A free hotline service to help Arizonans with opioid dependency will open today. However, unfortunately, the Arizona Opioid Help and Recommendation Line will not recommend medical cannabis as an alternative option, even though numerous studies have actually confirmed its effectiveness.
In Arizona, there have actually been 942 opioid-related deaths in between June 2017 and February 2018, inning accordance with Phoenix New Times. The hotline hopes to be a piece of the puzzle to solving the state’s growing opioid crisis. Dr. Dan Brooks of the Banner Toxin and Drug Information Centers said, “It’s not part of the protocol. We don’t have any initial plans to discuss cannabis.”
Dr. Cara Christ of Arizona Dept of Health Solutions stated, “Avoiding opioid overdoses and deaths in our state requires a complex approach, and the brand-new hotline is a significant step forward as it will provide medical suppliers immediate access to specialists who can help to ensure safe prescribing and to recognize treatment options for patients, which might or may not include opioids. No 2 clients are the exact same and treatments vary based upon private needs, so we need to make sure we are providing customized resources to our medical neighborhood.”
The Toxin and Drug Info Centers, together with AZDHS, will reorganize guidance for providers and will include suggestions along the lines of specific details consisting of safe subscribing, identifying unsafe drug mixes and other treatments for chronic pain. Vivitrol or methadone might be suggested for some patients. Those responding to the hotline will be pharmacists, nurses and doctors.
Brooks stated, “If they have concerns about marijuana, we’ll answer concerns. I don’t know anyone who’s encouraging cannabis as an alternative.”
Medical cannabis has shown to benefit numerous clients in regard to discomfort management. Some likewise recommend that it needs to be considered as an alternative to opiates. Studies have shown a steep decline in opioid-related overdose deaths where cannabis is legalized. Arizona has not yet been involved in any of those studies.
Blue Door Therapeutics in Scottsdale is a treatment center in the Valley that does include marijuana as a choice to assist get individuals off opioid medications. Little dosages, under supervision, of either THC or CBD are administered to clients as suppositories, sublingual sprays, capsules or vaping.
Dr. Gina Berman, co-founder of Blue Door Therapies, says that cannabis does aid with withdrawal symptoms, insomnia and persistent discomfort. She stated, “The ultimate objective is for clients to be free of medication.”
For now, the hotline will be simply informational. Brooks stated, “We’re not trying to include other medications and drugs to the routine. People are on a lot of drugs.”
Plans to broaden the program to offer referrals are expected this spring. AHCCCS and AZDHS will fund the hotline.