(Part one) Methadone and Opiates are
Unfortunately, Methadone is a widely used form of opiate addiction treatment. The “treatment” can come along with side effects such as; anxiety, depression, loss of appetite, and insomnia. Aside from the physical dependence, there also becomes a psychological dependence. This can be the scariest as the patient is putting their trust into the methadone clinic staff to properly taper them off.
VERY sadly, more often than not, the patient ends up needing methadone as much, if not more, than the original opiates they had been abusing.
A study at Thomas Jefferson University, showed that cannabis use before and during methadone treatment, decreased overall patient COWS (or Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale) scores. Also suggesting that cannabis can be effective in increasing the success of methadone treatment.
It can lessen the awful withdrawal symptoms that are more often than not, the reason people find it so hard to stop completely.
MORE IMPORTANTLY- hopefully eventually, BECOMING A FIRST treatment option. (I hope)
*26-36 million people are abusing opiates daily around the world. The Center for Disease Control (at time of publication- see more at (ncib.nim.nih.gov) reports 115 deaths per day in the U.S due to opiates.
A (tiny) bit of the science
Endocannabanoid and Opioderig systems are known to interact in many ways.
The CB1 receptor and MU OPIOID receptors distribute to many of the same areas of the brain. In an exhaustive review, The National Academies of Science and Medicine recently confirmed the adequacy of cannabis for chronic pain in adults.
**When given access to Cannabis as medicine, individuals currently using opiates for chronic pain, decreased their opiate use by 40-60%!!!
……Currently up to 90%…. NINETY percent, in a state led medical cannabis program list chronic pain as their qualifying condition.
In preclinical models, the coadministration of opioids and cannabis weakens the development of opioid dependence.
Therefore the opioid medication didn’t need to be increased nearly as much as normal.
These strategies could have SIGNIFICANT impacts on the Opioid epidemic, given it could entirely prevent two main hurdles:
- Dose escalation
- Physical dependence.
This is all really encouraging and I PERSONALLY hope we can completely replace awful drugs such as these one day!! ;)✌