Addiction Treatment

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Addiction Treatment with Cannabis

Marijuana/Cannabis has been portrayed as a gateway drug of abuse that leads to the use of and addiction to stronger drugs of abuse. The psychoactive effects of cannabis have been cited as a reason it cannot be used as a legitimate medicine. When compared to other drugs of abuse, cannabis does not measure up to the addictive potential of tobacco, alcohol, other illicit drugs or prescribed medications such as opioids, benzodiazepines, stimulants or barbiturates. Historic medical use of cannabis preparations, anecdotal reports and new research indicate that rather than a gateway drug to addiction, cannabis holds promise as an exit drug from other drug addictions.

Faculty Presentations on Cannabis in Addiction Treatment

img 1 dreher04Video – Cannabis -Risk of Dependence, with Melanie Dreher, RN, PhD, FAAN –

Observing Jamaican cultural taboo against crack-cocaine use and social acceptance of ganja (marijuana), Professor Melanie Dreher, College of Nursing, University of Iowa, tells 2004 Cannabis Therapeutics Conference how Jamaican women relinquish cocaine addiction by using ganja and the impact of maternal crack use on children.

Suggested Reading

Dreher M. (2002). Crack heads and roots daughters: The therapeutic use of cannabis in Jamaica. Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics, 2(3/4):121-33.

Epstein DH & Preston KL. (2003). Does cannabis use predict poor outcomes for heroin-dependent patients on maintenance treatment? Past findings and more evidence against. Addiction, 98(3):269-79.

Labigalini E, Jr., Rodrigues LR & Da Silveira DX. (1999). Therapeutic use of cannabis by crack addicts in Brazil. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 31(4):451-5.

Mikuriya TH. (2004). Cannabis as a substitute for alcohol: a harm-reduction approach. Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics. 4(1):79-93.

Raby WN, Carpenter KM, Rothenberg J, Brooks AC, Jiang H, Sullivan M, Bisaga A, Comer S & Nunes EV. (2009). Intermittent marijuana use is associated with improved retention in naltexone treatment for opiate-dependence. American Journal of Addictions, 18(4): 301-8

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