“Maybe Marijuana isn’t so bad when you first start it, but this study would say there’s consequences later on,” said Rosecrance Chief Medical Officer Tom Wright, on a study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.
The research says that Cannabis is likely to increase someones chances of developing an addiction to Opioids after three years.
“A lot of people want to think that recreational marijuana use, any kind of marijuana use doesn’t have any consequences, (that) it’s only good,” Wright said. “People need to know that they’re not harmless, there are risks that come with it too,” he added.
The study found the more frequently one uses Marijuana, the higher the likelihood they will turn to prescription Opioids for illicit use. Wright believes stopping marijuana use could prevent more people from falling prey to the Opioid epidemic. He even says it could stop people from turning to the cheaper alternative of Heroin.
“That’s the one that they’re not manufactured, there are not standards,” Wright said. “That’s the one that could be laced by something like Fentanyl, or a Fentanyl like substance, and that is what people die from,” he added.
“I don’t think that study is going to be successful at convincing anybody that Cannabis is going to make a person more liable to Opioid addiction,” said alternative pain management physician David Footerman.
Footerman says there are benefits to Cannabis for those suffering from the qualifying medical conditions in Illinois that allow for its medicinal use. However, he does believe more research is needed to truly discover if Marijuana is a gateway drug to Opioids.
“It’s going to have to be done with animal research I think, followed by very carefully constructed human trials that are going to be done as result of what we find in animal studies,” Footerman added.