The United States is struggling with an opioid epidemic that’s claimed more than 300,000 lives since it began. One of the most overlooked benefits of CBD is its ability to combat drug and alcohol addiction. Research concludes that the brief 7-day period of CBD treatment not only prevented the development of previously displayed “addict-like” characteristics, it deterred the subject’s from relapsing for 5 months — even though the CBD cleared from the brain and body after 3 days. So not only is CBD effective in preventing relapses in drug and alcohol addicts, the benefits it provides are long-lasting which is crucial when fighting substance addiction. With substance addiction being such a huge problem in the world today, this a huge breakthrough that could change the lives of tens of thousands of people. Almost 7,000 people are treated in emergency rooms in the United States every day for misuse of a prescription opioid. The estimated cost of opioid abuse is $56 billion per year. The states with the worst opioid addiction problem are in the South. While America claims only 5 percent of the world’s population, we consume 80 percent of the world’s opioids. In the United States, nearly 50 percent of people who take opioids for more than 30 days in the first year continue to use opioids for three years or longer. Half of them are being prescribed short-acting opioids, the type that Big Pharma opioid manufacturers say is more likely to lead to addiction and abuse. Prescription opioid abuse and addiction is actually a much bigger problem than heroin addiction in this country. Not to mention, many of these heroin users started with prescription opioids. States that have yet to recognize the medical utility of cannabis should revise and update their policy given the extent of the opioid crisis and the considerable scientific and clinical data that highlights the potential of cannabis as a lifesaving treatment for opiate addiction. Medical cannabis should be a first-line treatment for opioid addiction, not a last resort.

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