Meet Tom. He has injuries in both knees, and has been waiting for surgery on his left knee for over four years. Unfortunately, Tom has fallen several times while on his crutches, and now his right knee also needs surgery. The amount of excruciating pain Tom was in meant that he was prescribed a series of exotic, opioid-based painkillers. Because of the number of surgeries and pain Tom was in, his doctors predicted Tom would be on OxyContin (extended release oxycodone) within three years.
Press play to hear Tom’s story!
Now, as many people who have tried oxycodone know, there are several problems with this route of pain management -problems Tom more than likely knows about in intimate detail by now:
- OxyContin is marketed as being able to relieve pain for up to 12 hours – for many, this is not the case.
- People prescribed opioids generally have trouble eating and sleeping, due to the drug’s side-effects. Is a person really healing properly if they’re not eating and sleeping properly?
- The advice given to doctors when patients tell them the OxyContin isn’t working? Prescribe them a stronger dose!
- The withdrawal symptoms can make otherwise manageable problems far worse – killing one type of pain isn’t much of a help if all you’re doing is replacing it with another type of pain.
- OxyContin is highly addictive and, like many other opioids, it isn’t unusual to overdose on it.
- If the pain isn’t going away for 12 hours, people may be inclined to take more OxyContin or other drugs (e.g. benzodiazepines like Valium or alcohol) in order to stave off both the pain and the withdrawal. This increases the chances of overdose and respiratory failure.
- The painkillers didn’t do anything to control inflammation or joint swelling, and indeed may well have made things much worse.
Sadly, although Tom had a medical marijuana recommendation, it was nigh-on impossible for him to try out an alternative due to the lack of dispensaries in his area and difficulties in driving anywhere.
Fortunately, a chance encounter with a friend in the desert of Joshua Tree, where Tom lives, meant that he finally had the chance to try an alternative form of cannabis. This alternative came in the form of the classic “medicated brownie”. The result? Well, let’s just say, “Watch the video and find out from Tom himself!”