Patients are Using Medical Marijuana to Replace Opioids
People are starting to use marijuana for pain relief and other ailments instead of pharmaceuticals. Patients are frustrated that doctors aren’t knowledgeable on medical marijuana and are forced to take prescription drugs that are addictive and strong enough to kill.
Opiates such as oxycodone and methadone have become a plague. The Chicago Tribune reported that at least 15,000 people died from hydrocodone and oxycodone in 2015 alone. The advocacy group Medical Cannabis Alliance of Illinois is trying to get legislation passed that would permit patients to be prescribed marijuana for any condition that a doctor is prescribing opiates for. Medical marijuana patients in Illinois spent $8 million on cannabis in the month of August alone.
Fibromyalgia and cancer are the two most common ailments that people are treating with marijuana. The Illinois Department of Public Health reported that PTSD is the third most common, and many patients say that they have been able to take lower doses of their pharmaceuticals or eliminate them all together while using medical marijuana. It’s no wonder that pharmaceutical companies are spending millions of dollars lobbying against marijuana legalization, according to the Guardian.
Cancer patients are using marijuana for psychological and physical pain according to a new study done at a Washington cancer treatment center. Twenty-five percent of the cancer patients are using marijuana. They also found that the increase in use was due in part to legalization. The Cancer Research Center conducted a survey and 74 percent of patients wanted to know about marijuana for treatment from their doctors. Patients with cancer experience relief with marijuana from several symptoms including nausea, pain, stress, depression and insomnia.
Overdoses and addictions to prescription drugs are much lower in medical marijuana states, the Washington Post reported. Studies concluded that when given a choice, people are choosing pot over fatal prescription drugs. No one has ever died from overdosing on cannabis.