Can cannabis help people suffering from a disorder of opioid use? The University of British Columbia has appointed a flower potter to consider the use of cannabis to help treat substance abuse. ( Rex Slowen Pixabay )
The new career professor at the University of British Columbia will conduct studies to review the potential of cannabis as a treatment for disrupting the use of opioids.
On Friday, November 23, M-J Milloy, a leader in the field of epidemiology and a respected researcher, was published as an inauguration of the Canopy Growth professor of Cannabis science. His appointment was made possible thanks to a $ 2.5 million gift from Canopy Growth, a cannabis producer and $ 500,000 from the British Columbia province.
Opioid crisis in Canada
According to UBC, the primary purpose of Milloy's research is to find evidence that cannabis can provide a positive impact on people affected by opioid use disorders. In the past few months, only 1,143 people in British Columbia have died of suspicion of an overdose.
Canada, like the United States, has an opioid crisis. The government estimates that in 2017, about 11 lives were lost each day due to overdose with opioids. The majority of victims, about two-thirds of all opioid-related deaths, were men.
While there are options for treatment, previous studies have shown that less than one third of people enrolled in opioid agonist therapy, or OATs, remain after six months. This is worrisome because relinquishing relapse is a major risk factor for overdose death.
Opioids include fentanyl, oxycodone, morphine, codeine and heroin. Some opioids are treated by doctors to treat severe pain, but can also be obtained illegally.
Cannabis key to end opioid crisis?
UBC hopes that Miloy's research findings could add evidence of claims that cannabis could better support people who suffer from opioid use disorders. If successful, it could pave the way to the introduction of cannabis-based therapy.
"We need all the hands on the deck to save lives and help people find treatment and recovery services that will work for them in the long run," said Judy Darcy, Minister for Mental Health and Addiction in British Columbia. "Our government is brave and innovative in providing treatment options – based on evidence – for people living with addiction. This first professor of his kind will lead research and clinical trials on how cannabis products can be used to respond to the overdose crisis that lasts three to four lives a day. "
Mlyody's previous research focused on the interconnection between illicit drugs and HIV. He also examined the impact of public health on the legalization of cannabis and the medical application of cannabis in persons with substance abuse.
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