At seonganjuk, we’ve written time and again about the opioid epidemic ravaging the United States. This is not a new issue — but it is getting worse. 

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recently released the results of a year-long study which tracked overdose-related hospital visits throughout the U.S. between June 2016 and September 17. During the course of that year, opioid overdose rates rose on average by 30 percent throughout the country.

The Midwest saw the most alarming changes, with overdose rates surging up 70% — Wisconsin experienced the worst rise, a 109% increase — but every major region of the country has seen overdose rates go up. Overdoses in large cities increased on average by 56% and, according to the report, individuals who have had at least one overdose already are more likely to suffer another.

Opioids do not discriminate based on age, sex, race, or economic status: every community is affected and everyone — whether directly as an addict or indirectly as a family member, friend, or bystander — is a potential victim. Opioid users frequently become hooked on doctor-prescribed pharmaceutical painkillers and, when their prescription runs out, turn to black market sources for said pharmaceuticals (or for heroin).

In its report, the CDC makes several recommendations to help federal agencies, state governments, and individuals better prepare themselves for the fight against deadly narcotics. Some of these tips include streamlining communications between state health departments and their local communities, increasing the distribution of overdose-reversing drugs such as naloxone, and the use of prescription drug monitoring programs. Notably, the CDC fails to mention the rising popularity of an effective pain treatment that is both non-toxic and non-addictive: medical cannabis.

Multiple studies have shown that opioid overdose rates have gone down in states with an established medical marijuana program, especially if said program allows access to the plant as a treatment for chronic pain. In fact, patients consistently indicate that they were able to decrease or entirely halt their opioid intake by switching to cannabis and, even with the number of cannabis users steadily increasing, there remain zero recorded deaths attributed to a cannabis overdose.

Dissenters and an alarming number of lawmakers, however, continue to tout disproved, Drug War-era theories about the gateway effect or some other half-cocked excuse like, “We haven’t done enough research yet,” or my personal favorite, “We shouldn’t increase access to an illegal drug during times of crisis” — as if a thing could be good or bad for you based on something as arbitrary as its legality.

This CDC report might have just been released, but nothing in this article is new except the rising number of victims. Lawmakers, companies, and individuals who refuse to take action on this issue or who are purposefully blocking medical cannabis reforms should be seen as complicit in the opioid epidemic’s daily death toll, which last year surpassed 170 Americans per day.

Do you own a cannabis industry business? Create a listing in our directory and get discovered by new clients - Click Here

Tags: , | Categories: Medical Marijuana News Opinions & Editorials

Learn about cannabis businesses:

View the directory | Get featured here

  • Headset

    Headset is the first real-time business intelligence and analytics service for the cannabis industry. We are a data-driven cannabis tech company and we’re passionate about helping the industry succeed. Our services cover an array of specialized needs that businesses in the industry have, be they growers, extractors, processors, or retailers.

  • CannaSafe Solutions

    CannaSafe Solutions is the one-stop-shop for all the safety needs of your cannabis growhouse, dispensary, lab, or edibles manufacturing facility. We provide all of the safety equipment and apparel you need to protect your employees, your plants, and your business.

  • The Hybrid Creative

    We are an award-winning, full spectrum creative agency with expertise in cannabis and eCommerce. We have supported the creative strategy and successful growth of cannabis brands such as Care by Design, Korova, Bhang, AbsoluteXtracts, Wildflower, and BDS Analytics. Website design and development, company and product naming, logo design, brand development, brand strategy, packaging, labeling, marketing collateral, sales tool kit collateral, digital marketing strategy, and social media support are a few of the many services we offer. If you’re looking for an experienced, forward-thinking, creative agency with a proven track record of success to elevate your brand and empower your success, welcome to The Hybrid Creative!

  • Moriconi Flowers Ltd.

    Moriconi Flowers Ltd. is a law firm dedicated to applying decades of legal expertise to the emerging commercial and medical cannabis and hemp markets in the United States and abroad. Building off of careers in commercial litigation, transactional debt instruments, oil and gas regulation, liquor licensing, insurance coverage, and catastrophic loss, the attorneys at Moriconi Flowers Ltd. routinely navigate regulated markets.

  • Releaf App

    Releaf App is a patent pending mobile app that enables patients to track their live sessions with cannabis and record exactly how it’s helping them. It then provides intelligent reporting to help patients learn what types of cannabis and intake methods are working best in treating their symptoms. Patients can share these reports with doctors and/or budtenders to discuss their treatment and identify their best options.

  • Portable Smoke

    Portable Smoke is your online destination for purchasing portable discreet items for your smoking needs. We recognize that smoking may be a discreet and a recreational activity to participate in alone or with trusted friends. As a result, we specialize in selling grinders and bowls that you can hide right under everyone’s nose.

  • Craft Cannabis Marketing

    We offer two decades of experience providing advertising, branding, and web design solutions to the most recognizable brands from around the globe. Simply put, we decided to take the expertise we gleaned working with big-name companies you know and love and bring it to the emerging cannabis industry. We’re more than a mere agency – we’re cannabis advocates.

  • Lightning Labels

    Lightning Labels uses state-of-the-art printing technology to provide affordable, full-color custom labels and stickers of all shapes and sizes. From small orders for individuals to the bulk needs of big businesses, Lightning Labels is equipped to handle and fulfill custom label and product sticker orders of all types. Best of all, like the name implies, Lightning Labels provides exceptionally quick turnaround for all your printing needs.

  • My Cannabis Accountant

    We are a Boutique Accounting firm focused on the cannabis industry. Our management team has over 100 years of combined experience in public accounting. Running a legal cannabis-based business can be complicated. Let us make sure your business is compliant with all federal, state and local financial regulations so that you can focus on your business.

  • Tax Center & Accounting LLC

    Complete tax and accounting services for your cannabis business. We are a full-service Tax and Accounting firm dedicated to providing the highest quality of service and support to small and medium-sized businesses and individuals.

  • HappyChap Creative

    An upstart design/build/create/help/strategize agency based in the Pacific Northwest. We help good people & companies get the recognition they deserve through clever, honest communication and the right look. We love working with cannabis brands who set a high bar for quality and who emphasize the positive impact that cannabis legalization will have on the world.

  • GRND: Global Recruiting Network Development

    GRND is a global recruiting agency that specializes in executive recruiting. GRND recruits and retains elite professionals that bring leadership, ethics, professionalism, and innovation to the cannabis industry. At GRND, we’ve created a culture of community that stretches across continents. We value our candidates and clients by bringing value to their lives and businesses. When we work together, we grow together. Ready To Grow?

Want a job in the cannabis industry?

Sign up to apply for unlimited jobs and get discovered by companies who are hiring

Post Your Resume View all jobs

Best vacancies

Subscribe for daily cannabis news, announcements, and business insights.

Stay informed about the latest cannabis industry news, policy progress, and business developments.