( CNN) In 2016, opioids killed more Americans than breast cancer. The narcotic overdose epidemic has become one of the most concerning public health issues of recent day, and in an effort to stem the tide, moreg and more patients and doctors are turning to pot over pills.
Watch Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s CNN Special Report “Weed 4: Pot vs. Pills” on Sunday, April 29, at 8 p. m. ET.
For much of the past two decades, 51 -year-old Angie Slinkertook a cocktail of narcotics, antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications to manage the ache stemming from a car accident in 1998. She had between 50 and 60 surgeries, but her pain persisted, and doctors kept dedicating her more pills.
“It was just a vicious cycle, ” she told CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. “You started taking something for pain, and before you knew it, you were into another surgery. Which brought on anxiety.” To treat the anxiety, physicians prescribed more pills. And when she felt depressed, they added even more drugs.