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Dear Fellow Vets:
Many of us have taken or now take opiates for pain relief. We know they do not work long-term; we know they cause injury and death. We know we will be treated like drug addicts and criminals if we complain about opiates being taken away.
Trying to get free from this drug-induced madness, we look for alternates. Are there any? Yes, thanks to the cannabis plant.
Here's an excerpt from an article describing the decrease in deaths from opiates (please read entire article and reply if you'd like to discuss this):
A recent study has revealed some very interesting facts about medical marijuana, relief of chronic pain and patient safety. Meanwhile medical marijuana is becoming legal in more and more states. Here’s why you should be thinking about it if you or a loved one suffers from chronic pain.
A team of investigators from the University of Pennsylvania decided to take a look at the incidence of opioid-related deaths in states that have legalized medical marijuana. They reasoned that since pain control is a major reason why people use medical marijuana, states that have legalized or decriminalized the herb might have lower rates of opioid-related deaths. The study was published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
About 60 percent of overdoses occur in people prescribed the drugs by a single physician, not in those who “doctor shopped” or got them on the black market. And a third of those were taking a low dose. That just doesn’t happen with marijuana.
33 Percent Reduction In Deaths From Opioids To test its theory, the team analyzed medical marijuana laws and 10 years of death certificates from every state in the United States. The research team discovered that, in states that allowed medical marijuana, the overall average annual death rate from opioid overdose was almost 25% lower than it was in states where medical marijuana remained illegal. Not only that, but the relationship grew stronger over time. When average death rates were looked at on a year-to-year basis, the researchers discovered that deaths from opioids decreased by an average 20% in the first year of medical marijuana legalization…25% by the second year…and up to 33% by the fifth and sixth years after medical marijuana was legalized.
”It’s been known anecdotally,” says researcher Mark Ware, MD, assistant professor of anesthesia and family medicine at McGill University in Montreal. “About 10% to 15% of patients attending a chronic pain clinic use cannabis as part of their pain [control] strategy…we’ve shown again that cannabis is analgesic,” Ware says. “Clearly, it has medical value.”
The cannabis relieves pain, Ware says, by ”changing the way the nerves function.”
The Institute of Medicine published in its Mar. 17, 1999 report titled Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base. “In conclusion, the available evidence from animal and human studies indicates that cannabinoids can have a substantial analgesic effect.”
When it comes to pain management, some studies even suggest that patients who use vaporizers to consume medical marijuana could experience excellent results. A team of Israeli scientists recently conducted a clinical trial in which they discovered that patients who vaporized whole-plant cannabis felt a substantial amount of relief from nerve pain. These findings, which were published in the latest edition of the Journal of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy, indicate that the majority of the study participants reported this reduction as the result of inhalers.
Misconceptions about Opioids Misconception #1: Opioids work well for chronic pain. An estimated 90 percent of people suffering long-term pain wind up being prescribed an opioid despite little evidence that the drugs help much or are safe when used long term. “But we do know that the higher the dose and the longer you take it, the greater your risk,” says Gary Franklin, M.D., research professor of environmental and occupational health sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. People who take opioids for more than a few weeks often develop tolerance, so they require higher doses, which in turn breeds dependence. And although higher doses can ease pain, they commonly cause nausea and constipation, disrupt your immune system and sex life, and leave you feeling too fuzzy-headed to participate in things such as physical activity that can speed your recovery. And in a cruel twist, the drugs can make some people more sensitive to pain. Misconception #2: Opioids are not addictive when used to treat pain. Somewhere between 5 percent and 25 percent of people who use prescription pain pills long-term get addicted. Fewer women are dependent on prescription painkillers than men, but they may become dependent more quickly and are more likely to doctor shop. Misconception #3: Extended-release versions are safer. Opioids such as hydromorphone (Exalgo), oxycodone (OxyContin and generic), morphine (Avinza, MS Contin, and generic), and the newly approved Zohydro ER stay in the body longer and are usually stronger than short-acting forms. But doctors sometimes prescribe them for convenience–patients need to take fewer pills–and because they believe that long-acting drugs are less likely to cause a drug “high” and lead to addiction. But there’s no evidence those drugs work better or are safer than short-acting ones. And people dependent on opioids seek out the higher potency of the long-acting versions. That’s why public health groups and law enforcement agencies fear that the new Zohydro ER is prone to abuse. Why Cannabis is Safer Gregory T. Carter, MD, Clinical Professor at the School of Medicine at the University of Washington, stated the following in his response titled “The Argument for Medical Marijuana for the Treatment of Chronic Pain,” published in an article titled “Medical Marijuana: A Viable Tool in the Armamentaria of Physicians Treating Chronic Pain? A Case Study and Commentary,” in the May 2013 issue of Pain Medicine:
“[R]esearch further documents the safety and efficacy of medicinal cannabis for chronic pain. Cannabis has no known lethal dose, minimal drug interactions, is easily dosed via oral ingestion, vaporization, or topical absorption, thereby avoiding the potential risks associated with smoking completely…
Natural cannabis contains 5-15% THC but also includes multiple other therapeutic cannabinoids, all working in concert to produce analgesia…”
The Mayo Clinic stated in its Aug. 25, 2006 online article “Marijuana as Medicine: Consider the Pros and Cons”:
“People widely used marijuana for pain relief in the 1800s, and several studies have found that cannabinoids have analgesic effects. In fact, THC may work as well in treating cancer pain as codeine, a mild pain reliever. Cannabinoids also appear to enhance the effects of opiate pain medications to provide pain relief at lower dosages.
Researchers currently are developing new medications based on cannabis to treat pain.”
David Hadorn, MD, PhD, Medical Consultant for GW Pharmaceuticals, Ltd., wrote in his July 17, 2003 document titled, “Use of Cannabis Medicines in Clinical Practice,” published on his personal website www.davidhadorn.com (website no longer available, Feb. 17, 2009):
“Scientists have known for many years that cannabinoids (the major active ingredients in cannabis medicines) are potent pain relievers, and that they act synergistically with opiates to increase the degree of pain relief. The addition of cannabis medicines to therapeutic regimens can reduce the need for opiates by 50 percent or more in many patients (while also reducing side effects such as constipation that opiates commonly produce).”
Denis Petro, MD, Board of Directors for Patients Out of Time, wrote in his paper titled “Spasticity and Chronic Pain” published in the 1997 book Cannabis in Medical Practice – A Legal, Historical and Pharmacological Overview of the Therapeutic Use of Marijuana:
“The evidence in support of cannabis as a treatment for pain exists both in preclinical animal studies and in a small number of clinical trials. Since cannabis contains many active cannabinoids in varying amounts in differing plants, a coherent recommendation concerning use against pain symptoms is lacking… Considering the alternative of addicting drugs such as the opiate analgesics, patients may opt for the relative safety of cannabis.”
Based on these findings, many pain experts are now advising that physicians recommend cannabis therapy in lieu of opiate medications to “reduce the morbidity and mortality rates associated with prescription pain medications.”
Read the full article at PreventDisease.com
Medical Cannabis: The REAL Reason the Government Wants to Keep it Banned Feds Say Cannabis Is Not Medicine While Holding The Patent on Cannabis as Medicine How Medical Cannabis Changed Our Lives: A Testimonial Tags: cannabis, marijuana Blessings be, one and all! /s/ Sistah Cannabis "cannabis is the healing of a nation." ~ Bob Marley, original freedom fightah
rebabevets posted a question in VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims Research Forum,I already get compensation for bladder cancer for Camp Lejeune Water issue, now that it is added to Agent Orange does it mean that the VA should pay me the difference between Camp Lejeune and 1992 when I retired from the Marine Corps or do I have to re-apply for it for Agent Orange, or will the VA look at at current cases already receiving bladder cancer compensation. I’m considered 100% Disabled Permanently
Ddsr posted a question in VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims Research Forum,The 5, 10, 20 year rules...
Five Year Rule) If you have had the same rating for five or more years, the VA cannot reduce your rating unless your condition has improved on a sustained basis. All the medical evidence, not just the reexamination report, must support the conclusion that your improvement is more than temporary.
Ten Year Rule) The 10 year rule is after 10 years, the service connection is protected from being dropped.
Twenty Year Rule) If your disability has been continuously rated at or above a certain rating level for 20 or more years, the VA cannot reduce your rating unless it finds the rating was based on fraud. This is a very high standard and it's unlikely the rating would get reduced.
If you are 100% for 20 years (Either 100% schedular or 100% TDIU - Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability or IU), you are automatically Permanent & Total (P&T). And, that after 20 years the total disability (100% or IU) is protected from reduction for the remainder of the person's life. "M-21-1-IX.ii.2.1.j. When a P&T Disability Exists"
At 55, P&T (Permanent & Total) or a few other reasons the VBA will not initiate a review. Here is the graphic below for that. However if the Veteran files a new compensation claim or files for an increase, then it is YOU that initiated to possible review.
NOTE: Until a percentage is in place for 10 years, the service connection can be removed. After that, the service connection is protected.
Example for 2020 using the same disability rating
1998 - Initially Service Connected @ 10%
RESULT: Service Connection Protected in 2008
RESULT: 10% Protected from reduction in 2018 (20 years)
2020 - Service Connection Increased @ 30%
RESULT: 30% is Protected from reduction in 2040 (20 years)
broncovet posted an answer to a question,While the BVA has some discretion here, often they "chop up claims". For example, BVA will order SERVICE CONNECTION, and leave it up to the VARO the disability percent and effective date.
I hate that its that way. The board should "render a decision", to include service connection, disability percentage AND effective date, so we dont have to appeal "each" of those issues over then next 15 years on a hamster wheel.
Ztmiller8 posted a question in Appealing Your Veterans Compensation Disability Claims NOD, DRO, BVA, USCAVC,Finally heard back that I received my 100% Overall rating and a 100% PTSD rating Following my long appeal process!
My question is this, given the fact that my appeal was on the advanced docket and is an “Expedited” appeal, what happens now and how long(ish) is the process from here on out with retro and so forth? I’ve read a million things but nothing with an expedited appeal status.
Anyone deal with this situation before? My jump is from 50 to 100 over the course of 2 years if that helps some. I only am asking because as happy as I am, I would be much happier to pay some of these bills off!
Joey Ross posted an answer to a question,I told reviewer that I had a bad C&P, and that all I wanted was a fair shake, and she even said, that was what she was all ready viewed for herself. The first C&P don't even reflect my Treatment in the VA PTSD clinic. In my new C&P I was only asked about symptoms, seeing shit, rituals, nightmares, paying bills and about childhood, but didn't ask about details of it. Just about twenty question, and nothing about stressor,
Picked ByJoey Ross,