Could medical cannabis play a role in treating substance misuse?

Could medical cannabis play a role in treating substance misuse?
Cannabis Health News

Dr Nat Wright, clinical advisor to European cannabis company AltoVerde, discusses how cannabis can play an important role in treating substance misuse and in alleviating the over-prescription of opioids. Medical cannabis became legal in the UK in 2018 and in the four years since, the number of patients has grown to upwards of 20,000. On the NHS, medical cannabis is prescribed for only a handful of conditions including epilepsy, nausea caused by chemotherapy, and multiple sclerosis-related muscle spasms. But a number of private clinics in the UK now prescribe medical cannabis to treat a range of physical and mental ailments, with the majority of medical cannabis being prescribed for pain management and anxiety.  Dr Nat Wright is a GP who has worked extensively with patients dealing with substance abuse issues and who has more than 20 years of experience on several committees involved in raising the quality of healthcare provision to vulnerable groups. He believes that the role of cannabis in the inter-related world of substance misuse and pain management is an area that deserves more attention from medical professionals in the UK.  Given the over-prescription of opioid-based pain management across traditional medicine and the (arguably) related opioid epidemic that is devastating communities around the world, cannabis could provide an alternative to opioid-based pathways and be used as a treatment for those struggling with addiction and substance use disorders.  Dr Nat Wright, clinical advisor to AltoVerde De-stigmatising treatment around drug addiction and substance abuse “When I started in 1996, there were really no guidelines for GPs,” says Dr Wright.  “But I found myself in a job where I was required to prescribe for drug users. So I learned very quickly, and I learned a number of things.” Back then, there was still little evidence supporting, for example, the use of…

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