In the News In the News
4-Year Trend of Rising Opioid Deaths Reversed in Colorado After Marijuana Legalization - Americans for Safe Access
Since legal recreational marijuana sales began in Colorado in January 2014, the state has seen a 6 percent drop in opioid deaths, according to research published in the American Journal of Public Health. The drop follows 14 years of rising opioid deaths, going back to the first year for which the researchers had data.
If nothing is done, we can expect a lot of people to die: A forecast by STAT concluded that as many as 650,000 people will die over the next 10 years from opioid overdoses — more than the entire city of Baltimore. The US risks losing the equivalent of a whole American city in just one decade.
Medical marijuana patients report reduction in use of prescription drugs - Americans for Safe Access
Some medical marijuana patients in Illinois say the drug has allowed them to reduce or eliminate their use of other prescription medication, a new study reports. The study by DePaul and Rush universities was small, with 30 participants, and involved only those who volunteered to respond to the topic, so researchers conceded the results might be biased in favor of marijuana. But it's believed to be the first peer-reviewed, published research of medical marijuana patients in Illinois.
In an attempt to reduce opioid use amid a nationwide abuse epidemic, insurance giant Cigna will no longer cover most OxyContin prescriptions in its group plans beginning January 1. "Our focus is on helping customers get the most value from their medications -- this means obtaining effective pain relief while also guarding against opioid misuse," Cigna Chief Pharmacy Officer Jon Maesner said in a statement Wednesday.
Former Pain Doc: 'If Opiates Didn’t Cause Tolerance, We Wouldn't Be Here' - Americans for Safe Access
Dr. Bobby Dey, a retired physician and pain management specialist, says that no one is at fault for America’s epidemic of opioid dependence and overdose—but that it had more to do with the nature of prescription painkillers themselves.
Drug, once rare, are now the in the U.S., surpassing peak annual deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents, guns and HIV infection. The data show that the situation is dire and getting worse. Until opioids are prescribed more cautiously and until effective opioid addiction treatment becomes easier to access, overdose deaths will likely remain at record high levels.
As seen with many medical conditions relating to treatment with marijuana, research into the benefits of the herb’s uses concerning rheumatism is still in its infancy. However, there have been a few rather interesting studies to date.
Dr. Nagel, who wrote an excellent book on chronic pain called Needless Suffering; How Society Fails Those With Chronic Pain, has been speaking on the issue since his book came out. I shared with him what feels like an intensifying anger and parallel hopelessness that has set in among some of our readers and presumably among many more chronic pain patients.
I thought it might be useful for other reporters, and people who are simply concerned and/or curious about fentanyl, to figure out which oft-reported claims are true, partially true, or flat out wrong. So I got in touch with the Stanford anesthesiologist Steven Shafer, an expert in the pharmacology of pain medicine. I've edited our exchange for length and clarity.
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.
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.
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?
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:
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.
At the recent Cannabis Science Conference, a “Docs and the Jocks” panel explored the role of cannabis in treating sports related injuries. Former NFL players Marvin Washington and Jim McMahon spoke about the stigma that remains present in the NFL towards those players who wish to treat their chronic pain with cannabis.
There is a bottom line people lose sight of when discussing the opioid crisis sweeping the country: Millions of Americans experience chronic pain every day. They need help, and painkillers created using opioids are highly effective.
Study finds legal cannabis may reduce use of dangerous prescription drugs - Americans for Safe Access
“The potential for addiction and health risks associated with using multiple scheduled drugs places additional direct monetary and health costs on patients and healthcare systems due to an increased number of side effects, risky drug interactions, dependency, and overdose” stated University of New Mexico researchers Jacob Miguel Vigil and Sarah See Stith, of a new study titled, Effects of Legal Access to Cannabis on Scheduled II-V Drug Prescriptions, which will be soon released in an upcoming issue of the Journal of American Medical Directors Association.
The Princeton economist Alan Krueger started with a question: What’s keeping young people out of work? Over the last two decades, the share of employed Americans in their prime has steadily tumbled — even as the economy recovered and businesses nationwide struggled to fill openings. In a new paper, Krueger argues that opioids pose more than just a health threat: They’re benching workers across the country.
The success that medical cannabis has seen in the past five years has prompted researchers and scientists to dive deep into the plant’s medicinal properties and uses, one of the most important being the aid that cannabis can provide for victims of opioid addiction and chronic pain.
One in 12 doctors accepts payment from pharmaceutical companies related to opioids - Americans for Safe Access
One in twelve physicians - and nearly one in five family medicine physicians - accepted payments from pharmaceutical companies related to opioids, according to a new study out of Boston Medical Center's Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine. This is the first large-scale, national study of industry payments involving opioids and suggests that pharmaceutical companies may have a stronger hold than previously known on how doctors prescribe the powerful drugs.
Letter: Medical cannabis can be a lifeline for those suffering from severe pain - Americans for Safe Access
Our nation’s addiction to opioids has been building for 10 years and Illinois’ failed medical cannabis policies compound this problem, putting our patients at a dangerous and potentially deadly disadvantage. The Tribune reported on President Donald Trump’s declaration labeling the opioid epidemic a national emergency. As a seasoned orthopedic surgeon, I can attest to the devastating effects opioid dependency has on my patients, their families and friends, and our society as a whole. It is a critical public safety issue that must be addressed immediately.
On Thursday, August 10th, President Donald Trump told reporters that “the opioid crisis is an emergency…a national emergency.” President Trump is correct: the United States is in the middle of an opioid epidemic. From 1999-2015, over 183,000 Americans died from prescription-opioid overdoses. More worrisome than the total number of overdoses is that opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 1999, resulting in 33,091 deaths in 2015, with 16,000 alone from prescription opioid pain relievers.
It's hard to go a day in Canada without hearing about at least one of two types of drugs – but for vastly different reasons. One class of drug—opioids —kills four people a day in British Columbia. The other —cannabis —will be legal for adult purchase and consumption by this time next year.
Can marijuana save the day? Not yet. But Americans in pain are already turning to the marijuana plant.
The hope: One day you’ll have a choice of varieties or formulations of compounds in marijuana — called “cannabinoids” — that bring relief, aren’t addictive, and leave your mind clear.
Safe Access Tennessee, a group working to advance cannabis therapeutics is speaking out. The medical marijuana group originally had plans to be part of tonight's Nashville Sounds educate Tennessee charity night -- when the entire event got canceled on Friday.
As President Donald Trump declares the nation’s opioid epidemic a national emergency, there are still many questions about how to tackle the problem in a meaningful and long-lasting manner. One advocate for treating addiction, Joe Schrank, believes the answer lies in legalized medicinal marijuana. Schrank has detailed efforts to use cannabis as a conduit to wean addicts from using of harmful opioids as part of High Sobriety, a California-based treatment program.
Neuropathy is a generalized term which signifies exhibited symptoms of nerve damage in human beings—neuropathic pain is one of these symptoms. Neuropathy pain arises from a wide variety of sources that all stem from nerve injury, including: “diabetes mellitus…infections, alcoholism, traumatic injuries, autoimmune diseases, medications, infections, tumors, and inherited disorders”.
Dose reduction may improve pain, function, and quality of life for patients prescribed long-term opioid therapy for chronic pain. Results of a systematic evidence review are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
Approximately 10 million U.S. adults are prescribed long-term opioid therapy for chronic pain. This dramatic increase in opioid prescribing has been accompanied by increases in opioid overdose. Expert guidelines recommend reducing or discontinuing long-term opioid therapy when risks outweigh the benefits, but evidence on the effects of dose reduction on patient outcomes had not been systematically reviewed.
Amid a drug crisis that kills 91 people in the U.S. each day, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has asked Congress to help roll back protections that have shielded medical marijuana dispensaries from federal prosecutors since 2014, according to a letter made public this week. Those legal controls—which bar Sessions’s Justice Department from funding crackdowns on the medical cannabis programs legalized by 29 states and Washington, D.C.—jeopardize the DoJ’s ability to combat the country’s “historic drug epidemic” and control dangerous drug traffickers, the attorney general wrote in the letter sent to lawmakers.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently said he was “astonished” by claims that legal marijuana could solve the opioid crisis devastating the nation. However, a new study firmly linked legalized weed to decreased opioid abuse and overdoses.