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Opioid and Marijuana


The opioid epidemic is reviewed as a public health emergency in the United States. Drug overdose, including the opioid prescription, has contributed much to the noticeable rise in mortality rate among middle-aged Americans. Both natural and synthetic opioids prescribed to people, such as hydrocodone, fentanyl, and morphine, are a core cause of the deaths caused by drug abuse. In recent research, it is seen that deaths caused by opioids are two-thirds of the total deaths caused by drug overdose (Singh et al., 2019). This paper gives brief information regarding the history, causes, and elimination methods that may help in reducing the negative impacts of the opioid on the general United States population.

Over the past two decades, increase in the opioid mortality rates has increased among various groups of people in the United States. Opioids evolved as the most relied-on medications after the Joint Commission set strict standards for managing pain in 2000 (Jalali et al., 2020). Since the lack of opioid prescription to a pain-suffering patient was regarded as inhumane, trainees were forced to rely more on opioid use. Opioid prescription rise became evident in the late 1990s as an acute and chronic pain manager, in the second wave that occurred in 2010 and another in 2013, where access and utilization of high-concentration synthetic opioids were recognized (Singh et al., 2019). Its management has been a challenge as the recent research done in 2017 showed that approximately 12 million people misused opioids and the resulting deaths were 47,000. The opioid sales rate has increased, as observed in the past about fifteen years, as the mortality rate has also grown largely. The epidemic affects people of all ages, including adolescents and youths. It has been seen that they are easily addicted to opioids, resulting in noticeable deaths of opioid overdose.

The misuse of opioid is related to several factors which has contributed much to the rise of the opioid epidemic. Firstly, opioids are used as pain managers, and this has led to overprescription by clinicians, and this has led to the misuse by people, thus causing a rise in the mortality rates. Lack of education on prescribing and also on intervention for patients on usage and treatment measures of the opioid has significantly caused an increase in its misuse, contributing to the growth of the epidemic (Singh et al., 2019). Secondly, unemployment and economic deprivation have been key factors in causing the rise of the drug overuse epidemic. A lot of middle-aged people lack employment opportunities which results in increased mortality rates. Lastly, recovering addicts have limited housing and an unfavorable environment that may help them stop opioid usage. They lack favorable treatment services as well as programs that provide recovering services to the patients. Thus, the expectation of dealing with the epidemic becomes hard.

Several measures need to be put in place to help eliminate the negative impact of opioids on youth and the general population. One of these measures is to come up with strategies that will be effective in teaching the consequences of its abuse to the young adults. Offering accessible and effective treatment services by the governments may help in reducing opioid usage as there is a provision of affordable treatment routes (Jalali et al., 2020). Also, families should make sure that they involve themselves in guiding the youths on substance use to help decrease the epidemic by reducing the ease of accessing the opioids, which be through disposing of those they have used. Additionally, finding alternative drugs for opioids such as marijuana and using massage and physical therapy as some of the physical activities are necessary for relieving chronic pain. In conclusion, there is much need to implement solutions and measures that will help curb the epidemic and curb its prevalence.


Marijuana is a widely used illicit drug that, as a result, leads to addiction to its users. The use of marijuana is associated with negative impacts on both direct and indirect users. Its intoxication has short-term effects as it leads to a short attention span, poor memory function, and poor psychomotor task ability. This section discusses the effects of marijuana and the different ways to reduce its abuse.

Individuals who abuse marijuana experience difficulty in thinking and solving current problems after consumption, and it also makes one experience anxiety attacks and has bad driving behaviors. It has long-term consequences for those who start consuming it in their adolescence stage as that is the stage where their brain is developing. This correlates with cognitive impairment, such as lowering the IQ and damaging the brain, mostly when one gets addicted (Memedovich et al., 2018). Regarding the body physiology, it leads to cardiovascular problems such as increased heart rate, which causes an increase in blood pressure. Additionally, marijuana is associated with adverse effects on the respiratory system that include pulmonary infections, tuberculosis transmission, and acute bronchitis. Lastly, indirect users such as unborn children are affected as they may have birth defects that may last in their entire lifespan.

My opinion on the use of marijuana to adolescents and young adults is that this drug has adverse effects, causes, and solutions. The effects greatly show their present and future dangers. Their studies, personalities, and motivation are affected in a way that they may negatively change their behaviors, and the studies’ performances drop. As a result, this makes them dependent users in their adulthood and have poor relationships with others. However, I feel that there must be reasons that contribute to its consumption, and if this is solved, the use of marijuana may reduce among adolescents and young adults. Some of these reasons are; family conflicts, relationships challenges, and also the pressures they get from their surroundings. Having close relationships between adults and young adults assists in understanding their concerns. This helps them solve the challenges they are facing, and this is a recommendable solution rather than the use of drugs. Additionally, educating them on the negative impacts of marijuana would provide awareness on what they should expect to go through when they use it and possible ramifications.

Succinctly, the use of marijuana is an issue that is ever-evolving and requires to be seriously considered. Having an effective exploration and coming up with possible solutions to curb its misuse may help reduce the abuse. Understanding the impacts of marijuana is also essential to everyone as this may help alleviate the risks related to them in a person’s body and brain.


Ghasemiesfe, M., Ravi, D., Vali, M., Korenstein, D., Arjomandi, M., Frank, J. … & Keyhani, S. (2018). Marijuana use, respiratory symptoms, and pulmonary function: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Annals of internal medicine169(2), 106-115.

Jalali, M. S., Botticelli, M., Hwang, R. C., Koh, H. K., & McHugh, R. K. (2020). The opioid crisis: A contextual, social-ecological framework. Health Research Policy and Systems18(1).

Memedovich, K. A., Dowsett, L. E., Spackman, E., Noseworthy, T., & Clement, F. (2018). The adverse health effects and harms related to marijuana use: an overview review. Canadian Medical Association Open Access Journal6(3), E339-E346.

Singh, G. K., Kim, Jr., I. E., Girmay, M., Perry, C., Daus, G. P., Vedamuthu, I. P., De Los Reyes, A. A., Ramey, C. T., Martin, Jr., E. K., & Allender, M. (2019). Opioid epidemic in the United States: Empirical trends, and a literature review of social determinants and epidemiological, pain management, and treatment patterns. International Journal of Maternal and Child Health and AIDS (IJMA)8(2), 89-100.


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