According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, two-thirds of all drug overdoses in the country involve an opioid, and overdose deaths increased by nearly 30 percent during the coronavirus pandemic. Nurses and volunteers at Leaf411™ fear that these numbers will continue to rise, and point to an urgency to educate consumers on ways they can augment or replace opioid use for chronic pain with cannabis.
“The increased isolation and anxiety caused by the pandemic left a terrible legacy of death due to opioid misuse and abuse,” said Registered Nurse Katherine Golden, Founder and CEO of Leaf411, the first free cannabis nursing hotline. “Today more than ever, we are facing a growing epidemic of opioid-related deaths. Cannabis treatment can really help patients better manage their chronic pain and as a result, reduce or even completely eliminate their opioid use. But that can only happen if people have the information they need to make informed decisions that are based in evidence.”
Founded precisely on that principle, Leaf411 provides education and directional support to the general public about the safe use of legal cannabis, both marijuana and hemp-based products. The Leaf411 team includes cannabis-trained nurses who are passionate about helping their community access balanced education about legal cannabis use. Consumers can call 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411) Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. MST to connect with a trained nurse for information, or visit the Leaf411 website to chat with a nurse and view educational resources. To help the organization educate even more consumers and patients, the Cannabis Creative Movement has teamed up to develop and distribute the Leaf411 Opioid Awareness Guide which was created in partnership with Radicle Health and is now available for free download here.
“During a time when so many are looking for ways to manage chronic pain or relieve anxiety, we think it is critical to reach as many people as possible with this important information,” said Wes Donahoe,Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of The 9th Block, and a founder of the Cannabis Creative Movement. “The use of opioids is absolutely essential with some injuries or cases of acute pain, but too many individuals lose track of their usage or fail to follow prescribed dosing and it is very easy to become dependent. The Leaf411 guide provides valuable information on how cannabis can offer a longer-term solution to help manage pain with fewer side effects and better outcomes.”
A non-profit dependent on donations from the public and generous benefactors, Leaf411’s mission is to tackle healthcare inequality by providing cannabis education to the consumer at no cost. Leaf411 was built on the belief that affordability and accessibility to professional medical advice should never be barriers to using cannabis safely and effectively. The organization works to combat cannabis misinformation with researched, evidence-based information on cannabis to help people make educated, informed decisions about their personal treatment options.
“We provide the nation’s first, free cannabis nurse hotline to consumers,” said Katherine Golden. “We have also created additional programs focused on providing free community education and product affordability by connecting product donations to people in need through partnerships with cannabis industry leaders and diverse community organizations across the country.”
The Leaf411 Opioid Awareness Guide can be downloaded for free, and all Leaf411 services, including their telephone hotline, are free as well. Those interested in contributing to the organization can donate here.
Not all of us have any pain relief at all with cannabis some of us can’t even smoke it like me I have COPD and I cannot smoke it and I’ve tried all the damn gummies and everything else they’ve had and they don’t work for me at all my pain is too severe for cannabis but what have you done you left millions of people’s all over the world and desperate pain and excruciating pain and there are thousands and thousands of millions of us had to quit our job so now you have to pay a disability so you created a huge financial debt for the taxpayers you’re more on and I seen your citizens are left here to suffer for the rest of our lives unless we become one of the statistics we are now the highest fastest growing group of people committing suicide because of you guys I don’t want to die but I can’t live like this either so within the next two weeks I’ll probably become another statistic cuz I can’t take it anymore I’ve already had a gun to my head so many times this year I can’t count I need relief and my doctor knows what I went through with the tumor in my spine and all the metal that’s left in my spine holding up my spine a cage wrapped around my spine to keep it from collapsing and a metal plate screwed into my back to attach it to has left me an extreme pain and nothing even touches except the meds I was on but my doctor retired when I went to the new pain management doctors he cut me off immediately of all my meds and caused my heart to stop and have a stroke on the 19th day of no sleep withdrawals and excruciating pain like a freight train hit me for full force my body gave out and couldn’t take anymore I had a stroke and my heart stopped 2 months ago again I was on live sport because my heart stopped because my body was so wore out and full of excruciating pain I couldn’t take it anymore I’m a 65-year-old senior citizen I work my whole life foste parent adopted children had four of my own took children off the street that were living alone because their parents kicked him out because they were disposable and an inconvenience for them I raised 23 kids I did my part now you need to do your part I shouldn’t have to die to ease my pain I should be able to live out my so-called golden years without laying on the floor everyday in the fetal position and crying my eyes out because I can’t take it anymore OMG all we hear is covid covid covid but what about the people dying from chronic pain that are committing suicide because they can’t take it anymore you never say anything about that help us you help people with chronic pain why don’t you help us our injuries and our chronic pain and chronic fatigue will go on for the rest of our lives just like cancer patients we have excruciating pain but their pain ends and they are taken care of by meds and they’re paying in shortly after but our pain goes on forever so why are we less than cancer patients to get meds our pain goes on forever and ever until we die we should be able to get help also you guys created a big hole in the financial system too a big financial debt for Americans paying taxes because now most of us had jobs and we had to quit our jobs and go on disability because we can’t even leave her house anymore or do anything I had to give up being a wife being a mother being a grandmother being a foster mom which I love more than anything and having a life my whole life was taken away and replaced with pain nothing but pain excruciating pain 24 hours a day because I don’t get a break from My pain by sleep because I can’t sleep he took my sleeping meds away also he was a jerk said he hated the CDC ruling and I thought he hated it because he couldn’t treat his patients like he wanted to but no he said because now he would have to start seeing all the liars criminals and drug addicts so right away I knew what I was in for in the second appointment he canceled all my meds at once never tapered me nothing just cancel them and I died 19 days later and that thanks to you guys because you have all pain management doctor scared to death because you’re arresting him right in the left we just went through hell because Seattle all the doctors around that were left the only doctors left were in Seattle and you just had them all arrested by the DEA so what the hell do you expect us to do live in pain the rest of our lives that won’t happen because we’ll end our lives and that’s what you’re doing you’re causing us to end our lives I will be a statistic in the next two weeks because I can’t take another minute of this much less day please take back the guidelines it’s ridiculous we proved you already when you took away all the prescriptions and the overdoses skyrocketed anyway because of fentanyl it’s drug dealers selling bent and all they’re putting it in everything and people are overdosing from fentanyl doctors giving us prescription pain meds we deserve relief from our pain we don’t deserve this we don’t deserve to live in pain the rest of our life excruciating pain I didn’t cause it a tumor grew in my spine I didn’t cause the tumor to grow I didn’t cause it to destroy all the discs so they had to put a metal cage around it I didn’t cause any of that but you are only punishing chronic pain patients drug addicts are still getting their drugs because they have drug dealers we don’t have drug dealers we just have to suffer in pain for the rest of our lives so the only one you are punishing is people with chronic pain no one else we are paying the price for everyone and we deserve it more than anyone because we weren’t abusing it we were taking it for chronic pain and nothing else and we weren’t getting addicted most people with chronic pain don’t get addicted and that’s a fact look at your statistics please please help us we are dying by the thousands please God help us with our pain we don’t deserve this no one deserves this we worked our whole life paid into income taxes then something bad happens and we have to live forever in pain excruciating pain for the rest of our lives we don’t even get to enjoy retirement or anything it’s not there and it’s not right we’re being treated less than human this is not right even animals get better treatment that we do at their vets but we don’t get anything we get no help at all no relief from the pain at all he goes on 24 hours a day please help us you can stop this from happening you can stop us from dying and committing suicide please please change your mind and help us you already saw that the overdoses didn’t stop because you took away the prescription meds it’s the drug addicts and the drug dealers and it’s fentanyl they’re overdosing on fentanyl hardly anything else because it’s putting the heroin is putting the methamphetamines is putting everything just read up why don’t you like we did we know everything about it because we researched it because we’re desperate we’re hopeless and helpless in pain and chronic pain and there’s nothing else we can do most days I can’t get off the floor in the fetal position from crying because of the pain I’m lucky if I even get a shower once a month because that’s the issues we deal with with chronic pain and fatigue where our bodies are so worn out we can’t even do everyday little things to take care of ourselves we can’t do the things that make us human that normal people can do we can’t do because we are left helpless and exhausted please help us you can change this you can take away our pain you can help us you can put stricter rules up but please don’t threaten the doctors that are treating us because then they stop treating us they don’t want to lose their license so please stop that take the DEA out of the equation please you are resting good people who are compassionate to their patients and that’s the way it should be doctor shouldn’t get arrested for being compassionate and having more compassion because they know who which ones are suffering and which ones aren’t doctors know who are drug addicts and chronic pain patients you are not doctors please stop trying to be our doctors that is what you doing by telling our pain doctors how they can treat us and how they can’t our doctors know who we are and what we are dealing with please help us we don’t deserve to live in chronic pain till the day we die it’s not human it’s inhumane and we don’t deserve it so please think about what I’ve said I’m 65 years old I’m not a wife anymore I’m not a mother anymore I’m not a grandma anymore I’m nothing but a blob a seating Mass of excruciating pain and that’s all that’s left to me I can’t do anything so I’m nobody anymore not anybody’s wife not anybody’s mother nothing I have no idea anymore because I can’t have an identity because I can’t do anything I had a very active life before this I was a very active woman very busy woman taking care of kids and my family and people in the community volunteering at the nursing home which I loved and I can’t do any of it now so I have no identity left I’m just a seating Mass blob of excruciating pain that’s all that’s left to me you replaced my life you took my life away and replaced it with nothing but pain that’s all I have left is paying 24 hours a day please rethink this please you’re killing us we’re committing suicide by the thousands we are the fastest growing group of people committing suicide now in the United States it’s horrendous and we don’t deserve to be treated like this and live in pain the rest of our lives this is America nobody should be treated like this especially our senior citizens