CBD paves the way for future Substance Abuse Treatment (2020)

CBD paves the way for future Substance Abuse Treatment (2020)

CBD For Substance Abuse Treatment
CBD Paves the way for Substance Abuse Treatment

CBD is gaining increasing popularity and recognition as the future of Substance Abuse Treatment.  There are many studies and much scientific experimentation currently being undertaken.  Much of this research points to the utility of using Cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive ingredient in hemp and marijuana to treat many different forms of addiction including Heroin Addiction.

Statistics of Substance Abuse in the United States

Right now, there are more than 20 million individuals in the United States who are both dynamic and previous addicts. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from 2000 to 2015, nearly 1 million passed away from medication overdoses. 91 Americans die each day from  overdoses from opioids.

In 2017, the quantity of death from opioid overdose has surpassed 144 every day. Addiction assumes a multi-faceted job by they way it influences society.

In addition to the fact that it is inconvenient for the abuser’s general wellbeing and danger of creating ailment, it influences imprisonment rates, car accidents, work and the general monetary weight set on the legislative bodies. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has evaluated that the yearly financial burden to be in excess of $78.5 billion, including the expenses of healthcare, lost productivity, substance abuse treatment, and criminal justice involvement.

Medication-Assisted Treatment in Substance Abuse Treatment

Medication-Assisted Treatment in Substance Abuse Treatment

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the use of FDA- approved medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. 

Dynamics have now been changing in the approach healthcare providers are taking towards the opioid epidemic.  Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) programs are gaining increasing popularity and recognition as an effective way to aide patients on their path of sobriety.

There are currently not too many treatment centers that offer MAT as a mainstay treatment for addiction and substance abuse.  In a report published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), only one-third of patients who were active sufferers of Opioid addiction had access to maintenance medications such as Buprenorphine.  In his report on Addiction in the US, the United States Surgeon General concluded that only 1 in 5 patients were receiving any form of therapy for their opioid addiction.     

Barriers to effective Substance Abuse Treatment

There are FDA- approved medications which are currently available for Opioid Addiction.  These medications serve to assist the patient in curbing their craving by taking maintenance doses of either buprenorphine or methadone.  Statistics show that these medications have reduced the number of overdose deaths by 59%, a significant number. 

While these medications are FDA-approved, there are barriers to access to these specific medications for patients.  Much of the issue stems from the fact that these medications are still classified as opioids at the end of the day and are subjected to strict legislation regarding its dispensing and prescribing.  Frequent visits to a waivered physician who is authorized to prescribe such medications can prove to be burdensome to patients, often leading to diversion and relapse. 

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) refers to the second most abundant active ingredient found in cannabis.  It is derived directly from the hemp plant, a cousin of the marijuana plant.  Despite being a component of marijuana, CBD as a stand-alone treatment is not associated with psychoactive effects, such as getting a “high”.  In a report published by the World Health Organization, it has been shown that CBD does not present with any effects that could indicate that one is addicted or dependent on it.  Currently, there is no evidence of any public health issues associated with use of CBD. 

Studies regarding CBD in Substance Abuse Treatment

Studies conducted at Mt Sinai Hospital have shown that using Cannabidiol (CBD) reduces a patient’s craving for illicit substances and also reduces anxiety levels.  This debilitating anxiety, along with poor impulse control in regard to craving are what generally lead a patient to relapse on these different substances of abuse.  A study was conducted where patients who had an average of 10+ years of abuse to substances such as heroin were given either 800mg, 400mg or a placebo.

Interestingly enough, the group receiving the CBD showed a two to three-fold reduction in their cravings for opioids, such as heroin, when compared to the placebo group.  The study also showed that their cortisol (stress hormone) levels were also less when compared to the placebo group.          

What is the bottom-line on CBD in Substance Abuse Treatment?

There is much promise around using CBD to treat a wide array of medical conditions which include insomnia, chronic pain, and anxiety.  It has proven to be effective in curbing cravings in those who suffer from Substance Abuse.  Further studies need to be conducted to determine what effective and therapeutic doses of are to be effective in treating what it is supposed to treat.

CBD is something that is here to stay, and it is going to mold the way the Substance Abuse industry addresses the public health crisis that we are currently in.