This is an early release of our website to support our community during the COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19: The Pandemic On Top Of A Pandemic:
Further Evidence That Pandemic Is Worsening Opioid Crisis
See Recent Blog Discussion Below
21. The COVID-19 Pandemic has worsened the opioid crisis. More people are dying of overdoses and fewer are being admitted for treatment.
“COVID-19 has showed us the vulnerabilities and deficiencies in our addiction services—in addition, it has increased the mental health needs of this population.”
The arrival of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has provided an unanticipated haven for the already formidable opioid epidemic. COVID-19–related protective shelter-in-place orders have pushed individuals battling sobriety into isolation and have decreased access to treatment and opportunity for distraction from addictions.
The addiction community is raising alarms that the current epidemiological climate alone is a risk factor for substance abuse relapse, prompting the New York Times to label the coronavirus pandemic “a national relapse trigger.”2
In 2010, the CDC began to note that the average American life span was declining in correlation with an astounding increase in opioid-related deaths, causing the CDC to call for an “urgent” response. America holds the dubious distinction of being the lowest-ranked nation in life expectancy among developed nations due to the opioid epidemic, a statistic usually depreciated by factors such as civil war or lack of access to safe water or basic vaccinations.
22. The 100 Million Ways Foundation will support regulatory grade data collection and science to determine the effectiveness of cannabis-based medicine in helping to break the chains of addiction. With the COVID-19 pandemic, 100MW will reach past the immediate mission to address the unique stresses this clash of pandemics has put on people with the disease that is opioid addiction.
100 Million Ways will fund clinical research to determine if medical cannabis, a non-lethal alternative to or adjunct with opioid therapy for pain and addiction management, can reduce opioid usage and support opioid withdrawal. If so, there will be fewer overdoses, less deaths, improved quality of life with decreased cost to society. 100MW will drive Harm Reduction strategies to reduce negative consequences associated with drug use and respect for people who use drugs. 100MW is building a web presence, a web-based registry, and an online community. A pub-med study (Epub 2017 Oct 5) provides validity to recovery-oriented online communities suggesting the incorporation of online peer support with traditional addiction treatments brings benefit. And 100MW will collaborate with academic medical centers and other foundations to bring this Mission to life.
23. Building 100 Million Ways Web presence during the C-19 pandemic has changed typical process for the software development life cycle. A panel of potential users - people with the disease that is addition – has yet to be organized for a proper requirements solicitation process. This will happen but C-19 makes that a challenge and going live as soon as possible to provide a source of information and support for those users seems most important.
With that there are two web-based systems in the works: a community Website with a second interactive blog Website. Websites will be pseudonymous. There will be resources and links of value. There will be threads for discussion. There will be experts – not to advise a specific person - but to inform the community about challenges users present in their online stories. It will be linked to the 100 Million Ways Research Registry. It will educate users about the science of cannabis-based medicine when used to reduce pain and to reduce the amount of opioids necessary to manage chronic pain and opioid addiction. The website will enable online donations. So, if the spirit moves you, have a look at the two website work environments:
www.100MW.org and www.100MW.blog . Comments and suggestions are welcome.
24. The impact of the #pandemic on people with the disease that is #opioidaddiction is already significant. There are new barriers to recovery - isolation, unemployment, and the fear of contracting COVID. In NJ, “#overdosedeaths are already 20% higher this year than last year.” 35 states report increases in opioid deaths. And the costs of C-19 are causing cuts in funding for treatment programs.
Francis Collins said, “the #opioidcrisis is difficult, add a pandemic and it becomes difficult squared.” Nora Volkow said, “support systems to help addicts are no longer in place.” People in recovery could not get their medication assisted treatment - clinics closed, transportation a challenge... Even with harm-reduction modifications, these processes remain difficult.
A randomized, double‐blind, placebo‐controlled trial had 27 subjects with chronic neuropathic pain. “Both doses, but not placebo, showed a significant reduction in pain from baseline and for 150 minutes.” It is small. It was performed for device marketing purposes. But - it was an RCT.
This vulnerable population faces so many daily challenges, it is a #harmreduction decision to #deschedulecannabis for medical purposes and get on with clinical trials to sort out what this multi-faceted compound can do.