Reach Out!

Full Name
Email Address
Phone Number
Person of Concern

Posted on August 14th, 2017

Is the harm reduction approach a possible answer to treating drug addiction?

Is the harm reduction approach a possible answer to treating drug addiction?

With the rising trend in rampant drug abuse, researchers are constantly exploring new ways of controlling the epidemic that continues to affect millions of people in the United States. Those who are willing to cure their addiction problems enter into a rehab facility or consciously practice abstinence on their own. The traditional approaches to treating addiction-related problems include individual or group counseling, inpatient and outpatient treatments, detox services, medication and post-recovery care. Amid all these, a new strategy is also currently garnering attention among the medical fraternity. It is the harm reduction approach, which involves reducing harm to the body and mind by reducing the drug intake. 

The new method is based on the observation that people continue to use drugs (despite measures being taken to prevent drug initiation) due to their inability to forego or lack of willingness to do so. The approach explores the possibility of using a less harsh drug to treat serious addiction involving substances like heroin or crack cocaine.

Cannabis may possibly reverse the damages caused by cocaine and heroin addiction

With the legalization of medical marijuana in many U.S. states, many therapists are considering cannabis detox as an effective means of managing pain and reducing the use of crack cocaine and opioids. Researchers are hopeful that by reducing the drug quantity, overall harm can be controlled. Considering the high tendency of relapse (40 to 60 percent) during conventional treatment approaches as declared by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), health practitioners are now advocating the adoption of marijuana as an alternative for harm reduction treatment.

The euphoric feeling one gets from smoking marijuana comes from the effects of two important compounds in the drug, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), on the brain receptors. CBD has the capacity to reverse some of the brain changes that occur among heroin users, including reversing the damage to the cannabinoid receptors. It also activates the serotonin system responsible for regulating mood and emotions. This area is the primary target of all antianxiety and antidepressant medications.

In line with the perennial efforts is a recent study that suggests positive outcomes between intentional cannabis use and reduced crack use. The study is due for publication in Addictive Behaviors in September 2017. Another study in the past had also suggested that high doses of cannabidiol effectively decrease cravings and anxiety among heroin-dependent people.

It is important to note that marijuana itself is an addictive substance and can cause lifelong dependence. There is a need for further research in order to ascertain the capability of marijuana in reducing dependence on other drugs and whether such treatments are viable in the long run or not.

Treating addiction should be the priority

Drug addiction is a serious concern and if left untreated, can cause irreversible damages to the social, personal and professional life of an individual. Detox is the primary step in removing the toxins from the body and preparing it for further treatment. Depending upon the patient’s requirements and condition, detox can be nutrition-based or medication-base. Both are helpful in reducing the negative effects of withdrawal and facilitating less painful recovery.

The Arizona Detox Helpline can provide you with information regarding various detox treatment programs like NTR/NAD, administered by professional health service providers in a soothing environment. You may call us on our 24/7 helpline number (866) 593-8453 to connect to one of the best detox centers in Arizona or chat with one of the representatives to know more about the finest drug detox treatment centers in Arizona.