Opiate overdose deaths are on the rise in the U.S.
With over 2.1 million people in the U.S. suffering from dependence on opiates, a lot of people think we’re entering an opiate crisis.
Opiate addiction is definitely a cause for concern when it comes to abuse of prescription pain medications.
But it’s also important to know that a lot of people continue opiate use because the withdrawal symptoms are simply unbearable.
There is no established cure for opiate withdrawal, but there are some potential solutions. One of these includes marijuana.
Read on for more insight into marijuana’s potential for providing opiate withdrawal help.
Before we get into our discussion about marijuana’s role in opiate withdrawal help, let’s talk about what opiates actually are.
Opiates come from the opium poppy plant. Medical professionals use certain opiates in safe doses to assist with certain medical procedures and recoveries.
Common opiates include opium, morphine, heroin, and codeine.
Opiates are Schedule II drugs, meaning that they “have a high potential for abuse,” according to the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration). Schedule II narcotics are also considered to be “dangerous.”
In other words, opiates have a very high potential for addiction.
It’s estimated that nearly a quarter of all people who try heroin, a widely used opiate, will become addicted to it.
So how do people become addicted to these narcotics? There are a few ideas circulating.
Many people first encounter opiates through medical procedures or a medical prescription.
In fact, medical prescription abuse plays a huge role in opiate addiction. Doctors are doing their best to eliminate or reduce opiate use in medical procedures.
There are also programs that monitor prescription drug use to ensure that addiction doesn’t occur.
Nonetheless, an opiate addiction can start with abuse of a prescription. This can just pave the way to use of other illegal opiates, solidifying the addiction.
A lot of organizations are taking important steps in ending opiate addiction. But ending an addiction is a complex process.
If you are addicted to a substance, such as alcohol or a narcotic, it can be hard to let this go due to withdrawal symptoms.
When the body develops a tolerance to a drug, it starts to depend on that drug in order to function. Without regular dosage, the nervous system can rebound in painful ways.
Withdrawal symptoms can cause headaches, insomnia, anxiety, hallucinations, and fever.
In the case of opiate withdrawal, many addicts suffer from nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, high anxiety, sweating, and more.
Some individuals undergoing withdrawal may experience severe depression, powerful cravings for opiates, and muscle cramping.
These symptoms can begin as early as six hours after the last dosage of opiates.
While withdrawal symptoms for opiates aren’t always life-threatening, they can be debilitating. A lot of people just start using opiates again for relief from these painful symptoms.
Of course, this isn’t opiate withdrawal help. Taking more opiates simply continues the cycle of addiction.
It is possible for many addicts to undergo a medical detox. They can do this at certain hospitals and/or rehabilitation centers.
But not every opiate addict is able to do this. Some are uninsured, or unable to take themselves to a detox facility.
Others simply don’t know where to begin or know that help is available.
As a result, 46 people die each day in the U.S. from an opiate overdose.
It’s clear that opiate withdrawal help is an urgent subject in America.
The more opiate withdrawal help is available, the more people can break free of the cycle of opiate addiction.
So what are the remedies for opiate withdrawal? We’ve got answers.
There are actually a lot of “home remedies” for opiate withdrawal. Opiate use stimulates your brain to release high amounts of dopamine, the “feel-good” chemical.
Over time, when addicted to opiates, your brain will actually stop releasing its natural “feel-good” chemicals. These include serotonin and natural resources of dopamine.
So, withdrawal symptoms can result from your brain’s lack of critical neurotransmitters.
Individuals may thus find opiate withdrawal help by getting exercise and exposure to sunlight, activities that target the body’s natural resources of neurotransmitters.
They can also take vitamin and mineral supplements like 5-HTP, calcium, magnesium, B-vitamins, and Gingko. These supplements restore neurotransmitters and help elevate mood and energy levels.
Other professionals recommend drinking lots of water, getting more sleep, and signing up for a massage to increase muscle blood flow.
The problem with these, however, is that they may not be as effective in terms of opiate withdrawal help.
They are important steps to take when supplementing a detox. But when someone is undergoing opiate withdrawal, they may be just tempted to take more opiates to cure the pain.
Marijuana, or cannabis, is starting to emerge as a more effective form of opiate withdrawal help than home remedies.
In fact, there’s evidence to suggest that cannabis is a more powerful antidote for opiate withdrawal symptoms than other medications a doctor may prescribe for detox.
Let’s talk about why this is the case.
Marijuana or weed comes from the cannabis plant. Cannabis is full of certain chemical compounds called cannabinoids.
When you smoke or ingest weed, you automatically ingest these cannabinoids. THC, one of these cannabinoids, is responsible for making you feel high after smoking.
CBD, however, is a cannabinoid that starts interacting with your endocannabinoid system. This system in the body actually produces its own cannabinoids, regulating sleep, emotions, stress levels, and more.
CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system and multiple neurotransmitters and receptors.
As a result, it can interrupt transmission of pain signals. This can alleviate symptoms of chronic pain, muscle cramps and spasms, and nerve pain.
CBD can also help regulate the body’s emotions and moods by interacting with hormone production and more. People who ingest cannabis may feel happier, more relaxed, and calmer.
What’s more, CBD can aid in the promotion of digestive enzymes, encouraging healthy digestive processes.
THC doesn’t just induce psychoactive states. It also targets the brain to release huge amounts of dopamine, increasing the feeling of pleasure throughout the body.
So what does all of this have to do with opiate withdrawal help? Read on.
Let’s think back the prominent symptoms of opiate withdrawal. A lot of individuals suffering from withdrawal experience headaches, nausea, abdominal pain, and muscle cramps.
They may also experience agitation and high levels of stress in the body.
Marijuana can target all of these symptoms and more. It’s proven to alleviate anxiety and agitation.
What’s more, it can assist in healthy digestion, reduce all kinds of pain, and loosen muscle fibers to reduce spasming and cramps.
For all intents and purposes, this seems like a great form of opiate withdrawal help. But let’s look at the data to back this up.
Medical cannabis is on the rise. It’s effectively treating all sorts of debilitating conditions around the world, from Multiple Sclerosis to cancer.
Unfortunately, every state has its own set of medical marijuana laws. While there’s still a lot to talk about in that area, the evidence is pointing to the greater benefit of medical cannabis than its disadvantages.
Studies show that states with access to medical marijuana have 25 percent fewer opiate deaths than those who don’t have access.
That’s an entire quarter of the population of people addicted to opiates!
What’s more, many physicians who are able to prescribe cannabis as a solution to their opiate-addicted patients experience wide-ranging success.
Most of the patients find opiate withdrawal relief from the use of marijuana. They find physical relief from the effects of CBD and emotional relief from THC’s impact on their brains.
In fact, many individuals have effectively freed themselves from opiate addiction through the use of cannabis.
It’s also important to note that no one has ever died, as far as we know, directly from a cannabis overdose. In fact, cannabis is far less addictive–if at all–than opiates, and many opiate addicts who use it don’t return to it in the future.
There is still more research to be done, for sure.
But the data is already out there, indicating that cannabis can play an urgent role in lowering the number of opiate deaths per year.
If you are a loved one is suffering from opiate dependency or addiction, cannabis is a potential solution.
Not only does it help alleviate opiate withdrawal symptoms in the moment, but it can act as a successful treatment for banishing addiction.
What’s more, medical marijuana laws don’t have to be the one thing holding you back. It’s possible to take only CBD, the cannabinoid in cannabis responsible for addressing many opiate withdrawal symptoms.
Of course, we recommend consulting a medical professional before dosing up on CBD or marijuana yourself. Only a proper diagnosis can help you start on the right path toward opiate withdrawal help.