To say that there is an opioid epidemic in the United States is an understatement. These painkillers have been over-prescribed and are causing complications for those who take them. Thankfully, a new avenue for pain-relief is starting to become popular.
An increasing number of doctors, including those associated with Dr. Oz, are starting to understand the benefits of medical marijuana when considering the pain management needs of their patients. Many patients who otherwise would have been prescribed opioids are now experiencing the benefits of medical marijuana (cannabis).
Opioids are commonly used in the management of pain. They are introduced to the bloodstream and affect receptors in the brain to keep us from experiencing the pain. The problem is this. The brain immediately tries to correct the effect of the opioids, so they don’t last long. This leads to patients taking more of the drugs and at higher dosages so they can feel relief from the pain.
As patients build-up a tolerance for the prescribed opioids and they become less effective, those chemicals remain in the bloodstream. This build-up of opioids in the bloodstream can lead to drowsiness, constipation, and in those with a tendency toward addiction, life-threatening consequences!
While opioids are effective in the management of short-term pain – as in after surgeries or emergency procedures when used long-term, they often present the complications mentioned above.
Medical marijuana may very well be the pain management option of choice for those with chronic pain. It has been proven to provide relief to patients diagnosed with certain forms of cancer, MS, and HIV-AIDS. Additionally, medical marijuana provides relief to nausea where opioids do not.
There is still much research to be done on the effects of medical marijuana and how it works to relieve pain in our bodies. But the dangers of opioids have been established and any alternative to their use is something to explore.
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