Institutional Affiliation
North Carolina laws regarding marijuana
Different states in the U.S vary in terms of marijuana laws. Others permit using marijuana for recreational purposes, others allow it to be used as medication, and others limit the amount of the substance that individuals should possess. In North Carolina, people found selling or owning marijuana face less severe charges (Martins, et al. 2016). As for the case of medical Marijuana, North Carolina has legislation named Hope for Haley and Friends which permits the usage of cannabidiol (CBD) which is an extract from marijuana, in seizure management for individuals with intractable epilepsy. Nevertheless, the law is not applicable to diverse health conditions. As such, medical marijuana supporters do not consider North Carolina as a state that totally approves medical marijuana.
Clinical issues that may present themselves because of this
Since the law in North Carolina does not authorize wide usage of medical marijuana, one of the potential clinical concern that may arise is increased opioid dependency. Opioids, also referred to as narcotics, are widely used in the healthcare setting for pain management. They include drugs such as tramadol, hydrocodone, and fentanyl, just to mention a few. Addiction is one of the risks associated with opioid consumption (American Nurses Association, 2016). Since medical marijuana is mainly used to manage pain its limited use can make people rely more on opioids which are easily available and less restricted. Consequently, this increases the abuse of opioid dependency as they are also addictive.
How to address a situation where a client is an alcohol and narcotics addict and at the same time, taking marijuana to manage chronic pain
Even if it is to relieve pain, medical marijuana is not recommendable for an alcohol and narcotics abuser. The main reason is that medicinal marijuana is an addictive substance and can easily cause a relapse which can hinder the recovery process (Martins, et al. 2016). As such, it would be suitable to find other pain management alternatives such as pain killers for clients with alcohol and substance abuse issues.
American Nurses Association. (2016). Nursing’s Role in Addressing the Nation’s Opioid Crisis.
Martins, S. S., Mauro, C. M., Santaella-Tenorio, J., Kim, J. H., Cerda, M., Keyes, K. M., … & Wall, M. (2016). State-level medical marijuana laws, marijuana use and perceived availability of marijuana among the general US population. Drug and alcohol dependence169, 26-32.