Cannabis as an “Exit Drug”

Merits of Marijuana-Assisted Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation

While more prevalent methods of drug rehabilitation require participants to stop all drug and alcohol use, some new drug rehab centers are taking a different approach. Centers such as High Sobriety in Los Angeles are encouraging program participants to use marijuana in place of harder, more harmful and addictive drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine. This method is primarily for people who have made unsuccessful attempts at recovery in other abstinence-only programs.

The rationale for this approach is largely based on the generally non-lethal nature of marijuana. Many have argued that marijuana, while not deadly on its own, is a gateway drug to more harmful substances. However, proponents of cannabis use in drug rehabilitation propose that it can be used as an “exit drug” and refers to the replacement of harmful drugs with marijuana as “harm reduction.” Proponents also claim that marijuana as an addiction exit strategy could be viable because it allows participants to mitigate the often unbearable physical torture of withdrawal and cope with the negative emotional aspects of recovery, which tend to include depression and anxiety. Facilitators of such programs suggest that this approach could significantly increase addicts’ likelihood of successfully weaning themselves off lethal drugs.

According to federal laws, marijuana is still considered a Schedule I substance, which makes it difficult to study in any official capacity, so there is no solid scientific evidence that this approach is effective. While there is no scientific proof to substantiate claims that marijuana is or is not addictive, it still has the potential to play a positive role in helping drug addicts move from harmful to non-harmful substance use. However, stories of this approach and its relative success or failure are likely to circulate in the coming years.

Starting a Cannabis-Based Recovery Center

If you are interested in exploring business opportunities associated with cannabis-assisted drug and alcohol rehabilitation, let’s talk. Our experienced cannabis business law attorneys at Purdy & Bailey, LLP know the ins and outs of California’s marijuana laws and have all the information you need to consider your options and start the process.

Call us today at (858) 360-7080 or send us your information to get the conversation started.