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Marijuana and Opioids Can Be Helpful for Chronic Pain Patients

Just posted this response to the article entitled “Pain Sufferers May Benefit From Combining Opioids and Marijuana” on the National Pain Report website:

I have successfully used combined opioid and marijuana therapy for years with my chronic pain patients. I have seen the vast majority of them be able to keep their opiate use down for longer periods without increasing the dosages, as is common when they are on opiates alone. They have also been able to avoid other combinations of medications like benzodiazepines, muscle relaxers, and such that contribute to many adverse events when used with opiates. It’s too bad that other providers, especially in the Douglas County area of Oregon, outright LIE to their patients and claim that the combined use of opiates and marijuana is ILLEGAL. There is NO law that prevents it. They just don’t want to do it and LIE to hide their personal biases and discrimination. Some of them will claim that they could lose their federal funding if they allowed such combined use. These little Community Health Clinics in Roseburg and such have thrived on federal and state funds to create large money-making organizations while providing little in pain management care. Long before the CDC Guidelines came out in 2016, they were forcefully tapering Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid) patients off opiates in 2013. It’s all about the money. Not paying for pain medications means bigger bonuses for the providers who refuse to write the prescriptions. They get paid by the count of patients assigned to their clinics, whether they see the patient or not. But when they have to provide care, they lose money, so anything they can deny as far as treatments or medications means they save money. They commonly DENY referrals to any provider out of town. They DENY imaging, surgeries, and so much more, all to ensure their bigger bonuses at the end of the year. For them the Oregon Health Plan has been a piggybank for their personal use. They hold closed door meetings when discussing the use of tax-payer dollars. Multiple bills in the legislature have failed to pass to change that due to lobbyist payouts.

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