Ohio's Opioid Epidemic
The United States is currently in the grips of a horrific heroin and opiate epidemic that has plagued our streets and households, devastating families and friends throughout the country, including those throughout the state of Ohio.
While on the surface it may seem like the opiate epidemic only strikes in the form of street drugs, like heroin, research has shown that roughly 60% of opiate-related deaths were from prescription medications.
Due to relaxed legislation of these medications, and harsh federal laws that suppress the science and availability of medical and recreational marijuana, patients simply seeking relief from pain or other conditions have been prescribed dozens of different medications that can result in disastrous side effects. Worse, a great many of these prescribed medications can vary significantly in success for their prescribed conditions.
Opioids continue to claim more lives than any other drug overdose – and this is by no small margin! In 2016, opioids were responsible for taking the lives of 42,249 people, 5 times higher than what this figure was in 1999. Instead of opting for medical marijuana treatment for chronic pain and other difficult conditions, many doctors write blanket opioid prescriptions, furthering this vicious and deadly cycle.
Heartbreakingly, too many individuals across Ohio either know, or know of, at least one person who has grappled with the tremendous difficulties of opioid or heroin abuse. Our state alone had the second highest death toll in the country due to opioid overdose, with 46 out of every 100,000 people losing their life (there are roughly 11.66 million residents in Ohio).
Can Medical Marijuana Help Opioid Abuse and Addiction?
Researchers studying the link between medical marijuana and opioid overdose data quickly noticed that the rates of fatal opioid overdoses were significantly lower in states that had legalized medical marijuana.
Just in 2010, states with legalized medical marijuana saw approximately 1,700 fewer opiate-related overdose deaths, a 25% reduction in prescription painkiller overdose fatalities. Researchers from Medicare even found a 14% reduction in overall opioid prescriptions in states with access to medical marijuana.
And by blocking the reward pathways, or addictive components of opioids, one of marijuana’s key ingredients, cannabidiol (otherwise known as “CBD”), has also been shown to assist in helping opioid users beat their addiction, as well as temper the cruel symptoms of withdrawal. Tinctures and oils are available to not only treat patients suffering from chronic pain, but to assist in reducing addiction to deadly medications.
For too long the pharmaceutical and opiate industry (sometimes called Big Pharma) have made too much money from suffering patients, many of whom would qualify for and benefit from medical marijuana. The data is behind the medical marijuana industry, and so is the state of Ohio now, thanks to Ohio HB 523, which allows medical marijuana use for qualifying conditions.
We at Ohio Marijuana Card are here to help potential patients find the treatment they deserve. Contact our offices to set up an appointment with a state-licensed medical marijuana doctor to begin your journey getting off of opioids and back to better, healthier holistic living. You can read more about the devastating effects of the opioid epidemic in Ohio here.