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Jul-24-2012 16:20printcomments

Marijuana Vs. Methadone

Cannabis/marijuana had never killed anybody in the probable 5,000 years of its use in medicine.

Methadone effect on brain

(MOLALLA, OR) - The New York Times published on July 10, 2012 that Methadone accounted for about 1/3 of deaths caused by opiate and opioids pain relievers in 2009 but they didn’t give the actual figure.

The opiate, Oxycodone, causes the most deaths followed by hydrocodone, (Vicodin) and Morphine but the opioid Methadone which had been used mostly to get addicts off heroin is now widely used as a pain killer.

It is about as potent as Morphine but is much cheaper than any drug in this class of strong pain killers.

How and why severe pain patients found out that Methadone was good for severe pain is not readily known but obviously they did find out and now in some places Methadone is responsible for about 10% of deaths when comparing it to all of the various deadly drugs but this is a lot considering its previous anti-heroin use.

In 2005, Methadone caused 4,462 deaths. More recent articles state that Methadone caused one third of deaths. Overall pain killer deaths have increased four times in the past decade.

Methadone accounted for 2% of pain killers but 30%of overdose deaths which was about 5,500 in 2007. Some states are more carefully monitoring Methadone prescriptions and doctors.

The CDC reports that in 2009, 15,597 people in the US died from the use of these pain killers which was double the number of people who died in 2002. The CDC report stressed that the doctors lack special training in pain management.

This isn’t so because the chief requirement of a physician is to control pain and more doctors are doing that for more and more patients.

Some may be reading and asking themselves, why is he writing this? I have been trained by two of the best known pain doctors, that doctors are supposed to treat pain, Up to that time, about 1960, Morphine and Morphine like drugs were the answer. Almost nobody knew that cannabis/marijuana was an excellent analgesic/pain killer for even severe pain.

As it turned out, the Vietnam wounded battle veterans were the first to find out about this and brought the information back home with them. I couldn’t figure out how a mild hallucinogenic, Marijuana could be a pain killer. I had about 400 Nam Vets and if they said it worked, it must be so.

Secondly and most important, I discovered that cannabis/marijuana had never killed anybody in the probable 5,000 years of its use in medicine.

I have been a strong proponent of cannabis/marijuana since I got my education from Vietnam lab rats.

In almost all of our 26 marijuana clinics in 9 states with a total patient population of 150,000, about 70% want the medicine for severe chronic pain including migraines.

I checked Google; there are hundreds of articles about Methadone deaths but none about marijuana deaths.



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Facho April 7, 2013 9:10 am (Pacific time)

Remember when L. Paul Jerry Bremer, of Kissinger and Associates, had those pallets of cash flown into Iraq? I think we know where all THAT cash ended up don't we. After he came back home from Iraq and he got a medal from Bush for his eftfros, one of the first things he did was remodel his house. You can bet that Ben Bernanke, Paulson, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and the other members of the gang of thieves got a lot of that two trillion dollars. If there's anyone left who doesn't think these people are the worst criminals in the world, they haven't been paying attention.

Heather Grace August 23, 2012 4:26 am (Pacific time)

Dr. Leveque, I am shocked at your lack of medical knowledge!

 Editor: I almost deleted this post from your first line.  Are you capable of reading his bio?  Do you have more medical experience in years or degrees?  Do you have the capability of understanding that you might be missing part of this?  There is probably not a medical expert alive who knows more than this Doctor.  What shocks me is that you or anyone else would be so indirectly boastful toward a person they should respect.  I suspect without reading all of this from you   that you are like the Oxycontin shills and trolls being paid to advocate for these deadly drugs.  I sincerely doubt you know much except how to advocate for drugs, this crap kill.  I suspect you really are off keel by educating Dr. Leveque about this history of marijuana, that is simply outrageous.  You are off track and I am going to publish this, people see your attempt to tell Dr. Leveque what he has written about hundreds of times will be comedic for our readers.

It's shameful! Methadone was FIRST AND FOREMOST used to treat pain! It was later used to treat addiction, as a means to get patients off of other drugs, namely heroin. Methadone has been a pain medication for so long, it's very inexpensive. And sadly, the rise in Methadone use is attributable to the government's request for doctors to use Methadone as a firstline treatment for severe pain in their Medicaid patients. The patients that lost their lives were the unfortunate victims of an overburdened Medicaid system forcing the hands of physicians who were NOT given any training on use of a complex medication like Methadone. Please see

With proper education, this drug saves so many lives--hundreds of thousands each year. It's irresponsible to make this pain med seem dangerous when it is truly not what you're making it out to be. It's not bad, dangerous or evil. In the wrong hands, it is a huge problem and I am sorry that anyone was hurt by an overburdened system like Medicaid. (I know the feeling, having been permanently disabled by Worker's Comp!)

WHAT I WISH YOU'D UNDERSTAND, ABOVE ALL: Marijuana is a good treatment for some people with pain. But, it doesn't work for everyone. That's why there are so many different pain medications in the first place. There is no ONE treatment for everyone. We're all different and I am happy that some people benefit from marijuana, and wish it was a safe and legal treatment everywhere. However, I cannot use this treatment--it does not work for me. I am one of many who take prescription pain medications safely, as intended. And, I've been using opioids for over a decade. Please don't go around touting your treatment, implying that another treatment is somehow wrong and less safe unless you know the story. You don't! Clearly, as someone saying one drug is "better" than another, you know very little about moderate-severe pain. Or any pain, for that matter. If only pain care were that simple!

Further, you say that marijuana wasn't used for pain until the Vietnam War? WRONG! It's first recorded use was in China *centuries ago* ! I am appalled that you don't even know the history of the treatment you are so in favor of! Here's an easy site to read the details on: You will see there that the first recorded use of marijuana as an analgesic was in the early 3rd century CE! This fact can be found all over the place, if you'd just look.

Chronic pain is a very complex condition. Intractable Pain is even moreso. It's sad that you feel you had to resort to cheap ploys like mudslinging and deliberate controversy. You could've just touted the benefits of the treatment you believe in, even if you don't have any facts whatsoever to back up what you're saying.

What's even more sad is that you've chosen to attack a treatment that has saved so many lives. And, by doing so, you're also attacking the pain sufferers nationwide who use this treatment! Really, doctor, I think you can do better than this! And you really should!

Even if I am dubious of your supposed pain care background, I still think you and the ENTIRE pain community should stop taking jabs at one treatment vs. another and just agree that they all have merits. Doesn't make for juicy headlines, but it's the TRUTH!

Anonymous July 24, 2012 8:34 pm (Pacific time)

Dr Phil gives true info, but too many cannott accept the truth because they think the government is here to help us, and if they actually had to think for themselves they would go ballistic. Another reason the welfare state does not work. Welfare states could work if the leaders were honest, but that aint gonna happen, so, the welfare state will be used to control and destroy us..Guaranteed.

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