There is an epidemic running rampant throughout our country. This disease and crisis have claimed the lives of at least 400,000 people since 1999. This epidemic is the disease of opioid addiction and abuse. The opioid epidemic has taken over American’s of all ages, backgrounds, and races, and it is our job to get in front of the problem and control it. The debate over the effects of opioids has fluctuated in the medical world for decades. On one hand, many medical professionals and alternative medicine advocates believe there are other effective pain management treatments.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine opioid addiction is defined as “a long-lasting (chronic) disease that can cause major health, social, and economic problems. Opioids are a class of drugs that act on the nervous system to produce feelings of pleasure and pain relief.” When an opioid is ingested, the drug latches on to the brain receptors thus providing pain relief. However, opioids can also be used in positive ways. These drugs have been commonly used to treat postoperative pain, cancer pain, and burns. 

Now the tricky questions begin to arise. Should we ban it? How can we regulate the prescription rates? How do we define “chronic pain”? Dr. Peter Abaci, one of the world’s leading experts on pain management and integrative medicine, states that “There is a lot more to pain management than just medication, even when it comes to treating postoperative pain.”  He claims that there are many other alternative pain management methods such as meditation, massage, and acupuncture. Since the beginning of time humans have been seeking ways to manage their chronic pain. According to the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, there is a happy medium between synthetic drug treatment and alternative treatment. Combining the use of synthetic drugs mixed with alternative treatments can reduce the risk of addiction due to prescription drugs. They have found that successful forms of alternative medicine include meditation, acupuncture, massage, homeopathy, naturopathy, herbal supplements, Ayurveda, and chiropractic therapy. 

Another alternative medicine treatment is medical marijuana. According to The National Institute on Drug Abuse, medical marijuana has been shown to treat medical conditions such as epilepsy, cancer pain, anorexia, anxiety, depression, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, and multiple sclerosis. They also note that “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not recognized or approved the marijuana plant as medicine.” However, as research into this topic is being conducted the NIDA states that “the scientific study of the chemicals in marijuana called cannabinoids has led to two FDA-approved medications in pill form, dronabinol, and nabilone, used to treat nausea and boost appetite.” Aside from the NIDA, there are many medical marijuana activists and advocates who believe that medical marijuana is a safe, natural alternative to prescribed opioid medication.

  1. Hannah 9 months ago

    This is a great article that bring about a lot of questions that appear in todays society. I liked that you started talking about the opioid epidemic, bringing in facts and information to help back up your claims. I liked how you wrote more as an educator rather than taking a side on the issue. I also believe that medical marijuana should be an alternate method to pain relief because it is natural and generally non addictive compared to the other common drugs used to treat pain. Nice job!

  2. Sam 9 months ago

    I really liked how you used the problem of opioid use as an introduction for your argument. It made your claim authentic and mature by presenting a solution to a present problem. You did a good job of providing a lot of facts from credible sources and weaving them into your article nicely.

  3. Prerna 9 months ago

    Hi Olivia,
    I am impressed by the way you don’t exactly take a side on the argument but instead act like an audience member who is looking for why this is such a heated topic in today’s world. I also like the fact that you bring in professional opinions and facts on the issue itself. I agree that we must look at medical marijuana as something that can have many benefits in the medical world but also be careful as to who to give it to.

  4. Tiffany 9 months ago

    This article was very well written. I also agree that marijuana should be accessible to those who need it. Because it’s not, people are suffering.

  5. David 9 months ago

    Estimada Olivia;

    Estoy asombrado por su publicación (Marihuana medical) porqué la marihuana es algo importante en la vida cotidiana, y que si se usa como medicamento es más importante. Por que según los expertos la marihuana se puede usar como medical.
    Una frase que usted escribió que se destaca para mi es “Otro tratamiento de medicina alternativa es la marihuana medicinal. Según el Instituto Nacional sobre el Abuso de Drogas, se ha demostrado que la marihuana medicinal trata afecciones médicas tales como epilepsia, dolor por cáncer, anorexia, ansiedad, depresión, VIH / SIDA, abuso de sustancias y esclerosis múltiple.” creo que esto es algo más importante relacionado con la marihuana por que la marihuana puede curar algunas heridas que las medicinas no pueden.
    Gracias por su escritura. Espero ver lo que escribes a continuación , porque quiero aprender más sobre la marihuana y su uso en las enfermedades.


  6. Lezly 9 months ago

    Estimada Olivia:
    Estoy muy interesada con su publicación “Medical Marijuana”, porque tiene mucha razón que muchas personas tienen problemas mentales por causa de esa droga.
    Es muy importante que las personas tengan conocimiento de los daños que puede causar esta droga.
    Muchas personas la usan como medicina pero es malo usarla diariamente puede causar problemas.
    Una frase que usted escribió que se destaca para mi es: “Esta enfermedad y crisis ha cobrado la vida de al menos 400,000 personas desde 1999”. Creo que esto es muy importante saberlo que consumir esta dosis puede perjudicarte.
    No solo a ti si no que también perjudica a las personas que están a tu alrededor.
    Gracias por tu escritura.
    Espero ver lo que escribes a continuación, por que me gusta mucho la forma en que escribes tus publicaciones. Das a conocer muchas cosas sobre las drogas.

  7. Maddie 9 months ago

    I am impressed at this article. I believe that medical marijuana should be accessible to those who are seeking pain relief. I like how you incorporated data and studies showing that the medical marijuana does in fact, decrease pain significantly without many side affects. Overall, good job.

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