Cannabis as treatment against addiction.

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There is no drug that is the gateway to other worse, in the same way that taking a drink from time to time does not convert a person to alcoholism. Addictions are not so much due to the substances themselves as to the characteristics of certain people that make them more predisposed to addiction.

Drug abuse or addiction is considered until now as a disease of the brain, to this day has not yet found a single drug that cures the disease. But, if this were true, how is it possible that cannabis, considered a drug of abuse, could be a useful treatment against addiction?

It can non be the intention that cannabis or any other medicine, drug or remedy to have a supernatural efficacy, since in medicine, miraculous treatments do not exist.

Preclinical research is demonstrating day by day with greater consistency the important role played by the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of addiction behaviors.

In a study on this topic that we dealt with, a follow-up was carried out to crack addicts who decided to disengage from this drug through the use of marijuana; A sample of 25 subjects who claimed to use marijuana as self-medication to combat the drug dependence and to whom no other type of pharmacological treatment was provided was selected. The result was the following: 17 of the 25 subjects (68%) abandoned the use of crack and pointed out that the use of cannabis reduced the dependence and produced positive subjective effects and changes in their behavior that helped them overcome the addiction.

Cases in which cannabis is used as a substitute for other more dangerous drugs, legal or illegal, especially in places where medical cannabis is legalized, such as Canada and some US states.

Other studies claim that cannabis can reduce the consumption of opiates in patients with chronic pain, which is very interesting for public health since they generate tolerance in the patient to such an extent that the medication can lead to overdose. On the other hand, a recent epidemiological study indicates that overdose deaths have decreased since 1999 in those US states where medical cannabis has been legalized. In another clinical study, different opiate-dependent individuals who had been abstinent for 7 days were selected to evaluate the potential of CBD as a reducer of withdrawal syndrome. Half of them were given CBD (10-15 mg / kg) for three consecutive days and the other half placebo. There was a dramatic reduction in the withdrawal syndrome statistically significant in those subjects who received CBD versus those who were given placebo.

These studies show togheter empirical evidence that it is not a question of finding a drug capable of counteracting the pharmacological effects of the substance from which the patients are dependent, because the problem of addictions has to do with the anticipation of the reward more that with the enjoyment of the reward itself. And the interesting thing is that the CBD has been effective in this regard, helping the body to avoid the search for reward and to stop the excitement or appetite for the substance before external stimuli. This is how the CBD works as an alteration of a behavior, since addiction is not a disease that has to be treated with drugs or drugs, but a behavioral habit, that is, behavior.

Dr. Mark Wallace, chairman of the pain medicine division of the anesthesia department at the University of California, who uses marijuana to help patients disengage from opiates. And in the United States, dependence on opioids is now considered a public health problem that began in the 90s and today is the cause of accidental death with the highest number of deaths in this country. "And cannabis is the most effective and safe solution. Marijuana is the exit door for the abuse of analgesic drugs such as opiates "Dr. Adie Poe, a neuroscientist who has studied the interaction between cannabis and opioids in the last 13 years.

Publicado en: Society

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