Longreads

Every ten minutes, an American dies from opioid abuse. In fact, drug overdose is America’s main cause of accidental death. And yet, as journalist Janet Burns points out at Forbes, “the U. S. assigns more favorable legal status to around 50 different opioids than it does to cannabis or psilocybin mushrooms.” Most of those 50 opioids are prescription drugs.

With disarming candor, Burns describes the way a seemingly routine painkiller script led her to full-blown dependence. Going into debt, having to move, buying drugs on the street to ward off withdrawal ─ her experience with prescription painkillers mirrors the experience of the majority of Americans’ who have opioid addiction disorder; four out of five American heroin users started their dependence with prescription medication. Burns uses her experience to make a case for the benefits of legal, accessible medical marijuana to treat the ailments that lead people to opioids. And…

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