Controversial Rehab Center Using Marijuana To Treat Drug Addiction


It may seem counterintuitive, but an LA-based rehab is using marijuana to help patients overcome their drug addiction.

High Sobriety incorporates Cannabis Inclusive Treatment to wean people off powerful medications, in particular prescription opioids. But perhaps surprisingly, other facilities have also utilized this method. Dr. Gary Witman, a physician at Canna Care clinic in Massachusetts, told the Boston Globe in 2015 that 75% of his patients stopped using harder drugs when they tapered off with cannabis.

This novel, unconventional approach is also partly in response to low success rates of traditional rehabs. The New York Times reports that success rates of traditional inpatient rehabs hover at around 30 percent.

However, not all medical professionals are on board with this method. Psychiatrist Dr. Leah Bauer, of the Maine Association of Psychiatric Physicians, testified at a hearing last April and said that “simply encourage another intoxicating substance in the lives of those trying to overcome the ravages of addiction,” said Dr. Bauer, “and in fact, marijuana may be pouring gasoline on the fire.”

Thomas McLellan, a former Obama deputy drug czar who founded the non-profit Treatment Research Institute, an organization which analyzes research and makes drug policy recommendations, is also skeptical. “Marijuana has exactly no role in the treatment of any mental illness,” he told The Guardian, “especially substance-use disorders.”