President Trump is expected today to declare a public health emergency for opioids. I find that kind of ironic considering it was the lack of actual freedom in the United States that led to this crisis in the first place.
Why a public health emergency? Perhaps the 150 Americans that die every day at the hands of an opioid is a start. (That’s a new 9/11 every twenty days…)
But aren’t opioids safe? They are sold by the big pharmaceutical companies and prescribed by doctors! They must be the best option for us!
Opioids are NOT our only option! Opioids are NOT safe! In fact they are very toxic. Let’s review.
An opioid is a substance that “acts on opioid receptors to produce morphine-like effects.”
Morphine is a “pain medication of the opiate type which is found naturally in a number of plants and animals. It acts directly on the central nervous system to decrease the feeling of pain.”
Sounds great, no?! A substance that occurs naturally in the Universe that can alleviate our pain!? Sign me up!
BUT WAIT! Are there any negative side effects associated with opioids?
There sure are.
According to Wiki:
The side effects of opioids may include itchiness, sedation, nausea, respiratory depression, constipation, and euphoria. Tolerance and dependence will develop with continuous use, requiring increasing doses and leading to a withdrawal syndrome upon abrupt discontinuation. The euphoria attracts recreational use, and frequent, escalating recreational use of opioids typically results in addiction. An overdose or concurrent use with other depressant drugs commonly results in death from respiratory depression.
So opioids may decrease the feeling of pain but will definitely include side effects as serious as DEATH.
Should another option be available, would it not make more sense to replace the toxic pain reducing substance with something that cannot lead to death?
I believe it would. And I’m not the only one.
Multiple studies (and common sense, if anyone uses that anymore) show that cannabis usage is associated with lower opioid usage.
Lower opioid usage leads to fewer opioid related deaths.
Fewer people dying because they were legislated into using one naturally occurring (potentially deadly) pain reliever over another naturally occurring (non toxic) pain reliever is a very good thing.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine states: “Legalization of cannabis in Colorado was associated with short-term reductions in opioid-related deaths. As additional data become available, research should replicate these analyses in other states with legal recreational cannabis.” (source)
Yet cannabis remains illegal in some form in two dozen states and in all forms under Federal Law. This is insane!
For a country that self-proclaims it “leads the world in freedom” America certainly does not lead the world in “allowing its citizens to pick and choose what they put in their own bodies.”
As long as Americans are forced to play the USA prescription drug game where drug companies, politicians and bureaucrats have more control over the individual than the individual herself, people will continue to needlessly die at the hands of the opioids they are forced to use.