Marijuana has long been criticized as a “gateway drug” that leads to the use of more hazardous and addictive narcotics. However, a rising amount of scientific data implies that the gateway can swing the other way. Patients who have been using prescription opioids for years are increasingly using cannabis as a “exit drug” to help them lessen or eradicate their opiate addiction, as are others who have suffered with relapse after a cycle of rehab and relapse. Cannabis supporters argue that it may be a powerful weapon for addressing America’s opioid problem, which now takes more people each year than firearms and car accidents combined.
In this article, Patients Turn to Cannabis as an ‘Exit Drug’ From Chronic Opioid Use and Addiction, on Seven Days, an independent weekly in Vermont, Dr. Sulak says that combining cannabis with opioid regimens improves painkilling capabilities while also preventing patients from acquiring a tolerance to the drugs, and therefore minimizing the need to increase dose.
This article written by Ken Picard was originally published by Seven Days VT on May 15, 2019.