The rising crisis of opioid addiction is something one cannot turn an ignorant cheek to. “Every day, more than 130 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids… addiction to opioids is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare…The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year” (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2019). Clinicians are attempting to address the issue by creating more regulations on the distribution of opioids and prevention of non-medical use(s). As opioids are often prescribed as necessary pain killers, the concern now lies within the question; what will replace these highly addictive drugs in order to continue to alleviate patients who truly need it? The answer, CBD.
The first CBD-based drug, Epidiolex, was approved in June 2018 by the US Food and Drug Administration. The initial release of this product was for the treatment of epilepsy. Later, preclinical and clinical evidence proved that CBD was effective for a multitude of treatments. Including, chronic pain and opioid addiction. Alongside the reduction of inflammation associated with chronic pain that CBD provides, “it has been reported that CBD may be able to treat addiction through reduced activation of the amygdala… through its modulation of dopamine and serotonin” (Facts & Statistics, n.d.). These facts alone have our modern medicine industry intrigued as they explore the possibilities—via clinical studies—of the relief this natural product can provide.
In addition to decreasing chronic pain and addiction, CBD has also proven to reduce symptoms of anxiety and insomnia. The most common mental illness are anxiety disorders in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year (Facts & Statistics). Of course, with anxiety running rampant, sleep disturbances such as insomnia are also following suit. “Approximately 60 million Americans are affected by insomnia… one in four Americans develop insomnia each year” (The Good Body, 2020). The staggering percentage of our population battling with chronic inflammation, pain, anxiety and insomnia is a cause for concern and is something to be addressed with haste. As clinical studies continue, the scientific backing of CBD will prevail, forever changing the medical industry.
Facts & Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved February 16, 2020, from https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019, January 22). Opioid Overdose Crisis. Retrieved February 16, 2020, from https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis
The Good Body. (2020, February 13). 26 Insomnia Statistics: Data Reveals Rise In (Frightening) Epidemic. Retrieved February 16, 2020, from https://www.thegoodbody.com/insomnia-statistics/