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Can Marijuana Successfully Treat Drug Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms?

Should marijuana be legalized for medical purposes? It’s a questions that been asked and answered – differently – across the country for years now. Many who are proponents of the cause have a laundry list of ailments that they believe are treated successfully by the drug, and one of the latest ones, ironically, is drug addiction.

Should You Treat Drug Addiction with Addictive Substances?

It’s yet another controversial discussion. Many take issue with the idea of treating, for example, a dependence upon heroin with another addictive substance like methadone. Why replace the use of one addictive substance with another? In the case of methadone and another popular heroin addiction treatment medication, Suboxone, the replacement substance is controlled and easy to dose at increasingly lower levels as compared to the street drug. Over time, the patient can reduce their dose as slowly as is comfortable, helping them to avoid the bulk of withdrawal symptoms and better avoid relapse.

The Problems with Prescribing Marijuana to Treat Drug Addiction

When it comes to providing a standardized dosing schedule using marijuana as a treatment medication, it’s not that simple. There are different types of marijuana which affect different people in different ways. It’s not always straightforward to determine how much should be used, how it should be ingested, and how often. Many are given a marijuana prescription and told to use it on an as needed basis – carte blanche that can often result in the patient remaining high at all times, making it difficult for them to work through the emotional and mental health issues which may have propelled their drug addiction.

Comparing Addictions

Those who are proponents of prescribing marijuana for the treatment of opiate dependence say that even if the patient ends up addicted to marijuana, it’s far safer than living with an active addiction to heroin or painkillers. Though it isn’t easy to regulate dosage, it is impossible to overdose on marijuana – which is more than can be said for any opiate drug. Many would view marijuana “treatment” as more of a harm reduction measure, something that those who are against the idea say is not really treatment at all but a stop gap measure to mitigate overall harm.

What Do You Think?

Is it a good idea to use marijuana to treat heroin addiction or painkiller addiction? Do you think that it only transfer the addiction? What about the underlying psychological issues? Could those be successful when the patient is still taking a mind altering drug? Leave us a comment below and tell us your thoughts.

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