we must deal with whether we like it or not, regardless of who is at fault.
How do we attack it?
Addiction is a disease! This disease has mental and physical elements. This means that we need to treat the whole patient (mind and body). If we learned only 1 thing from other diseases like HIV, it’s that abstinence does not work! Neither does our current rehabilitation system. So, where does this leave us…
Answer: Medical Marijuana
Medical Marijuana can help these patients with their
- pain (Body)
- anxiety (Mind)
- sleep (Body and Mind)
- appetite (Body and Mind)
- tremors (Body)
- can help reduce cravings (Body and Mind)
- NOT possible to die from an overdose
- less than 9% addiction rate
- lower cost on our healthcare system
We do not have to trade an addiction to opiates, heroin, or Fentanyl for an addiction to Methadone or Suboxone. The numbers show these methods still have very high relapse rates.
This does not mean that Medical Marijuana is a miracle cure! Recovery is a team effort! It takes a patient who wants to get clean, a strong and understanding support system, and therapy (lots and lots of therapy). Marijuana may be a "Gateway drug" after all. Just not the direction that was originally thought.
Seems like a couple of very simple arguments to me. Why not allow this to happen? We can’t afford to not at least try! We owe it to our friends, family, neighbors and loved ones who are suffering! We just signed the “right to try”… let’s make it legal, easier, healthier and cheaper to do so.