Could Marijuana Help Treat Patients With Opioid Addiction?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), opioids killed more than 42,000 people in 2016 alone. The opioid epidemic was recently declared a public health emergency in the United States, and agencies at every level of government, are spending large sums of money to combat the problem. Medical marijuana may offer an effective alternative treatment option for patients struggling with addiction.
Opioids and Chronic Pain
While illegal drugs, like heroin, still account for a significant portion of the opioid problem in America, many people begin their addiction through lawfully prescribed drugs, like Vicodin and Oxycontin. These drugs are frequently used to treat chronic pain. Over time, individuals develop high levels of dependency on these drugs, not only to stave off the pain but also to avoid the painful side effects of withdrawal. Medical marijuana may offer an alternative for those suffering from chronic pain. A study published in the Journal of Pain in 2016 showed a significant reduction in opioid use when people used cannabis. Another study from the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that medical marijuana could be effective in treating patients with chronic pain. In Florida, chronic pain is one of the recognized qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use.
Cannabis and Opioid Withdrawal
Medical marijuana has been shown to be, not only helpful in treating chronic pain, but also effective in helping patients cope with the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. Individuals attempting to wean themselves off opioids often experience extreme nausea, bone pain and other aches, and severe cravings. Medical marijuana alleviates some of these symptoms, increasing an individual’s ability to reduce their dependence, and eventually cease their opioid intake altogether.
If you, or a loved one, struggle with an opioid addiction, due to chronic pain, and would like to learn more about medical marijuana in Florida, schedule an appointment or call the Marijuana Doctor at (786) 224-4005 today. With compassionate, highly experienced doctors and locations throughout the state, we strive to make the whole experience comfortable and convenient.