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Natural Awakenings Space & Treasure Coast Florida

Addressing the Opiate Crisis...One Medical Marijuana Certification at a Time

Jul 03, 2018 02:54PM ● By Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer

Across our nation, the increased ubiquity of opiate addictions has reached a staggering proportion. In fact, millions of Americans seeking a reprieve from chronic ailments depend on these medications to narcotize their pain—even if just temporarily. Major pharmaceutical companies are more than willing to accommodate this demand, and a vicious cycle perpetuates.

 The more reliant on opiates the Western population becomes, the more “Big Pharma” stands to benefit financially. In other words, this establishment is profiting from an upsurge of addiction. But there is a more natural and economical (albeit controversial) remedy to address symptoms of pain without the hazardous effects of opiate usage—medical marijuana.

 While conventional medicine and mainstream culture are both resistant to endorse medical marijuana as a sustainable and effective option, those in the holistic community are embracing and advocating for its legitimization within the broader healthcare industry. And their reasoning is valid. “Opiates were designed to create dependency which has resulted in the worst opiate and heroin epidemic in U.S. history,” explains Nick Garulay, owner of My Florida Green, a certification center striving to make the benefits of medical marijuana accessible to all patients with qualifying conditions.

“Some people are in denial about the direct correlation between opiates and heroin. But often, when a patient’s opiate prescription expires, they are addicted to the substance and need immediate relief. That $10 bag of heroin seems like an unfathomable choice until someone is addicted to opiates, then it becomes a quick solution. In 2016, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported a total of 66,000 opiate overdoses, not including heroin. That’s over 5,000 people who are dying each month from prescribed medications.”

In contrast, there is no record of anyone overdosing from marijuana intake—ever. When used for medicinal purposes, its standards of both efficacy and safety are authenticated. Due to the tireless efforts of agencies like My Florida Green, who educate physicians and the public on how medical marijuana can improve their well-being, the stigmas and misconceptions are beginning to evolve. Systemic reform is a process though.  

Garulay continues, “The perception is slowly changing, but we still have an uphill battle ahead. Many doctors are brainwashed during medical school from textbooks written by ‘Big Pharma.’ These drug companies devise intricate sales systems that urge physicians to streamline prescriptions. In order to address this stigma, we all need to work together as a society to educate each other on the remedial benefits of medical marijuana and how we can heal ourselves naturally without harmful drugs that cause permanent damage.” 

But how exactly does medical marijuana ease debilitating pain, while counteracting the risks associated with opiate usage? “As previously mentioned, opiates are responsible for more than 5,000 deaths per month. Marijuana has never killed anyone in the 10,000 years it’s been used as medicine. This fact usually doesn’t resonate with people, but it should. Medical marijuana diverts the brain into forgetting about pain and supports harmonic balance which the body needs to reach homeostasis. Once this state of equilibrium has been obtained, the body can then heal itself,” enumerates Garulay.

He proceeds to describe how My Florida Green has transformed the accessibility and convenience of this life-enhancing treatment. “We developed the first and only state compliant medical marijuana software, created for Florida specifically. We entered the market in November 2016 when it still wasn’t 100% legal, but we committed ourselves to expediting medical marijuana certifications for patients in need. We now operate six active medical marijuana certification centers throughout Florida with another four in the pipeline.

“We are dedicated to offering a premium experience with quality education and full access to the services for a price that’s affordable. Considering the software and technology we have implemented to facilitate all stages of the certification process, it’s a simple and streamlined procedure. Once a patient arrives at one of our locations, they are checked in electronically, and their state paperwork is verified.

“The patient is then educated on the benefits of medical marijuana, the different products available, and how to administer and titrate the dosage. Each patient leaves with a folder explaining the important facts and ordering details. We also work continuously to find discounts for each dispensary, so that patients can take advantage of these exclusive deals.”

Pain management is an inescapable need. Opiate addiction is an escalating concern. These two realities brush against each other—they cannot harmlessly coexist. But expanding our minds, even just to consider the possibility of medical marijuana as a beneficial healthcare adjunct, could revolutionize how this nation combats the prescription drug epidemic. And moreover, it could reframe how people advocate for their own wellness—stigmas not included.

My Florida Green is located in Palm Bay, Davie, Sarasota, Naples, and St. Petersburg with locations in Orlando and Pensacola coming soon as well. For more information on services offered, patient intake, qualifying conditions, physician networks and other details related to the process of obtaining a medical marijuana certification, visit, email [email protected] or “like” MyFloridaGreen on Facebook. 

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