Will Marijuana Be The Next Opioid Addiction Treatment?










Marijuana is a psychoactive ingredient with many healing properties when used the right way. Increasingly, marijuana legalization and medicalization is crawling across the country. As the medical uses of marijuana are investigated for their many purposes, one of the areas researchers have been considering is opioid addiction treatment. The opioid epidemic has taken a significant toll on the United States. In 2015, the last year available for data, more people died of an opioid overdose than they did of car accident or gun violence, two causes of death which have lead data for decades.

Opioid addiction is severe because it is difficult for addicts to quit opioid drugs. If they are successful in quitting and making it through detox, they are highly vulnerable to relapse, which all too many do. Opioids affect the brain’s ability to react to and reduce pain. Interestingly, the brain perceives both physical and emotional pain almost the same exact way. Living with eh stress of life not under the heavy influence of opioids means a high sensitivity to pain, both physical and emotional. As a result, the brain creates cravings more intensely and more often than with most other drugs. Staying calm, reducing pain, and preventing cravings for opioids are all promises that some researchers, and even some treatment centers, believe marijuana fulfills in treatment.

Marijuana wouldn’t be freely given out to clients in treatment for serious drug addiction. Prescription grade, carefully graded marijuana would be given on an individual basis with consumption closely monitored by a doctor. There is a problem, however. Marijuana is addictive. In fact, marijuana addiction, or “marijuana use disorder” is a viable substance use disorder. Individual who are already prone to addiction will run a higher risk of becoming addicted to marijuana. Because of the tragically high numbers of opioid overdose deaths, many professionals feel that dependency on marijuana, and being intoxicated on marijuana, is a short comparison to life-threatening opioids. Indeed, there has not yet been a report of overdose on marijuana. However, many people have found themselves chemically dependent on marijuana, experiencing symptoms of withdrawal and feeling unable to function without it. Some professionals see this is as being no different than being dependent on other medications which people depend upon every day. Recovery professionals beg to differ. There is no standard in defining “recovery” yet many believe that for addicts, abstinence is the best answer for a lifetime of better health and wellbeing. Dependency on a psychoactive ingredient which can cause similar effects as opioids does not fit that category.

Lakehouse Recovery Center promotes abstinence and wellbeing through the development of a recovery lifestyle. We strive to show clients how to have fun again in recovery while healing mind, body, and spirit. For more information, call us today at (877) 762-3707.


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