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Study Finds Patients Prefer Marijuana Over Opioids

Posted on in Drugs and Narcotics

Chicago criminal defense attorneyPrescription opioid abuse is now a full-blown epidemic in the United States. Between 1999 and 2015, an estimated 183,000 people died from opioid overdoses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1,000 people per day are treated in emergency rooms for misuse of opioids. Drug overdoses now cause more deaths annually than automobile crashes, and opioids are the leading cause of overdoses by a wide margin.

Many individuals who become addicted to opioid-based medication begin taking the medicine for a legitimate reason and have a doctor’s prescription. After the bottle of pills—often hydrocodone, oxycodone or meperidine—is empty, however, individuals look to illegal sources. Many turn to heroin, fentanyl, and other street products with potentially devastating effects. A new study suggests, however, that starting down the path of opioids is not the preferred solution for most patients in need of pain medication

What Patients Want

Researchers from the University of California Berkeley and Kent State University recently published a study in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research about cannabis use for pain management. Participants in the study were surveyed regarding their preference for pain management—specifically whether they preferred medical marijuana or opioid-based treatment. The clear majority—93 percent—of participants reported that they would rather use cannabis to manage their pain instead of opioid-based medicine.

Of the 2,810 individuals surveyed, 97% reported that they were able to decrease their intake of opioids when using medical marijuana. Many also reported that medical marijuana had caused fewer side effects, such as constipation and nausea, than opioid painkillers. The study concluded that, if given the choice, the majority of participants would rather use medical marijuana to manage chronic pain than opioids.

A Dangerous Path

Opioid addiction can happen to anyone. Studies show that it is not only one socioeconomic class or race that is affected by this crippling addiction; opioid overdoses are on the rise for African Americans, Latinos, and Caucasian populations in both wealthy and poor communities. The deaths of many celebrities, including Prince, Heath Ledger, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Cory Monteith have also been attributed to drug overdoses involving opioids.

Sadly, addiction can make individuals very desperate and even willing to break the law. If you or a loved one has been arrested on drug charges because of an addiction, there may be programs available to help restore and protect your future. Contact an experienced Chicago drug crimes attorney to discuss your options today. Call 773-276-5541 for a free consultation at Luisi Legal Group.

 

Sources:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/how-bad-is-the-opioid-epidemic/

https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/overdose.html

http://www.sciencealert.com/93-of-patients-prefer-cannabis-over-opioids-for-managing-their-pain-according-to-new-study

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