After years of dealing with endometriosis and PCOS pain and navigating opioid-based painkillers, cannabis finally helped me find a way to live again. (Content note and disclaimer: this piece briefly mentions sexual assault and addresses medical themes. The article occasionally uses
We need more effective treatment.President Trump just declared the opioid epidemic a “public health emergency”. I don’t need to define what a public health emergency is, but it means that the abuse of opioids and the overdoses that follow have reached a critical mass. The bodies are stacking up, as ghoulish as it is to describe it that way. Families are torn apart: children are losing their parents, parents are burying their children, grandchildren dying years before their grandparents. And I, myself, am a survivor of polysubstance addiction, meaning I was addicted to multiple substances including painkillers (like Dilaudid) and heroin. I’ve overdosed 5 times. And 3 out of the 5 times, I woke up in a hospital bed. The other two times, I ended up coming out of it myself — scaring my friends in the process. I’ve also known many who have overdosed and died. One of my friends, Brianna (I changed her name to protect her memory), died when the opiate crisis was beginning, around the same time Phillip Seymour Hoffman died. More recently, my friend Paul Yabor fell to this insidious disease.
A study by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health recently found that fewer car accidents are caused by those under the influence of opioid narcotics in states where cannabis use is legal. Our pot dealers have been telling this for decades! Kidding aside,