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Treating Drug Addiction

New Potential for Medical Marijuana: Treating Drug Addiction

All addictions are difficult to treat, but drug use might be one of the hardest to deal with for the addicted person. Taking drugs is a habit, and it is hard to change habits at once. That is why many users fail to resist the temptation of using drugs again after promising to stop.

It is what led the experts to try a different approach. Instead of stopping the use altogether, they are focusing on graduate progress. The professionals recognize this approach as harm reduction. The goal is simple – you decrease the use of a harmful drug over time, which reduces negative consequences and makes it more feasible to deal with the addiction.

Innovation in the form of Harm Reduction
Vaping instead of drugs experts are trying an innovative approach – using medical marijuana in the treatment process, especially for those who have severe addictions.  The High Sobriety program is trying out this new potential for medical marijuana.“We are supporters of the approach that aims to reduce harm over time,” says the founder Joe Schrank, who has been sober from drugs and alcohol for over two decades.

According to Schrank, a number of their patients appreciate going into abstinence gradually. The fact that medical cannabis is far less harmful than other drugs like cocaine helps to control the harm, and assists in staying clear of harsh drugs.

The math is simple – it is better to purchase discounted sour diesel seeds than spend a fortune on harsh drugs. The users might feel a relaxation effect and other benefits, and that should help them push through the recovery period from the drug they have been addicted to in the past.

Is Extra Caution Needed?

Although Schrank claims that this approach gives results, others are cautious and prefer waiting for study confirmations. 

“We are eager to follow the latest techniques and approaches in dealing with any addiction,” says Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountain Recovery Center’s CEO Todd Stumbo. “However, there doesn’t seem to be enough evidence that medical marijuana can alter the treatment results and patient’s life positively. We stick to interventions and tools that have already proven their effectiveness in the past."

Although Stumbo is among those who are cautious about implementing new techniques, we can see the increase in harm reduction’s popularity throughout the United States.

The Risk of Relapsing Is High
Relapsing back to drugs

The main problem of abstinence-based treatments is that there is a high risk of multiple relapses. That is the reason why professionals are looking for a surefire recipe that would guarantee total abstinence, and stop the user from taking the drug ever again in the future.

“At this moment, we don’t even have a medicine that can help those addicted to cocaine,” says the National Institute on Drug Abuse director, Dr. Nora Volkow. She admits that the research hasn’t confirmed the efficacy of any medications when it comes to cocaine addiction.

Volkow also emphasizes that severe cocaine addictions can be among the most dangerous ones. The potential side effects of cocaine use include brain bleeding, strokes, and seizures. Heroin and other opioids can also be dangerous for the user who has a severe addiction.

Why It Is Hard to Stop at Once

The main difference is in the approach that the recovery facilities use. While some believe that you can turn off the addiction like you are clicking the switch, others are aware that going slow is critical. It is the same with diets – if you make sudden changes in your nutrition, the chances are you won’t last more than a couple of days before eating a piece of cake, or entire chocolate. But if you make gradual nutrition adjustments, you are adopting a lifestyle that you can stick to for the rest of your life.

Nobody denies that marijuana also brings a certain addiction risk, but we need to consider its benefits, too. Users going through an addiction recovery process may feel better and more relaxed if using cannabis. It can also be an excellent way to secure pain relief, which makes marijuana a great substitute for OTC painkillers. Read more about the related topics on CBDOmetry, to understand the concept better.

Can Cannabidiol Reverse Heroin Damage?

An interesting study was conducted at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine Addiction Institute. The director of the facility, Yasmin Hurd, analyzed the effects that THC has on the human brain. According to the results, THC is cannabidiol that has the potential to reverse the damage heroin made to the brain of addicted users.

It is important to mention that THC can also get you “high,” but Hurd insists that its effects are considerable weaker than heroin. She emphasizes that medical marijuana containing THC is also used in treating epilepsy in children.

“The glutamatergic receptors are one of those influenced by heroin. Our study showed that THC has the potential to counter the negative effect of heroin on this area of the brain,” says Hurd.

Additionally, THC has the potential of interacting with systems linked to inhibitory control and anxiety, which can theoretically help in dealing with addiction. The only problem is that Hurd cannot explain how THC does this, and more studies will be necessary to analyze that.

Is it a Finding We Can Use in the Future?

Dr. Volkow pinpoints that we cannot ignore the obvious result that consuming different types of cannabis can help the user to reduce cocaine use. She agrees that it would be useful to conduct a clinical trial as it would enable a detailed analysis of how cannabinoids may help to deal with addiction. However, the discovery that outdoor marijuana seeds can assist those going through addiction recovery is stunning.

For the sake of truth, it is important to mention that there are studies that concluded marijuana dependence might boost the risk of relapsing. However, that research emphasizes that only applies if you use marijuana for a long period.

The National Institute of Drug Abuse seems willing to fund projects that would analyze the effects of THC and other cannabinoids in addiction treatment. Apart from drug abuse, the Institute would like to extend the knowledge on dealing with alcohol and opioid addictions by using cannabis.

It is vital to be patient, but also willing to explore all potential options to help those dealing with drug abuse and recovery from addiction. Going through a recovery process and “staying clean” is not easy, which is why anything that can help those in need is welcome.

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