There has been a lot of chatter lately about the opiate crisis in the US. Missouri seems to be one of the first offenders (not the doctors I see obviously). However, if we’d just spend 10 minutes in logical thought, the answer has revealed itself already.
What is the opiate crisis? Doctors have been prescribing opiate painkillers for so long that people are addicted and they do things they shouldn’t to get opioids. This was backed by pharmaceutical companies all over the country, even rewarding some doctors for prescribing them. And it’s true, they can be a serious problem if you are addicted.
For the most part, this means people like me who need opiates for pain relief because Tramadol is a joke, suffers from debilitating pain without an end in sight until they start surgically poking and prodding on things.
However, if you look at the states with legalized marijuana…
- They have lower opiate addiction rates.
- They have lower opiate prescription rates.
- They have lower opiate overdose deaths.
- And patients with chronic pain or illnesses report a higher quality of life.
I understand all of this very personally. Several of my family members suffer from chronic pancreatitis. Opiates do not relieve the pain when they have an attack or flare up. Yet, that is exactly what they are prescribed for it in my state. Ask any of them and they’ll tell you, marijuana works better and actually prevents the flare ups.
Even my nerve damage pain would be easier to manage with a special brownie than with a bottle of percocet (not that I get bottles of percocet… I always get Tramadol which is the equivalent of taking NoDoze for me – I don’t sleep well, it doesn’t impact my pain, even with Tylenol it does nothing for me except disrupt my life even more than the pain). But there are days when I have to have something. I ate lunch on Sunday. I had about two bites of food on Sunday night at dinner because my pain had gotten so bad that food made me feel sick to my stomach. Monday, I managed to choke down three bites of my lunch, but it really was choking it down. With every bite, I expected to puke.
I got a terrible migraine from the lack of food on Tuesday. Where were my doctors? Beats me. I called both Monday and Tuesday to tell them that 1) my pain had increased exponentially and was happening on both sides and 2) that it was bad enough it was making me nauseous and no one ever bothered to return my phone call. I eventually got a prescription refilled for Tramadol and after taking 100mgs of it along with 900mgs of Gabapentin and 1000mgs of Tylenol, I was surprisingly less nauseated and was able to get a little food into me.
But that is a lot of drugs. Most of them the max doses at a single time. I was also completely brain fried. My head didn’t feel connected to my body. My legs didn’t want to work. I was still in pain – it had gone from a 9 to a 7, but coherency and logical thought had gone right out the window. I was doing good to figure out how to put on my shoes at that point. And yet, I still hadn’t heard from the nurse practitioner at my pain management office and I still was in so much pain was I barely making it. I did a lot of crying on Monday and Tuesday. I am writing this on Tuesday night and imagine I will do a fair amount of crying and cursing Wednesday night because dart league starts back up and I have to go. Not to play, but to make sure people are signing up properly with the stat program we are using and I already know the chairs there make me hurt. I will sit in an uncomfortable chair and it will take my pain from an 8 or a 9 to a 12 and I still won’t be able to do anything about it. i’m not even sure if I will be able to keep food in my system on Thursday because of it… frankly, mixing that many drugs makes me nervous about whether I’m going to go to sleep and wake up the next morning.
So, I have chronic pain from nerve damage. I also have an anxiety disorder and lately, I’ve been battling depression, but I can’t take antidepressants, which makes that a complete and total clusterfuck – pardon my language. All three things respond well to marijuana usage. But it’s illegal in my state and I tend to be one of those people who tries to follow the law all the time… Meaning, I don’t partake even though I know it holds some therapeutic and realistic medical value to me.
And my doctors don’t seem to care that Tramadol doesn’t work for me. They seem to think I have another agenda when I tell them that it fucks up my sleep and doesn’t even take the edge off the pain. However, Tramadol works on Serotonin levels and I can’t take antidepressants because SSRIs which also work on Serotonin make me stop sleeping and bring me close to having a psychotic break from reality…. but since Tramadol isn’t an SSRI, it should be fine. They’ve actually told me that.
Sorry, I started rambling. I told you my head was not connected to my body. I can’t even read the clock on my computer at the moment. It looks very far away and possible in Roman Numerals (yep, dangerous drug mixing). Anyway, if we want to stop the opiate crisis and actually start treating people and relieving their pain and mental illnesses, it’s time to stop with these archaic Prohibition Era laws and just legalize marijuana in all 50 states, including mine which even regulates hemp oil to some degree.