Marijuana Can Be Used To Treat Painkiller And Heroin Addiction Indirectly

By Diane Palmer, Parent Herald April 28, 05:05 am

Calls of supporters have been made for medical practitioners to allow marijuana for the treatment of painkiller and heroin addiction. However, marijuana can only treat chronic pain to take away the need to take painkillers and heroin for pain.

There is a growing number of patients that claim that marijuana treatment for addiction helped them drop their dependency to narcotics, according to Herb. The drug can be used to help people kick the habit as doctors from Massachusetts and California are experimenting with the idea, according to Daily Mail.

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that marijuana could be used to treat chronic pain and ailments. In addition, marijuana cannot affect the part of the brain that controls vital functions unlike opioids.

Recent research has shown that medical marijuana forced a 25 percent drop on opioid painkiller overdoses that have resulted in death. States with legalized medical marijuana also saw an average of 1,700 fewer deaths due to prescription drugs than they would have otherwise. Taking medical marijuana also helped opioids addicts with their addiction by reducing withdrawal symptoms.

Similar studies showed that patients who smoked marijuana had less sleep disturbances and anxiety. They were also more likely to remain in treatment for addiction compared to those who did not use marijuana.

However, studies do not say that marijuana treats the addiction to painkillers and heroin directly. Instead, marijuana can help control pain, eliminating the need for patients to take painkillers and heroin.

A supporting study noted that people who suffered from chronic pain reduced their use of opioids after taking medical marijuana. Consequently, the need for patients to rely on prescribed drugs lessened, along with their dependency and addiction to them.

Unfortunately, cannabis advocates go too far by claiming that marijuana can treat opioid addiction, according to Dr. Kevin Hill from Harvard Medical School. It could be wrong to use the findings to push for cannabis as a treatment option, according to co-author of the study that showed medical marijuana can help with painkiller overdoses.

Heroin and opioid overdose-related deaths are showing an increase not just from lower class urban neighborhoods but also from the middle and upper-class communities. The problem with addiction is said to cross all race and social barriers.

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