Is it possible to turn around the opioid epidemic with Florida Medical Marijuana?
Florida medical marijuana doctors say that Although marijuana can cause health problems if used in excess, there are no known cases of anyone dying from a marijuana overdose.
“The same cannot be said for opioids.”
An average of 1,000 Americans are treated in emergency rooms everyday for misusing prescription pills, and everyday, 40 people now die from prescription narcotic overdoses.
Many also move on to heroin because it is cheaper, easier to find, and more potent.
However, doctors in the United States write 259 million opioid prescriptions a year. The sales of these drugs have more than quadrupled since 1999.
Opioids prescribed for pain bring fast relief and an accompanying sense of calm. Both effects quickly wear off, and a higher dose is necessary to regain the same effects due to increased tolerance to the drug. When you take a prescription opioid, it blocks the neurotransmitters in your brain that inform you that you’re hurt. This takes your pain away by preventing you from feeling it. This is why opioids work so well post-surgery.
The pain-blocking mechanisms of marijuana are less understood. For starters, components in cannabis work with the endocannabinoid system AND the opioid system. The endocannabinoid system interacts with parts of the opioid system, but taking prescription opioids does not engage the endocannabinoid system in the way that consuming marijuana does.