Or a drug company profiteering crisis? Action Alert!
Last week, President Trump’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis issued a preliminary report recommending several steps to address opioid addiction. The situation is truly a crisis – 142 Americans die every day from a drug overdose, a toll equal to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks taking place every three weeks.
The report convinced President Trump to declare a national emergency, allowing the administration to waive some federal rules, such as one that restricts where Medicaid recipients can receive addiction treatment. The Commission called for increased education for medical professionals who can prescribe opioids, expanded access to drug treatment for those on Medicaid, and the increased use of medication-assisted treatments.
Any strategy to address a public health scourge such as this must be wide-ranging, but what is barely mentioned in the report is the need for safe, cost-effective, non-addictive alternatives to opioids to be made more accessible for those in chronic pain who need them. Ironically, the government has actually threatened to curtail consumer access to one such alternative.
That alternative is cannabidiol oil, or CBD. As we’ve reported before, CBD oil is an extract of the hemp and marijuana plants that does not have any psychoactive properties but has been shown to have beneficial effects on pain, inflammation, seizures, arthritis, and other inflammatory conditions. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently classified CBD oil as a Schedule I controlled substance, a category that includes heroin, mescaline, and MDMA. Since this ruling, there have been reports that PayPal and other credit card processors are no longer taking payments for CBD oil.
Importantly, CBD oil is safe and non-addictive, which cannot be said for other approved pain relievers. Aspirin can cause internal bleeding; the now-banned Vioxx caused heart disease; fentanyl, which is up to 100 times more potent than morphine, can kill you, and opioids, as we know, can lead to addiction and death.
In a sane health system, cheap, safe, non-addictive, natural alternatives to dangerous FDA-approved drugs would be welcomed with open arms. The DEA, however, says that CBD oil is in the same class as heroin and the FDA says that CBD oil isn’t a supplement, meaning that the axe could drop on CBD oil products whenever the FDA feels like it.
Even as America experiences a 9/11 sized death toll every three weeks, the government doesn’t just ignore a safe and natural alternative—it sets the stage to hand this treatment over to a drug company to form a monopoly and deny consumers easy access.
Action Alert! If you haven’t already, click below to send a message to your senators and representative in Congress to support bills that help maintain consumer access to CBD oil, with a copy to President Trump to include CBD oil as part of his response to the opioid crisis. Please send your message immediately.