There are many reasons why people react to the word “drugs”. Drugs have been stigmatized because they can easily be overdosed on, which leads to a whole host of complications. Many drugs can also be addictive and harmful. Some drugs, however, have medicinal uses, some of which modern science is still studying. Here are three drugs that have helpful uses.


The plant cannabis has had a long history of stigma, despite its many health properties, because of its close association with marijuana, which is a similar plant in the same family. Cannabis contains hundreds of chemical compounds, many of which are cannabinoids, which relieve pain, which is why it’s been used in medicines for such a long time. CBD is one of the more than 85 cannabinoids found in hemp plants. Studies have been done that show how CBD oil is a natural remedy to relieve pain, depression and anxiety and even fight cancer. There is still research being done to show how cannabis is a helpful drug, though it is not yet free of stigma.


MDMA, (short for methylenedioxymethamphetamine) has been known as a party drug since the 1980s. Commonly known as ecstasy or molly, MDMA is still currently illegal, but increasingly, researchers are discovering its ability to heal severe mental conditions like PTSD, depression, and anxiety. MDMA builds trust and helps relieve stress and issues dealing with trauma, which is why researchers have been studying it. However, because it is still currently illegal, it is not known when or if MDMA will become legal as a treatment for mental conditions, especially PTSD.


With the rising opioid epidemic, it is understandable that there is still some stigma attached to opioids. There are warnings to consider, especially since it is likely that if someone takes opioids (otherwise known as narcotics) for long periods of time to treat chronic pain, they could become addicted or dependent and suffer other long-term consequences. For this reason, it is important to only take opioids under a prescribed doctor’s instruction, and to carefully regulate intake. While opioids can be helpful, they can also be hurtful. Opioids can be extremely effective in treating pain—you just have to be smart about using them.

Modern medicine has come a long way, but it still has farther to go. While there may always be some stigma attached to some of these drugs, research has and will continue to be done to see the extent of their medical uses.

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