We’re nearing a grim milestone in the drug addiction crisis. Will the feds let us use non-addictive natural medicines for pain? Action Alert!
Drug overdoses could, for the first time, kill 100,000 Americans in a single year. The epidemic of drug and opioid addictions is reaching a fever pitch, but is largely overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic. And, as in the COVID-19 pandemic, affordable, safe, and effective natural medicines could offer a lifeline, but the federal government stands in the way.
The numbers paint a bleak picture. Overdose death counts are worse than ever, with more than 86,000 for the 12-month period ending in July. A new study published in JAMA Psychiatry looked at 190 million emergency department visits, finding significantly higher rates of emergency visits for opioid overdoses from March to October of 2020 compared against the same dates in 2019. Overall emergency visits for opioid overdoses in 2020 were up almost 30 percent from 2019.
Additionally, the CDC reported that overdose deaths accelerated during the pandemic, rising 38.4 percent during the year leading up to June 2020.
Hemp-derived CBD could be part of the answer in curbing these tragic and unnecessary deaths. CBD is a safe, non-additive alternative to these drugs with evidence to support its effectiveness for pain. CBD has also shown promise as a treatment for antibiotic-resistant infections like MRSA, which alone kills 90,000 Americans a year.
In earlier coverage we reported on the current status of CBD. In brief, the Farm Bill of 2018 legalized hemp at the federal level, but products containing CBD, such as supplements, are still subject to FDA rules and regulations. The FDA is still determining how it will treat products containing CBD, but the existence of a CBD drug, Epidolex, which costs $32,500 a year, makes it likely that the FDA will not allow CBD supplements to cut into the drug manufacturers profits.
There is some hope. HR 841 amends the law to provide an exemption for hemp-derived CBD from rules that apply to dietary supplements when there is an approved drug with that ingredient or if that ingredient is being investigated as a new drug.
It is critical that we support this bill. The number of opioid deaths in this country is completely unacceptable, as is the FDA’s inaction.
Action Alert! Write to Congress, telling them to support consumer access to affordable CBD. Please send your message immediately.