Exploring this natural remedy and how it can become a life saver…
Opioid addiction has become a rising epidemic throughout the world, particularly gaining attention throughout the United States as a situation of national crisis. Opioid addiction typically develops later in life, during the teenage or adulthood years, but sometimes it can exist from birth. Opioid addiction within babies and newborns is primarily a cause of the mother using the drug during pregnancy, predisposing the child to a life of possible dependency upon the drug, which can mean a rough life start for a newborn if treatment and focus is not placed upon this possibility all throughout life.
Opioids are classified into two common categories; non-prescription and prescription. The addiction epidemic involves the use of both categories in large numbers, but recently it seems the trend is pointing towards a greater abuse of prescription opioids. Prescription medications include those that were either prescribed by a doctor, or can be only obtained through a written allowance and used as directed, but end up getting mistreated. Common forms of these drugs include codeine, fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone and hydrocodone.
Non-prescription opioids are only available through the black market and will not be prescribed by a physician ever. They tend to be of poorer quality and from questionable origins, which is part of what makes them so frightening for the health, mind and body. Common forms of black market opioids includes, heroin and opium. At the end of the day, both prescription and non-prescription opioids can be obtained illegally and without a recommendation from a doctor, for the black market has begun filling up with prescription medications for sale to those who cannot obtain access on their own, and instead are willing to pay an often hefty price.
In light of recent numbers and estimates regarding opioid dependency and abuse, researchers have begun searching for methods of treatment in order to assist those who are going through abuse or addiction and need to get clean. The world of CBD has become an especially intriguing possibility, so researchers have started to conduct some studies testing its ability to steer individuals away from opioid dependency, and onto a clean path.
Although further research does need to continue being conducted throughout the next few years, some studies have provided rather promising results. One study in particular proved that CBD helps to block the opioid reward. If given to someone who is addicted to opioids, CBD could act as a block to the reward effect, helping the patient to become independent from their drug and its addictive properties, which could lead them down a path to full recovery.
In this informative article, we will discuss some information regarding opioid addiction and its connection to CBD, as well as discussing in detail some studies and what their results mean for the future of opioid addiction treatment.
Opioid Addiction: What Is It, What Causes It?:
Although many individuals exhibit glimpses of addictive type personalities tied to a variety of substances, a full-blown opioid addiction can sneak up upon you with few warning signs, because opioids are physically extremely addictive to the body, unlike some other substances, for example cannabis, which does not cause the body to become physically dependent of its presence.
This is why breaking through an opioid addiction can be especially difficult, and the detoxification or withdrawal process often involves uncomfortable and unpleasant symptoms, such as irritability, mood swings, sweating, fever-like symptoms, vomiting and nausea, insomnia and difficulty sleeping, fatigue, anxiety, diarrhea and headaches or migraines. If the patient detoxifying their body from the drug can just hang in there through the week or more of these painful symptoms, they are able to discover real relief in the end, and most of all the future of a healthy life, living without dependency upon a narcotic.
Some signs that someone you know or a loved one close to you might have an opioid addiction, includes sudden financial issues, shopping around for doctors (a circumstance known as “doctor shopping”, involving them trying to find anyone that would be willing to give them a prescription for a minimal issue), dramatic and sudden shifts in mood (mood swings), pill bottles and leftovers from pills popping up in the trash or around their house, withdrawal from social situations or from other individuals (particularly if they used to enjoy associating with these people).
Additionally, if you believe someone you know is on an opioid while you are next to them, look for these physical signs: sedation and drowsiness, looks of elevation and euphoria (similar to appearing as if they are leaving their body frequently), slowed down breathing, dilated pupils, confusion or delirium, frequent fading in and out of consciousness or in and out of a dream state and constipation.
One of the biggest reasons probably as to why prescription opioid addictions are so heavily on the rise, is the ease of obtaining these addictive substances. The numbers are rather staggering, with an estimated 210 million opiates being dispensed for prescription patients in just 2010 alone. With numbers like these, it seems likely that some individuals receiving these medications are not utilizing them purposefully, but rather could end up in an abusive relationship with their prescription medications.
Furthermore, with a world so heavily centered around treating pains and problems with the use of covering and masking prescription painkillers, much of the youth of America are exposed to individuals around them utilizing opioids to discover relief, so as they grow older and are offered these substances, they might feel it is not a big deal and accept the opportunity, due to the lack of negative stigma surrounding prescription opioid derived medications. This peer pressure, blended with any emotional or mental issues they might be undergoing, could creep onto them as a full-blow opioid addiction within a certain period of time, and they might discover one day that they are completely dependent upon the substance.
In other cases, someone could experience a painful or serious injury and be placed upon a prescription opioid pain killer long term to manage their discomfort, only to realize eventually that they cannot go through life without them, developing a dependency upon the drugs long after their actual injury has healed.
The reason for why someone becomes addicted to an opioid, is an especially complex matter and varies greatly from person to person and the circumstances that they undergo throughout life. This is why it is challenging to pinpoint one specific cause, but at least the examples above are a few explanations to possibilities.
Conventional Treatment Methods for Opioid Addiction (Non-CBD):
Three forms of conventional treatments are typically utilized for those who are addicted to opioids. These methods include, outpatient treatment, inpatient rehabilitation therapy and detoxification (detox programs).
To begin, detoxification programs are often a common starting choice, and involve close inpatient monitoring while the individual detoxes from the opioids. Often times, during this process the patient is prescribed a maintenance medication, such as methadone or buprenorphine, which makes the detoxification process a bit more bearable.
After the detox process is undergone, often times the patient will then be sent to an inpatient rehabilitation center, which typically involves continuing of treatment physically, paired up with talk therapy and regular contact with a psychologist or psychotherapist. This part of the process helps the patient to develop healthy coping skills by also recognizing their triggers, as well as assisting the individual to begin reconnecting again with their friends and family.
Lastly, outpatient treatment can involve residency in a halfway house or sober living facility, depending upon how serious the opioid addiction was, as well as regular attendance to support groups like Narcotics Anonymous, which can offer motivation and stability after the patient has already left the watchful eyes of their doctors or therapists, so that relapse does not become a reality.
Living With Opioid Addiction:
Life with opioid addiction is essentially a slow and painful path to destruction, but the individual might not even notice the pain because they are in such a state of numbing and euphoria due to the drugs. The short-term effects of opioid addiction are often the only ones focused upon, they are the withdrawal symptoms listed above, but the real issue lies within the longer-term effects of opioid abuse.
What often is not confronted, is how long term opioid use can lead to a extremely weakened immune system and its functionality, extreme respiratory depression, a multitude of intravenous administration related problems (contraction of blood borne illnesses, embolic events, systemic infections and more) and a plethora of gastric problems (constipation, bowel perforation, intestinal ileus). Most of all, the frequent use of opioids takes you away from the people you love and care about the most; the people who bring you happiness and make your life worth living. You stop being able to be there for them when they need you most, and begin withdrawing and isolating yourself from the life you lived before the opioid addiction.
Although the physical symptoms of opioid abuse are just awful, the emotional and social changes are probably the saddest part, leading to a life in which you are not only a complete stranger to who you were before, but also causing you to lose so many of those that you once loved and who meant the world to you. Your loved ones don’t deserve to be treated like that, and you certainly deserve to have those loved ones in your life, right where they want to be.
CBD for Opioid Addiction: A 100% Natural Remedy for Success?:
The results of recent studies testing the ability of CBD to be an effective treatment method against opioid addiction, has proven to be rather promising, even if further research needs to be conducted for even more evidence. The science world is on a good track, however, with the majority of studies positively pointing towards CBD’s powerful healing properties.
The August 9, 2017 issue of the scientific journal Planta Medica published a research study conducted by the University of Mississippi, in which encouraging results were presented. When mice were administered just 10 mg per kg doses of CBD oil, the “opiate reward” was suddenly blocked, making their physical desire for the drug lessened or non-existent, because the body no longer was able to crave the addictive substance, all thanks to the help of Mother Nature.
Another study published in the 2015 Subst Abuse journal, ended up reporting its research results on CBD’s effectiveness for addiction problems as, “A limited number of preclinical studies suggest that CBD may have therapeutic properties on opioid, cocaine, and psychostimulant addiction, and some preliminary data suggest that it may be beneficial in cannabis and tobacco addiction in humans. Further studies are clearly necessary to fully evaluate the potential of CBD as an intervention for addictive disorders” (Mélissa Prud’homme et al. 2015).
Lastly, a 2013 study published in Addictive Behaviors journal found that Cannabidiol reduced cigarette consumption for regular tobacco smokers or tobacco addicts, with a possibility that it could cause the same effects on opioid addicts, due to its inhibiting of the reward center from becoming stimulated when the substance is dosed into the body. CBD sort of acts as the stimulator, already taking care of the reward center, so that the opioids, or in this case tobacco, have little to no physical pleasure on the body in regards to quenching the thirst that comes along with the addiction.
For those who are not familiar with the component CBD, it is the second most prevalent cannabinoid within the cannabis plant, just after the famous THC. Unlike THC, CBD will produce zero psychoactive effects on the mind or body, meaning that it cannot actually get you high as is typical with THC and most smokable marijuana strains. THC itself is what produces the stereotypical “high” effects from marijuana, but once this component is non-existent, you just are left with all the healing and medicinal qualities of cannabis, with all the added in brain slowing or altered functionality.
This is why CBD has begun making such waves throughout the cannabis community and stretching far beyond, because people are noticing how much it can help, all while keeping their mind in the exact same state and not changing the way they go through life on a day to day basis. Because of this, CBD can also be consumed at any time; morning, day or night- pre-work or post-work.
The Bottom Line: CBD for Opioid Addiction:
Considering all of the rising evidence supporting CBD’s claims to help with opioid addictions, even if more research does need to continue being conducted, sufficient evidence already does exist throughout academic journals and across reputable websites on the internet, showing just how the answer could be right in front of our eyes and sourced directly from Mother Nature herself.
It is important, however, if you are planning on utilizing a CBD product for your treatment process, it’s vital to be careful when choosing your options. There are multiple companies with CBD products available for purchase who are making bogus claims of purity and CBD richness, when in reality they have no active cannabinoids present. The FDA has taken notice of these companies and has even issued out warnings, yet still somehow these products seem to stay available on the market.
In order to make your search a little simpler, we have listed a few things to watch out for when purchasing CBD oil. For further information read: Watch Out For These 5 Traps When Going to Buy CBD Oil
- Full-spectrum Hemp extract
- No pesticides, solvents or chemical fertilizers
- 3rd party laboratory tested
- Price Range ($48.00 – $139.00)
- Maximum potency and purity
- Compounded by a licensed pharmacist
- Highly concentrated extraction process
- Price Range ($26-$169)
- Over 5 Years Experience
- 3rd party laboratory tested
- Organic hemp CO2 extract tincture
- Price Range ($62.00 – $204.00)
- Organic hemp CO2 extract tincture
- Available in Cinnamint & Natural
- Full-spectrum extract
- Price Range ($39 - $249)