A drug rehabilitation facility in Scottsdale, Arizona is using cannabis to treat people addicted to opioid-based painkillers, ABC15 reports. Physicians at Blue Door Therapeutics are recommending cannabis pills and patches to help with nausea from opioid withdrawal and help stabilize the patient’s underlying condition.
Doctors at Blue Door, however, are not encouraging their patients to use smoking as a delivery method because it’s harder for the physicians to monitor dosage.
“They have to meet the state’s criteria for participation in the program, and that it will be used responsibly and in a way that’s not habit forming,” Dr. Ravi Chandiramani, Blue Door’s medical director, said in the report.
The idea to treat opioid addiction with cannabis came after one of the center’s founders spent time at a medical dispensary where many of her patients credited cannabis for eliminating their need for painkillers.
One of Blue Door’s patients, a 63-year-old woman unnamed in the report, said she used oxycodone for six years during a series of knee surgeries, and with the help of cannabis capsules she was able to wean off the prescription drugs in six weeks.
“Every time I tried to come down on the pain pills, I needed another surgery, so I was hooked,” she said. “Blue Door and the medical marijuana is what saved my life.”