States with medical marijuana see fewer opiate deaths



But where are the statistics on marijuana related overdoses and deaths?



Actually, Kevin Sabet does have a few reservations about the study methods.

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Wrong a long, considered reply, highlighting the way that North American governments have allied with corporate medicine to restrict access to safe, effective opioids… apparently in order to increase crime, suffering and needless overdose, since that’s what their own scientists say is the inevitable result of such restrictions.

But discourse ate it. Sorry.


Is there such a thing as a safe opioid? I thought that the very way that opioids worked made them dangerous… Aren’t they ALL addictive?

What about the youths that freak out on “Mary Jane” and attack our police officers?

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Clearly it had the munchies.


Addictive, yes they are. To varying degrees. Drug safety and addiction risk aren’t synonymous, though. Let me give you a specific example that illustrates the difference.

30 years ago when I needed a powerful painkiller I would be prescribed codeine. This is an addictive opioid with a potential for overdose. If used correctly, neither of those things will necessarily happen. Since I am not allergic to opiates, when used correctly this is a safe drug. It can perform the function - alleviating severe pain - without negative consequences.

Today I can only get Vicodin. Vicodin is synthetic codeine spiked with acetaminophen. The purpose of the acetaminophen is to destroy my liver if I take “too much”. Instead of becoming addicted or passing out from overdose, I will suffer liver failure and death. At this time 50% of the liver failure fatalities in the United States result from acetaminophen abuse.

Although no chemical substance is truly “safe” - you can overdose on water, after all - Vicodin is less safe than codeine, because equivalently pain-relieving doses of Vicodin are more likely to result in death or permanent liver compromise. Today physicians are encouraged to prescribe Vicodin, and strongly discouraged from prescribing codeine. In fact the DEA will be all over them if they routinely prescribe codeine, and you’ll see them in the headlines as “Dr. Feelgood pushing dope to junkies” before long.


I understand from friends in recovery that it’s possible to ask a doctor for non-narcotic pain meds.

Constipate you anyways.


I thought that the reason for vicodin was to use less codeine so that it is less addictive, making it safer to use for the short term. You certainly do seem to have a point about using it long-term, though. Thanks for the info.

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I would love to find some that work! Suggestions welcomed, seriously.

Currently only sumatriptan and the big-league narcotics can do the job, though. Luckily I rarely need them. Lots of folks are much worse off than I am.

My friend has just been prescribed one as she’s ended up in NA due to sloppily-prescribed opiates, I can’t remember what it is though. I’ll ask.

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Thanks, I’d appreciate that.

@Jardine, below: Sorry, I was out of town & couldn’t answer.

Bottles of 30mg codeine pills were once quite commonly prescribed. Now, though, it’s pretty much the situation you’ve described - codeine is almost always adulterated with dangerous stuff like acetaminophen, which leads to unnecessary deaths. I wish I could still get codeine… it’s not a “fun” drug like alcohol, and not very powerful compared to oxycodone, but I’ve found it very effective for severe migraine pain.

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They’re only dangerous when the addict can’t get them.

Ah, Sumatriptan. I was prescribed that on a test basis for migraines. Completely ineffective.

I’ve only once found a drug that was effective for my migraines, and it’s illegal now. Figured out it was the highly potent synthetic cannabinoids (eg HU-210, JWH-018, JWH-073, CP 47,497). Regular weed helps a little bit, but the synthetics were very good, especially if they were strong enough to give CEVs.

It’s really too bad that the US has made research into psychoactives pretty much illegal. The whole scheduling system is completely fucked up. Schedules 1 and 2 pretty much say that they include all the psychoactives that currently don’t seem to have a medical use, and furthermore, additional research can’t be done on them from now on, just to spite the very idea of scientific progress.

Fascists. Fuck the DEA.


My sister and I have the odd feature of seemingly being immune to the effects of opiods… At least to the commonly prescribed ones e.g. codeine, vicodin, oxycodone, percocet.
I don’t know if that is a real thing – perhaps we just have a natural high tolerance to them.
It really sucks because I have had severe degenerative joint disease since my late teens (my knees are ~108 yrs old now) that sometimes needs more relief than NSAIDs can provide.

Edibles can sneak up on you; sounds potent, hope discourse doesn’t freak out!


Was it just pure codeine? In my experience, codeine pills always come with acetaminophen (and caffeine in Canada). Tylenol 1 pills are in a weird classification here where you can get them without a prescription but you have to ask the pharmacist for them. Tylenol 2, 3, and 4 are prescription-only.

Apparently it is a thing. An ex of mine appeared to be immune to the effects of the -caines - lidocaine, novocaine - which made dental work a misery. He was curious whether cocaine would be the same but never tried it.