Connecticut Hospice trying medical marijuana instead of prescribing opioids for pain management
The federal government has approved a first-of-its-kind medical marijuana research project in the region that aims to reduce opioid use in pain management care, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal announced today.
The Connecticut Hospice Inc. of Branford received approval from the federal government to conduct the comprehensive research with the goals of improving pain management and reducing opioid use.
“A lifetime of addiction and suffering can begin with a single opioid prescription,” Blumenthal said. “Identifying breakthrough alternative therapies to safely manage pain is vital to curbing the scourge of opioid abuse. Connecticut Hospice is leading the way — hopefully producing results that can ease pain and reduce the risks of addiction nationwide.”
The project enables Connecticut Hospice — the country’s first palliative teaching hospital — to continue providing care and pain management for patients as it has for more than 25 years, officials say.
“Connecticut has continued to set the national standard for research and technology, and we’re always happy to welcome new fields of study to the state, especially when they help our families who need it most,” Malloy said. “We welcome more research regarding the benefits of medical marijuana, and are excited to see what results come from health care facilities and higher education institutions in the coming years.”
Dr. Wen-Jen Hwu, chairman of Connecticut Hospice Inc.’s professional advisory committee, said the goals of the research project include improving pain and symptom management, decreasing opioid use, decreasing nausea, improving appetite, and limiting depression.