The success of the cannabis industry, as well as the touching stories of children and adults improving their quality of life through cannabis consumption, is breaking down the plant’s long-standing stigma. Medical studies are beginning to reveal the countless benefits that cannabis can offer. And now, cannabis is being considered as a way to treat drug addiction.
A rehab facility in West Los Angeles called High Sobriety recently announced that it will help its patients treat drug addiction through the use of cannabis. This “cannabis inclusive treatment” is a fresh new take on traditional treatment for addicts. It’s common to find that rehab centers assist their patients by enforcing complete abstinence of all drugs and alcohol. However, High Sobriety believes that allowing its patients to use cannabis to help is more helpful:
At High Sobriety, our first and foremost goal is to eliminate the risk of death from drug use. Cocaine, heroin, meth amphetamine, pharmaceuticals, and other street drugs all have a lethal dose. Leading the death toll, killing more than all others combined, is alcohol. Cannabis has no known lethal dose. The simple truth is eliminating drugs with a lethal dose and using a drug with no lethal dose is a massive improvement, life improving, and life-saving. For generations we have been told that cannabis is a “gateway” drug, at High Sobriety, we believe it is an exit drug.
According to LA Weekly, the rehab center was founded by a recovering addict, Joe Schrank. He has been free of drug and alcohol use for 20 years, and his expertise on addiction allowed him to open a sober-living home in New York, appear on a variety of television programs, and also appear on TEDx Talk back in 2013 as well.
The rehab center’s move to allow cannabis consumption has received shocking responses from others who also specialize in addiction. “We all knowing the treatment field that weed is such a dangerous drug for the emotional stability of our youth,” said Dr. Howard Samuels, who once worked with Schrank. Another response from Dr. Lara Ray, a psychology professor at UCLA, notes that there is not yet enough scientific evidence to prove that cannabis can actually help to treat addiction, “As with many other applications of cannabis, it’s not grounded in science,” she said. “We do know that folks who have a propensity to abuse one substance will likely abuse another. Having a substance like marijuana with a high abuse potential cannot be a favorable thing, in my opinion.”
The cannabis industry is growing, but it will take more time to prove that cannabis is helpful in treating addiction. However, it’s moves like this that could help prove how cannabis can help, and there’s high hopes that rehab centers such as High Sobriety will be able to put forth some great first-person accounts of how cannabis was effective.