Blog Voices from the Frontlines
NAM special publication on how health clinicians can counter opioid epidemic - Americans for Safe Access
Halting the opioid epidemic requires aggressive action across multiple dimensions, including informed, active, and determined front-line leadership from health clinicians working in every setting throughout the nation, says a new National Academy of Medicine (NAM) special publication developed at the request of the National Governors Association to assist the nation's governors as they work with clinicians to counter the opioid crisis.
Councilmember David Grosso Sets Example for Local Leadership in Opioid Crisis - Americans for Safe Access
Washington D.C. — District of Columbia Councilmember David Grosso introduced improvements to the nation’s capitol’s medical cannabis program yesterday, recognizing the power of cannabis to fight the opioid crisis. The Medical Marijuana Improvement Amendment Act of 2017 reduces major barriers that previously existed in D.C.’s medical cannabis program. Councilmember Grosso is joined by Councilmembers Vincent Grey, Robert White, Jr., and Brianne Nadeau in introducing this important bill.
The legislation, which shares components of model legislation drafted by Americans for Safe Access, increases access to medical cannabis for the residents of the District of Columbia - particularly those who struggle with chronic pain. Significantly, it allows a patient to receive cannabis on the same day a patient is issued a doctor’s recommendation, like any other medicine, and allows for delivery of medical cannabis. It also allows a patient without a primary care physician to self-certify a medical condition through a signed affidavit. Low income patients who struggle to pay for doctor's visits will particularly benefit from these provisions.
Women and Opioids: Inside the Deadliest Drug Epidemic in American History - Americans for Safe Access
Thirty-one women will lose their lives to opioids today. This special report details how the crisis is impacting all of us—and what it will take to end it.
37 state AGs call on insurance industry to prioritize non-opioid pain meds: 3 things to know - Americans for Safe Access
Attorneys general from 37 states are urging insurers to alter their coverage policies to prioritize non-opioid pain medications over opioids for the treatment of chronic pain not related to cancer.
A stitch in time saves nine. This may not be the reality we want or a society we court but we are in a crisis mode as far as opioids use is concerned. How did we get here? Who is to blame? Could it be our government or the physicians prescribing opioids? Some have argued culpability for civil society and of course who would forget the drug companies?
Valencia Elliott grew up in what she calls a tough part of the country where she’d regularly smell cannabis being smoked, but she never had any interest in it. That changed late in life when her husband, an Army veteran who’d been exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, confided he had cancer. Worse, he’d been hiding a prostate cancer diagnosis for a year, and by the time he told her, he also had two other types of cancer. That was June 3, 2015, but the nightmare had already started. She didn’t know what was wrong, but they were already going back and forth to the hospital with complaints about his pain.
By Larry Gabriel for the Detroit Metro Times
Another reason I think that much of our government leadership doesn't believe marijuana is medicine is that in all of the legislating that has been done, there has been nothing calling for medical qualifications or standards — or anything else regarding the medical side of this. (Americans for Safe Access has a Cannabis Care Certification program you can learn about at CannabisCareCertification.org).
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) on Medical Cannabis and the Opioid Epidemic - Americans for Safe Access
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) took to the Senate floor yesterday to discuss a bill related to medical cannabis research, but in his remarks he connected the issue of medical cannabis to the larger issue of the opioid epidemic:
We are a nation in pain. The exact numbers are a matter of (contentious) debate, but somewhere between 11 and 30 percent of us are in chronic pain. Our backs hurt and our joints ache, we have irritable bowel syndrome and we get migraines on the regular.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is taking steps to remedy the problem of suicide in the veteran community. Dr. Nicole Braida is the Associate Chief of Staff for Mental Health at the South Texas VA. She says that over-prescription and misuse of opioid medication has created problems for the veteran community, leading to suicides and premature deaths.