If you suffer from any type of illness, you are most likely looking for the most effective treatments or cures. After all, feeling unwell seriously impacts your quality of life and pain makes it even worse. Most doctors recommend a treatment plan based on conventional medicine, regardless of the condition. However, the opiate crisis, legalization of medical marijuana and an increased interest in complementary treatments all suggest that different approaches should at least be considered. If you think you’re not currently getting the best results, you may want to reconsider your current treatment plan.
Opiate addiction has reached crisis levels
Opiate addiction has become a public health crisis and more than 90 Americans die from opioid overdoses. This includes prescription pain killers as well as heroin and the synthetic drug fentanyl. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2015 more than 33 000 Americans died as a result of an opioid overdose while around 2 million people suffered from substance use disorders related to prescribed opioid pain relievers.
Furthermore, it is estimated that around 21 to 29 percent of patients who are prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them while between 8 and 12 percent develop an opioid use disorder. Even more alarming is that about four to six percent of those who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin. In addition, about 80 percent of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids. Given the statistics, many people are looking for alternative treatments for their illnesses.
Medicinal marijuana can be prescribed
An increasing number of states are allowing people to legally use medical marijuana. Pain medicine specialist at the University of California Davis Medical Center Barth Wilsey MD tells WebMD people usually ask for medical marijuana because of pain. The pain could be due to frequent headaches or diseases and conditions including multiple sclerosis, cancer, HIV and seizure disorders.
Laura Borgelt, PharmD, of the University of Colorado explains that the human body already makes chemicals similar to marijuana which have an effect on pain and inflammation. Marijuana can help them to work better. See Aleafia here for more. In addition, the FDA has approved THC, the key psychoactive ingredient in marijuana to treat nausea and poor appetite. It’s available by prescription as Marinol (dronabinol) or Cesamet (nabilone).
Complementary medicines are growing in popularity
Complementary treatments and medicines are used alongside conventional Western options. When the term “alternative medicine” is used, this means these treatments are replacing conventional methods. Most people opt to continue using their doctors’ prescription alongside more natural therapies like acupuncture, chiropractic medicine, energy therapy and herbal medicine.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, more than 30 percent of American adults and about 12 percent of children use complementary approaches to treat and prevent illness. The 2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) found that 17.7 percent of American adults had used a dietary supplement other than vitamins and minerals in the previous year. It should be noted that while there is much anecdotal evidence about the effectiveness of these products, not enough research has been conducted on their safety and how they interact with other medicines.
If you’ve been consistently taking conventional medicine with little relief or you fear the effects of powerful prescription painkillers, you may want to seek out a ne treatment plan.