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Maybe you or someone close to you is suffering with the misery — the pure agony — of relentless, severe pain. As you well know, such pain can completely overwhelm your life, to the point where relief from it becomes an all-consuming, single-minded focus. When chronic pain flares and becomes acute, it can immediately extinguish your capacity to enjoy almost anything.

There’s no way to soften the blow, rationalize, or negotiate your way around it. Chronic pain is debilitating. When it’s severe, it can control our body and mind to the extent that we are totally at its mercy, powerless to stop it.

I know chronic pain. As a physician I have treated chronic pain patients for decades, and as a patient I have been humbled and devastated by the shingles virus.

There is hope, however, for you and others who suffer from chronic pain. With this book, you now have a guide to overcome pain and revitalize your life. There is the very real possibility of feeling better than you ever have. I am offering you the medicine of empowerment — the power to regain control and the joy of life that chronic pain has stripped away. And medical marijuana plays a vital role in this self-healing process.

You’re Not Alone

Chronic pain affects approximately 100 million people, nearly one-third of our population. More Americans suffer with chronic pain than with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer combined. By necessity (when there is no recognized cure), we are forced to live with painful conditions such as arthritis; low back, knee, neck, or shoulder problems; migraine headaches; irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), acid reflux (GERD), or fibromyalgia; and a host of other uncomfortable problems that never completely resolve. Pain is the number one reason people visit a doctor’s office. As a chronic pain sufferer, know that you are not alone.

In addition, it is estimated that nearly 80 percent of our population is plagued with the emotional pain of anxiety and depression, often associated with chronic physical pain.

Whether it is physical or emotional, or it is persistent, recurrent, or incapacitating, chronic pain is humanity’s most debilitating disease.

How does today’s mainstream medical industry deal with chronic pain? In a word: opioids. And with opioids come very real risks, oftentimes leading to tragedy.

Opioids are narcotic analgesics found in prescription pain relievers such as oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet), tramadol, hydrocodone (Vicodin), methadone, fentanyl, meperidine (Demerol), morphine, and codeine. These drugs were developed with the best of intentions, and the vast majority of doctors who prescribe them do so with the best interests of their patients in mind.

But, sadly, the overprescribing, misuse, and abuse of opioids have led to a public health crisis in America. Drug overdose is currently the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., and opioid addiction is driving this epidemic. In 2014, there were fifty-two deaths every day from opioid overdose.

Excerpted from Cannabis For Chronic Pain: A Proven Prescription for Using Marijuana to Relieve Your Pain and Heal Your Life by Dr. Rav Ivker. Copyright © 2017 by Robert Ivker, DO. Reprinted with permission from Touchstone, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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