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Former Chicago White Sox Dr. Discusses Potential for Cannabis Use to Combat the Opioid Epidemic

The former head doctor for the Chicago White Sox, Dr. Charles Bush-Joseph said on WGN radio that 80 percent of all prescriptions in the world written for opiates comes from the United States alone.

The Center for Disease Control says that almost 100 people died every single day from using opioids. The former head doctor for the Chicago White Sox, Dr. Charles Bush-Joseph said on WGN radio that 80 percent of all prescriptions in the world written for opiates comes from the United States alone. The doctor, who is also a professor at Rush University Medical Center, discusses how the over prescribing of narcotics leads to an increase in drug addiction. He says that marijuana can effectively be used instead of opiates, and there are several studies that concur with his assessment.

An August press release reported that the National Institutes of Health gave the Albert Einstein College of Medicine a 5 year grant to study the effects of cannabis on chronic pain. The study will also investigate if marijuana decreases the use of opiates in patients with a focus on HIV patients. Dr. Chinazo Cunningham of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine says that information about cannabis verses opiates for is lacking and that the study will give more guidance to the community.

Researchers in Illinois have found that patients who used medical marijuana were able to decrease their use of opiates, as well as other pharmaceutical drugs. The results were published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, and the study was a joint effort between DePaul and Rush Universities. Patients utilizing marijuana were also able to decrease drugs prescribed for seizures and anti-inflammatory drugs. Patients also reported that marijuana provided faster pain relief than prescribed drugs without negative side effects. Researchers are now saying that cannabis may be an effective way to ween off prescription drugs.

The University of Georgia conducted a study that found cities with marijuana dispensaries have a lower rate of overdoses from opiates, which can be supported by the study that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The findings are proof in the pudding that cannabis can help addiction for opiates. They found that legal medical marijuana states have 25 percent less opioid deaths than states where pot is illegal every year.

Author Bio: Niko Mann is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. She enjoys writing about activism, social justice, politics, education, marketing, and comedy.

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