The ongoing opioid crisis in Canada has garnered national attention. Law enforcement officers, government officials, and even healthcare practitioners are banding together to solve the crisis that has taken the lives of so many Canadians already.
One of the most promising methods for countering the opioid crisis in Canada looks to be medical cannabis.
What Might Cannabis Do?
A fair amount of medical research over the years has suggested cannabis may be an effective painkiller. In fact, some research even suggests it may be as effective or even more effective than opioid medications themselves.
Medical marijuana may also be effective at treating particular kinds of pains, including hard-to-treat conditions like nerve pain. It may be a true alternative to opioid medications.
The Upside of Cannabis
Many patients with pain conditions are suffering from long-term pain. Chronic pain is rarely much more than manageable. The reason is it may not even have an identifiable cause. For those few patients whose pain does have an identifiable cause, such as fibromyalgia, it may not be treatable.
This means most people who seek out medication for pain conditions are not looking for cures. Rather, they’re seeking pain management solutions. They want to feel as little pain as possible so they can get on with their day-to-day lives as best they can. They will likely need to manage this pain for the rest of their lives.
Opioids are potentially the worst possible choice for long-term management of any condition. While they’re potent painkillers, they’re also highly addictive. Most medical protocols suggest taking people off medications such as morphine as quickly as possible to minimize the risk of addiction.
Medical marijuana, by contrast, is considered to be much less addictive. In fact, there are debates about whether or not cannabis is addictive at all. Some research suggests it may be less addictive than tobacco or alcohol, and most studies sugggest it’s less addictive than opioids.
The Creation of the Current Crisis
You may wonder how the opioid crisis in Canada even got underway. The answer lies in the prescribing practices of physicians and pharmaceutical companies. In order to treat chronic pain conditions in patients, many physicians wrote prescriptions for opioid medications backed by pharmaceutical companies.
While opioids are effective and do give people relief from pain conditions, they are also highly addictive over the long term. Doctors must have known what they were doing when they allowed prescriptions for opioids to double between 2006 and 2012.
Given what’s known about these substances, it’s not surprising that with a rising number of patients with opioid prescriptions, a rising number of addictions would follow suit. Many people have turned to various methods of obtaining more opioids to fuel their addiction, including turning to dangerous street drugs.
Can Cannabis Help Resolve the Crisis?
Many physicians have been reluctant to authorize medical cannabis in place of opioids. Stories and studies both give chronic pain patients hope, though. You don’t need to fall victim to the opioid crisis in Canada.
Many studies suggest cannabis may be just as effective at relieving difficult types of pain, and it may be much less addictive. It also seems to have many other benefits. Some patients have even reported reducing or eliminating their opioid use with the use of medical cannabis.
Whether you’re just been diagnosed with chronic pain or you’ve been using opioids for years, you can make the switch to a better alternative. Ask your doctor or another qualified medical practitioner today so you can help counter the opioid crisis in Canada and avoid becoming part of the statistics.