After battling Lyme disease and other ailments for nearly 20 years, Bridgitte Pascale tried “almost everything” to alleviate her pain without relying on opioids.
Though doctors prescribed Percocet and muscle relaxers, she turned to acupuncture and later medical marijuana, which she says are the “only things that help” with the chronic aches and pains she manages daily.
Such alternative treatments are emerging as safe havens for some patients concerned about the dangers of painkillers. But while many swear by the benefit, health insurance generally doesn’t cover them.
“It can cost a lot of money,” admits Pascale, a 56-year-old registered nurse who lives in Clearwater. “But it’s the only thing that helps the pain.”
As lawmakers grapple with how to address the opioid addiction epidemic that kills thousands annually in Florida alone, some advocates are calling for greater acceptance of non-traditional pain management approaches.
It’s an uphill fight.
The road would be longest for medical marijuana.
It won voter approval for