Could medical marijuana be the solution to the opioid epidemic? 22News discovered why marijuana decreases hospital visits for opioid abuse.
“For like 8 months I was taking them and I ended up on the fifth floor of Baystate because I just couldn’t handle it,” Robert Brunault, of Chicopee, said.
Ten milligrams of oxycontin was all it took to ease Brunault’s pain from multiple sclerosis. It was also all it took to get him addicted.
“Actually, I’m more alert,” Brunault said. ” When I was on the opiates, I was in like a brain fog.”
To escape his fog, Brunault turned to medical marijuana. And, recent studies are agreeing with his personal findings. Medical marijuana may be a better alternative to opioids.
22News asked Michael Evans at INSA dispensary in Easthampton: For someone dealing with multiple sclerosis, what would you recommend?
“Low THC, high CBDA count, which is going to help with that pain, help with that aspect of trying to shut the mind off without creating more of a scattered effect,” Evans said.
Evans says he’s helped multiple people make the switch from opioids to pot.
“The biggest thing that I’ve seen is people kind of find that mild relief necessary to get on with their day and still remain functional,” Evans said.
“I can still take a couple of hits or eat a pill or something and feel alright,” Brunault said.
The evidence that it helps is clear in at least 5 studies, but researchers admit there are negative side effects.
The drug and alcohol dependence found links between cannabis use and a higher risk of motor vehicle accidents.