Doctor’s Diary December 26, 2017: Overdosed by government

(Snippets from the frontline)

Overdosed by government

Opiate overdose is a leading cause of death in our country with addiction destroying lives and families.  Many disabled patients however under chronic pain management require these medications to live a normal life.

Because of the potential for addiction and death, some of these patients have successfully turned to cannabis for pain control.

Here’s the dilemma:  If they have an emergency and must be admitted to a hospital, despite State laws allowing medicinal and recreational use of marijuana, the patient cannot receive cannabis in this setting.  All hospital pharmacies are under Federal DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) laws and cannot give them, nor authorize the use of marijuana.

Most major hospital pain relievers are opiates.

What if in the past you got addicted to opiates after surgery, and successfully weaned off using cannabis?  Emergency hospitalization could re-ignite your addiction.

Want a simple solution?  Change marijuana from DEA Schedule 1, to a DEA Schedule 2 drug.  (For clarity, see “Doctor’s Diary:  The other pain reliever.”)  That way, hospital pharmacies will be allowed to dispense the various non-smoking forms of cannabis for medicinal use.

Less addiction, less overdose, less death.

Now, let’s ask government. 

Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D.

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