One drug could save people from another - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

One drug could save people from another

Posted: Updated:

VENICE, FL - Could marijuana be the answer to the rising heroin epidemic? 

Just days after the State of Washington was awarded $11 million to combat a growing opioid problem, research indicates one drug could help save people from another.

Federal law blocks most research into medical cannabis, but Dr. Barry Gordon with the Compassionate Cannabis Clinic of Venice says using cannabis to fight addition has been successful.

"Canadian studies, other countries have shown pretty clearly that cannabis therapy can assist in recovery from both alcohol and opiate addiction," Dr. Gordon said.

Dr. Gordon also says this works by stabilizing the endocannabinoid system in the body. 

"The organ system in the body that really mitigates a lot of the functions of pleasure in the body and things of that nature, so it's felt that sometimes replacing other more dangerous products with a very safe product like medical cannabis can be very helpful in recovery." 

Opioid and heroin addiction often starts with prescribed painkillers.

"Most of the patients coming to me have already been through their opioid issues," Dr. Gordon said. "Either they're still on them and want to get off them to a certain extent, half the dose, get rid of the totally, or quite frankly those people that manage to get off them never want to go back." 

Critics say addiction shouldn't be treated by providing another drug, but Dr. Gordon says things like Methadone and Suboxone are already being used.

"Cannabis on the other hand I think is safer in general than the Methadone and the Suboxone, and I think can be once again utilized as a kind of a replacement medication for patients to stop them from slipping back into the abyss of heavier opioid meds, alcohol as well. 

"Surely the expectation of being able to start somebody for a chronic pain type of process on medical cannabis is a fantastic expectation, and quite frankly we'll see if Florida allows us that chance or not." 

Of course, while more and more states are not only legalizing medical marijuana - but recreational use like we have here - federally, marijuana is still considered a controlled substance.

HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Tri-CitiesTri-Cities NewsMore>>

  • One dead in mass shooting in Canada

    One dead in mass shooting in Canada

    Monday, July 23 2018 1:30 AM EDT2018-07-23 05:30:04 GMT
    The Latest: 1 victim dead after man shoots 14 in Toronto    TORONTO- Police say a gunman and one victim is dead after a man shot 14 people, including a young girl, in the Toronto neighborhood known as Greektown.    Toronto police chief Mark Saunders says a young woman was killed in the shooting Sunday night. He also says a young girl is in critical condition.    Police spokesman Mark Pugash says the condition of the other victims is not known yet. He says...More >>
    The Latest: 1 victim dead after man shoots 14 in Toronto    TORONTO- Police say a gunman and one victim is dead after a man shot 14 people, including a young girl, in the Toronto neighborhood known as Greektown.    Toronto police chief Mark Saunders says a young woman was killed in the shooting Sunday night. He also says a young girl is in critical condition.    Police spokesman Mark Pugash says the condition of the other victims is not known yet. He says...More >>
  • No criminal charges filed in deadly bike crash

    No criminal charges filed in deadly bike crash

    Sunday, July 22 2018 9:46 PM EDT2018-07-23 01:46:47 GMT
    Many of those involved are homeless, the victim was a resident of the Connections Transitional Housing.Many of those involved are homeless, the victim was a resident of the Connections Transitional Housing.
    PENDLETON, Ore.- No criminal charges have been filed in connection with a collision that killed a 62-year-old Pendleton bicyclist last month.    The East Oregonian reports that Ann Wyatt was bicycling June 8 to her job at the U.S. Forest Service on the Umatilla Indian Reservation near Pendleton when an SUV struck and killed her.    The Umatilla Tribal Police Department, which headed up the investigation, has not identified the driver or released other information. ...More >>
    PENDLETON, Ore.- No criminal charges have been filed in connection with a collision that killed a 62-year-old Pendleton bicyclist last month.    The East Oregonian reports that Ann Wyatt was bicycling June 8 to her job at the U.S. Forest Service on the Umatilla Indian Reservation near Pendleton when an SUV struck and killed her.    The Umatilla Tribal Police Department, which headed up the investigation, has not identified the driver or released other information. ...More >>
  • Student sues districts for enabling child pornographer

    Student sues districts for enabling child pornographer

    Sunday, July 22 2018 9:44 PM EDT2018-07-23 01:44:39 GMT
    PROSSER, Wash.- A student has sued two school districts in south-central Washington, alleging officials knew a former educator engaged in grooming behavior with students yet allowed him to keep working.    The lawsuit names the Prosser and Granger school districts, where Stephen Castilleja worked.    Castilleja was sentenced last fall to 27 years for taking pornographic photos and video of children.    The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a former student w...More >>
    PROSSER, Wash.- A student has sued two school districts in south-central Washington, alleging officials knew a former educator engaged in grooming behavior with students yet allowed him to keep working.    The lawsuit names the Prosser and Granger school districts, where Stephen Castilleja worked.    Castilleja was sentenced last fall to 27 years for taking pornographic photos and video of children.    The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a former student w...More >>