Calgary Doctor Thinks Cannabis Can Be Part of the Solution to the Opioid Crisis – LPC
Dr. Jonathan N. Stea, a child psychologist in Calgary, is not convinced cannabis is the solution to the opioid crisis. (Link to full story below.) He points out how misunderstood cannabis is today. Some see it as the silver bullet to cure everything from cancer to Alzheimer’s and even prevent diabetes. One cannabis retail store owner in Swift Current opened her store because of her own miraculous cannabis and cancer experience. Others see it in an entirely negative light, he says, leading to madness and murder.
So what is the truth? Is cannabis the solution to the opioid crisis? There isn’t enough evidence to say yet either way.
“Critics of these policy decisions have argued that there is not yet enough evidence to support cannabis as an effective treatment,” he said. “They are correct. There haven’t been any randomized controlled trials evaluating cannabis specifically for the treatment of opioid addiction.”
As a matter of fact, there is at least one cannabis research project almost underway. Researchers in Toronto will study 100 ex-NHLers currently using opioids to see how effective switching to cannabis is.
Dr. Stea is cautious of any sort of replacement though (although he does not reference the NHL player research in particular).
“Substituting cannabis for evidence-based opioid addiction treatments could be harmful because discontinuing already-established treatments… could be life-threatening,” he said.
On the other hand, cannabis may be a solution to the opioid crisis if it can help with withdrawal symptoms.
“If the goal of treatment is to reduce the harm that a person experiences, then it makes intuitive sense to offer cannabis in the hope that opioid use will decrease.”
Mounting Evidence for Cannabis as a Solution to the Opioid Crisis – LPC
Dr. Stea points out that right now doctors can’t support cannabis as a solution to the opioid crisis. That’s because there simply isn’t enough scientific evidence. States such as Ohio, which recently legalized cannabis for medical use, hopes that cannabis will be a solution to its opioid crisis. Provinces such Ontario, PEI, and New Brunswick have recently allowed medical cannabis coverage for workers’ compensation claims.
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