For people with the disease that is addiction, the steps to recovery have many challenges. Once in recovery, medication assisted treatment is a daily commitment -- hard enough as an activity of daily living -- harder still in a pandemic.
Harm reduction organizations have long advocated for easier access to medications such as methadone and buprenorphine. This month, SAMHSA and DEA eased restrictions. This had to happen - but it is a double-edged sword for people with the disease that is addiction – especially under pressure. Methadone and buprenorphine are the best medications today to support opioid withdrawal - but they too can be lethal.
Cannabis-based medicine is a real-world solution. There is a volume of real-world data and the safety profile is sufficient. The best cannabis companies are prepared for regulatory oversight and are following GMP. There are formulations that can provide controlled dosing. Cannabis-based medicine needs dose-ranging studies and controlled clinical trials for the indications that appear to show benefit. For pain management, if cannabis-based medicine, as adjunct to opioid treatment, decreases the amount of opioids a patient needs to manage pain, there will be less overdoses, less deaths, better quality of life and less cost to society.