Medical Marijuana is reducing Florida’s dependency on opioids

Medical marijuana can help reduce America’s opioid dependency

Medical cannabis provides unequalled treatment opportunity for patients suffering from opiate dependence. Most of the traditional options for opiates illicit users focus on weaning the person off the drug tardily through drug replacement. They may also involve rapid detoxification along with intensive counseling. The two options have high recidivism rate. What’s more, patients who need medication to fight moderate and severe pain encounter more problems. For the individuals, both rapid detoxification and slow withdrawal are not appropriate because they may continually require pain relief.

Medical cannabis helps in two substantial ways. First, it helps combat the physical withdrawal symptoms related to abrupt opiates withdrawal. Moreover, medical cannabis provides a better treatment option that people can use along with opiate-based pain medications to minimize the quantity of opiates they require to control the level of on-going pain.

About Opioid Dependence in Florida

Opioids are a form of medicine commonly used for relieving pain. Opioids work by reducing the quantity of pain signals that the body sends to the brain. Also, opioids work by changing how the brain responds to pain. Doctors mostly prescribe opioids to help relieve pain from injuries, surgeries, dental procedures and toothaches and chronic pains such as cancer.

When used correctly, opioids are usually safe. However, individuals who fail to follow the doctor’s instructions or those who misuse opioids may become addicted. Misuse of opioids refers to failure of following the doctor’s instructions. It can also involve illegal use of the drugs.

The first step towards recovery involves realizing that you are an opioid dependence sufferer. The symptoms and signs of substance abuse are behavioral, physical and psychological. A common sign of opioid addiction is being unable to stop the substance usage and being unable to stop yourself from taking more than the doctor’s recommended amount. Overuse of opioids can lead to irritability, lowered motivation and poor decision-making.

Medical cannabis and opiate dependence

Effectiveness of medical cannabis in relieving pain is moderately accepted in many parts of the world. In a more recent study, the researchers gave participants who used opiate-based pain medicines to relieve both moderate and severe pain three marijuana cigarettes per day in addition to the opiate-based pain medication. The participants reported around 27% overall reduction in the pain level, without any additional opiate-based drugs.

The findings may imply that physicians might start using medical marijuana along with traditional opiate-based medications for individuals who are already in opiate dependence state but who need continued pain relief.

The Neuropsychopharmacology journal published results of another study that showed promising results in usage of medical cannabis to prevent opiate dependence. In the study, THC (a primary component of marijuana) oral administration suppressed opiate dependence sensitivity. The American Journal on Addictions also reported that patients under treatment for opiate dependence are likely to bind to their treatment plan when they include cannabis as part of their treatment.

We also expect new studies on opioid alternative – University of Florida has started a five-year research that is funded by National Institute on Drug Abuse to determine the effectiveness of cannabis in treating HIV/AIDS.

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