Key Facts About Cannabis & Opioids (From www.healer.com)
*Forty-four people die every day from prescription opioid overdose in America. Almost 7,000 people are treated in emergency rooms in the United States every day for misuse of a prescription opioid.
*Prescription opioid abuse is actually worse than heroin abuse. In 2014, there were around 19,000 overdose deaths from opioid prescriptions and around 11,000 overdose deaths from heroin. Nearly 80 percent of heroin users in the United States reported using prescription opioids before initiating heroin use.
*States with medical cannabis laws on average reduced opioid overdose deaths by 24.8 percent. And each year after the medical cannabis law was passed, the rate of opioid overdose deaths continued to decrease, according to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
*Extensive scientific, randomized controlled trials have shown that a cannabis oil extract can be an effective treatment for chronic neuropathic pain.
*Cannabis improves the pain relief that opioids provide. Medical scientists have found that administering opioids and cannabis together results in a greater-than-additive anti-pain effect, a synergistic reduction of pain.
*Cannabis makes opioid therapy safer by widening the therapeutic index so that a patient needs less opioids to get a strong analgesic effect.
*Cannabis can prevent opioid tolerance building and the need for dose escalation.
*Cannabis can treat the symptoms of opioid withdrawal — nausea, vomiting, spasms, cramping, insomnia. Cannabis users experience decreased opioid withdrawal severity.
*Cannabis can replace and reduce the use of opioids and other substances. Many patients use cannabis as a substitute for prescription drugs, illicit drugs, or alcohol.
*Cannabis therapy is safer than the other harm reduction options.