Wall Street Signals: If The Cannabis Industry Is Serious About Health Care, It Must Learn From The Opioid Crisis

If The Cannabis Industry Is Serious About Health Care, It Must Learn From The Opioid Crisis



America is in pain.
Opioids, once thought to be a “wonder drug” for curing pain, are now the driving force behind America’s most pressing health concern: addiction. The problem began in 1986 when doctors and health organizations began advocating for the use of opioids to treat chronic pain, according to the Mayo Clinic.
In the three decades since, opioid use has built to a full-blown, fever pitch crisis. From rural West Virginia to Chicago’s inner city, communities have been inundated with prescription pain killers and their illicit counterparts like heroin. One West Virginia town with 3,200 residents has been flooded with 21 million prescription painkillers in the last decade alone.
As a result of our health care system’s overreliance on opioids, there are an estimated 2 million Americans who are dependent on opioids. Between 1992 and 2012, opioid prescriptions rose from 112 million annually to 282 million. Opioids are the leading cause of death in people under 50. The spike in opioid addictions and deaths is driven in large part by the wanton disregard for the effects of prescription painkillers on the part of drug manufacturers and prescribing doctors.
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Local Communities Fight Back
Communities are desperate to turn back the tide of opioid addiction. Florida, one of the states hit hardest by the crisis, with 14.4 deaths per 100,000 residents in 2016, is taking a novel approach.
In November, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced a lawsuit against Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ: WBA) and CVS Health Corp (NYSE: CVS), accusing them of worsening the opioid crisis by overselling painkillers and failing to take precautions to prevent illegal sales. 
Florida added the two drugstores to an earlier lawsuit the state filed against Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, and several opioid distributors.
Florida’s lawsuit is part of a growing trend of communities seeking to hold pharmacies and drug makers responsible for the record opioid addiction rates across the country.
Shital Parikh Mars, the CEO of South Florida wellbeing administrations association Progressive Care, contends that such claims speak to a hazy area, since it is hard to tell what comprises a deceitful remedy. Be that as it may, in the Florida case, it is obvious there is some obligation with respect to drug stores, she said. 
"When you have a few patients coming as a gathering from some specialist several miles away, there are warnings. You can see that they're not speaking the truth about their ailment state. They're not conversing with you about their consideration. They're not worried about the expense. They would prefer not to utilize protection. On the off chance that you overlook those warnings and you're simply keen on profiting, now you're putting individuals in danger. Also, that is the point at which you must hold individuals' feet to the fire." 
CVS representative Mike DeAngelis expelled the charges. 
"CVS has taken various activities to fortify our current protections to help address the country's narcotic scourge," DeAngelis said in an announcement, as per CNBC. 
In the event that the claims against medication producers and drug stores are fruitful, they could stamp a watershed minute in the battle against narcotic enslavement by expelling monetary motivators for specialists to generously recommend painkillers and lessening the quantity of pills accessible in networks. 
Tending to Underlying Issues 
Help can't come soon enough. As per another report in the American Journal of Public Health, narcotics will be in charge of 510,000 passings in the following decade. 
Basically expelling painkillers from the condition doesn't take care of the fundamental issues that are energizing narcotic use. 
The primary issue is endless agony. As indicated by the CDC, 50 million Americans experience the ill effects of constant agony, the main purpose behind narcotic medicines. As Vox contended not long ago, narcotics can't be expelled from the human services framework. Patients who are subject to narcotics should be securely weaned off, and specialists need to figure out how to treat torment without them. 
As some treatment focuses are learning, weed use can help narcotic addicts remain in treatment, where they can securely experience withdrawal and ideally proceed onward to non-narcotic types of treatment.