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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Sunday, September 24, 2023

College 101: Alternative Treatments

My dad recently turned fifty, which was a big deal. My mom spared no expense when it came to the celebrations. Friends and family really enjoyed the festivities, and I was no exception. We planned different activities throughout the whole day, and I could tell that my dad was thrilled about everything.

Later that evening, after everyone had said their farewells, my dad almost fainted living room. He was definitely more exhausted than usual, but there was something else, too. I pressed him about it and he admitted that he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I was totally shocked. He started having chronic pain a few years ago and had apparently been self-medicating the entire time with generic painkillers.

He says the idea of narcotics or other more potent synthetic drugs scares him too much to even consider. I don’t blame him. My roommate suggested that he try medicinal marijuana. I thought of that already, but he barely drinks alcohol because he claims to hate “altered states of consciousness. What other options are there?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a serious patient condition that has a wide range of symptoms, which has been documented at length by medical researchers all over the world. One of the first things to consider before exploring possible treatments is how your dad feels about it. An MS diagnosis can be extraordinarily frightening for the patient. You’ll want to ensure your dad doesn’t feel isolated or alone. In other words, if you haven’t already done so, it’s likely best to discuss his emotional state, especially if you want to be sensitive to his feelings.

Once you’re confident that you completely understand his perspective, you’ll be much better equipped to make meaningful suggestions. Say for instance, that your dad reaffirms his resistance toward drugs with unfavorable side-effects. Take note of his exact reservations and use them to guide your quest for a viable treatment.

Medicinal cannabis is something you might have him reconsider. Things have changed rapidly due to the marijuana legalization movement. Experts are already predicting accelerated growth in the worldwide medicinal marijuana industry. There are several factors driving this trend, the most important of which is the difference between CBD and THC. The science behind it can get complicated, but the takeaway might be appealing to your dad.

Drugs synthesized exclusively from CBD extract (without THC) fail to produce the psychedelic effects commonly associated with marijuana. In other words, if your dad were to explore the possibility of using CBD oil for pain, then he could enjoy the best of both worlds. Make no mistake, though: he’ll need to carefully assess the other documented pros and cons, too. Avoid a scenario in which you both regret the decision, despite your best intentions.

It could be useful to research and propose alternative drugs with seemingly comparable attributes. Bringing a well-balanced set of options could help you both further contextualize the competing treatments. Don’t underestimate the value of informing his thought process. The decisions patients make concerning their medical conditions can often be daunting and demoralizing without compassionate support.

“Just like there’s always time for pain, there’s always time for healing.” -- Jennifer Brown

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