Marijuana as New Treatment for Opioid Addiction
What are opioids?
Opioids are a highly addictive class of drugs that causes the body to have a euphoric sensation. Heroin, oxycodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl, and hydrocodone are all classified as opioids.
How dangerous are opioids?
Opioid abuse can cause abnormal lung function, impaired vision, loss of vision, vivid dreams, anxiety, paranoia, anger, depression, decreased response rate, tooth erosion, kidney damage, liver damage, and the risk of Hepatitis C or HIV through needle sharing, and in the worse situations death by overdose.
Death by opioid overdose was the cause of more than half of the drug overdoses in 2015.
Below you will find charts showing the most recent recorded deaths by overdoses totaling at 52,404 in 2015.
We’ve also provided a chart showing that there was a 6.5% increase in drug over dose between 2013 and 2014, with the highest increase in adults between the ages of 25-34 years old at 10.5%.
Treating Opioid Addictions…
Methadone is the current treatment for opioid addiction. Methadone gives the euphoric feeling that one would get from an opioid. Method treatment comes with not only highly addictive but also comes with a long list of common side effects including anxiety, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and some more serious side effects that include hallucinations, chest pain, fainting, and more.
New Forms of Opioid Treatment
Marijuana is currently being explored as a treatment for the conditions that are normally treated with an opioid prescription, and in replacing methadone that is used to treat heroin addictions.
Doctors are finding that using cannabis can treat the symptoms of opioid withdrawal without having any addictive tendencies. Marijuana can mirror the relieve of pain that one would receive from an opioid.
There has been a significant decrease in opioid related hospitalization within the states that have legalized marijuana. Johns Hopkins University conducted a study that showed medical marijuana states having 25% less opioid related deaths. We’re hoping to see an increase in medical marijuana’s effects on opioid addiction.
PhotoCred: Patrick E. Gauen