A Shift in Perspective: Marijuana and Drug Addiction

A Shift in Perspective: Marijuana and Drug Addiction

This is the third part of a three-part series on the changing laws around medical marijuana and its impact on insurance.

In the first and second part of this series, we discussed the change in life insurance policies for marijuana smokers by some insurance companies, as well as the implications for those who are given medical marijuana as treatment to cope with their short or long term disability.

Medical Marijuana - A Shift In Perspective

Legalization Of Marijuana

With the legalization of marijuana and the shift in attitudes toward this drug, some are asking if this is an appropriate treatment for those who suffer from chronic illnesses. Like any drug, use of marijuana could lead to addiction. And if someone is addicted, is it healthy to continue to prescribe this drug to a patient? Will this addiction lead to complications with their insurance coverage? Use of marijuana can have an effect on the appropriate treatment of a psychiatric disorder?

While these concerns are relevant when discussing the introduction of new drugs and drug policy, many Canadians are hailing these legal changes as a turning point for another major drug problem in Canada: opioids addiction.

May Help A Significant Problem

The use (and abuse) of painkillers is a significant problem in North America. Research is showing that medical marijuana can help combat that, and this is one reason why many doctors are urging the Canadian government to legalize the substance. However, it’s hard to tell what its larger social effects could be and the impact pot smoking will have if more patients are using it to cope with a variety of illnesses.

What do you think? Is marijuana a good treatment for opioid use or are we substituting one addictive substance for another? Could prescribing marijuana lead to addiction or help to lessen addiction of other drugs?

 

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