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Shifting to medical marijuana may help solve the US opioid crisis

We are all aware of the threat posed by opioid. In fact, the USA is in the midst of the worst opioid crisis of this century. What this really means is that medical scientists are looking for ways to counter the problem. Although so far no meaningful solution has been sought, their efforts may yield significant results hopefully in the future.

The crisis is not just distinctive to one region. Almost every other US state has found itself engulfed in the problem. Ohio, unfortunately, happens to be one of the top 5 states affected most by the opioid crisis.

Just about 2 years back, there were 3600 overdose deaths reported, the highest for any state in any one year. More on the unfortunate part was that the majority of the fatalities were of young age group.

The state legislators have from that point onwards been increasingly worried about the situation. They have tried exploring different preventive measures to get hold of the problem. One such solution comes in the form of the enactment of the medical marijuana bill.

Whether the bill will yield any positive results remain yet to be seen. There are both arguments in favor and in opposition to the act. The government however, believes that cannabis is a viable substitute for using opioids to treat chronic pain related complications.

How medical marijuana might solve the opioid crisis?

The critics, on one hand, would argue that the crisis requires a more widespread approach that targets the affected population. They feel that in order to curb the problem, people need to be made aware of the alarming situation.

However, proponents of the medical marijuana bill argue otherwise. For them, the approach can prove to be groundbreaking in the way we will deal with the crisis in the future. The proposition that put forward is as follows.

In most cases, people who are suffering from any chronic pain will be prescribed an opioid drug. The medicine may have healing property but there is always a tendency for the person to abuse on the said drug. As a result, the prescription is not then necessarily used solely for medical purposes. Due to the general unawareness about how much of the opioid to consume, people end up overdosing which consequently becomes fatal.

From the above paragraph, it is reasonable to infer two things.

  1. Opioid drugs are prescribed for people who have had a history of any chronic pain
  2. The abuse of the said drug can prove to be fatal for the consumer

Focusing on the above two points, the supporters of the medical marijuana bill argue that cannabis is a viable substitute for the drug. Since it also possesses the property of healing chronic pains, it should be prescribed instead of opioids.

On the other hand, it is pertinent to note that overdosing on marijuana is very rare. Only a tiny percentage of overdose cases are fatal. Suffice to say, marijuana is always a safe alternative to use

As a result, the proponents have decided on campaigning in favour of the bill as a way to solve the opioid problem.

Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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