Medical Cannabis Treatment for Heroin Addiction

According to data published by the US National Institute on Drug Abuse in 2018, there is an opioid epidemic in the United States, with 128 individuals dying from overdoses each day. Heroin is a morphine-based drug produced from several opium poppies grown throughout Colombia, Southwest, Asia, and Southeast Asia.

It’s one of the scourges’ most common reasons, along with other drugs such as fentanyl and oxycodone. According to NIDA, the epidemic began in the 1990s when doctors began prescribing pain killers too frequently.

After being consumed by smoking, snorting, injection, or heroin transforms into morphine and attaches to opioid receptors in the brain, producing a pleasurable sensation as well as pain and breathing problems. The warm rush throughout the body and pleasant sense are fleeting, leaving behind negative effects that linger for hours.

Aside from the possible life risk of reduced breathing and heart function, as well as permanent brain damage or coma, ingesting the drug causes severe intense itching, nausea, vomiting, and clouded thinking. According to Frontier Psychiatry, there is actual hope for those suffering from a persistent substance abuse problem that results in significant public discomfort and anxiety.

According to the 2019 medical journal, scientists are also studying cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid present in cannabis, as a potential treatment for substance use disorder. “Recently, cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid found in cannabis. “These cannabinoids have the potential to reduce craving and relapse in abstinent substance users by disrupting reconsolidation of drug-reward memory, emphasizing drug cues, and limiting the reward-facilitating effect of drugs.”

What Are the Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments of Heroin Addiction?

Heroin dependence develops as a result of frequent use, and tolerance makes users more susceptible to an overdose the longer they use without stopping. Withdrawal from heroin is a difficult procedure that includes unpleasant side effects including sleeplessness, diarrhea, cold chills, uncontrollable leg kicking, and insatiable hunger. Long-term symptoms are just as bad as short-term ones.

“Heroin use has been linked to brain damage, which may affect decision-making capabilities, control over actions, and responses to stressful situations,” according to NIDA. Furthermore, long-term usage damages the brain’s structural and physiological features directly harming the neuronal and hormonal systems that are difficult to repair.

Heroin addiction may be controlled with medication and behavioral therapy. However, first, a user must withdraw from the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) allowing certain medicines to assist with the process, buprenorphine, methadone, and including lofexidine.

Can Cannabinoids Relieve the Symptoms of Heroin Addiction?

According to Scientific American, a 2019 research study found that medical cannabis reduces the anxiety caused by heroin when used in a controlled manner and watched. Up to 42 people who took CBD up to 800 milligrams per day showed less anxiety and cravings when facing drug-related stimuli, according to the medical magazine. This is significant for long-term recovery.

According to Scientific American, “Methadone and buprenorphine, the current medical treatments for addiction, work in the same way as opioid drugs do by targeting the same pathways.” Although these medicines can relieve physical need, they cannot calm the anxiety that environmental signals may generate, leaving open a door to addiction reentry.

Between the staggering figures of opioid overdoses, the fact that medical cannabis may assist with withdrawal and long-term abstinence is more than enough to justify further research, which undoubtedly already occurs.

*DigiDrs is not offering this as professional medical advice. Do not attempt to self diagnose, or prescribe treatment based on the information provided in these pages. Consult a physician before making decisions on the treatment of any of these medical conditions.

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