Surgeon General Jerome Adams stated at the moment that he’s skeptical that medical marijuana is a suitable various to opioids. Adams was a visitor on the Examining Opioids discussion board hosted by The Washington Examiner in Washington, D.C.
During an interview, he stated that researchers have discovered that smoking marijuana could be dangerous to younger individuals.
“We know that exposing the developing brain to marijuana can prime the brain to addiction and have potential negative consequences including promoting cancer,” Adams stated.
Because of the dangers concerned, Adams stated he couldn’t advocate the use of marijuana as medicine.
“It would be incredibly disingenuous of me to say that you shouldn’t smoke a cigarette but it is fine to go out and smoke a joint,” Adams stated.
However, the Surgeon General did acknowledge that researchers ought to proceed to review medicinal hashish.
“I think it is important that we do look at the studies, but I also think it is important that we not jump on something that may have more potential consequences down the road.”
Surgeon General Details Grim Opioid Statistics
Adams prefaced his feedback by detailing the somber toll of the nation’s present opioid disaster.
“We go around the country and we hear about the burden—2.1 million people with opioid use disorder. A person dying every 12 minutes from an opioid overdose,” Adams stated.
In 2016, artificial opioids triggered greater than 19,000 overdose deaths. In addition, roughly 37 % of the heroin-related deaths in 2016 additionally concerned artificial opioids.
“The reality is it can seem overwhelming, it can seem depressing,” he added.
Some Good News on Opioids
Adams additionally talked about some successes within the opioid disaster together with emergency cures and evidence-based intervention. One individual he talked about is a person named Jonathan, who lives in Rhode Island.
“Jonathan’s father died of an overdose,” Adams stated. “Jonathan’s brother died of an overdose. Jonathan overdosed, and he was saved by his roommate having Naloxone. He was connected with a peer recovery coach, and then ultimately was then connected with medication-assisted treatment. Again, multiple evidence-based treatments. Now, Jonathan himself is a peer recovery coach.”
Adams additionally had a solution for many who consider that remedies like Naloxone are usually not good coverage.
“There are folks out there who will suggest that Naloxone and these interventions are enabling drug use. I say they are enabling recovery,” Adams stated.
But Adams additionally stated he didn’t help some progressive hurt discount efforts such as supervised injection websites.
“There’s discussion going on across the country about safe injection facilities. I think it’s important for everyone to know that I took an oath to uphold the law. And currently, supervised injection facilities are illegal across the U.S. So, I can not and do not endorse safe injection facilities.”
The Surgeon General stated the general public consciousness is step one in ending the opioid disaster and had a stern warning for Americans.
“We want everyone to know there’s a killer in our medicine cabinets. Leaving pills around or opioids unattended is the same thing as leaving a loaded gun.”