New Treatment for Marijuana Addiction
Treating Marijuana Dependence
There is currently a study being completed at Columbia University in New York that is researching the potential of a treatment for marijuana dependence. The results have yet to be published; however, the researchers, led by Margaret Haney, Ph.D., are studying the effects of a synthetic version of THC, nabilone, on patients who are dependent.1
Thus far, it has been noted that nabilone helped to decrease the withdrawal symptoms patients may feel as they cease to use the drug. It was able to help patients sleep better and maintain a healthy appetite, all while helping to decrease marijuana use.1 Plus, nabilone does not allow users to achieve a high, so it does not have a high potential for abuse.1
Dr. Haney stated that as marijuana becomes legal in more states, marijuana dependence may have to be regarded as a more serious problem, as more people may experience addiction and withdrawal.1 Therefore, learning more about nabilone would be a positive step towards a future of helping those who struggle with marijuana dependence.
It is difficult for those who struggle with marijuana addiction to stay sober on their own. In fact, one study states that 71 percent of users returned to marijuana use within six months of sobriety.1 The drug’s potency is also increasing, which increases a person’s need to feel the powerful euphoria brought on by the drug.1 There is no current FDA-approved treatment for marijuana addiction—something that will hopefully change in the near future, and maybe with nabilone.1
Marijuana Addiction and Medicine
In addition to medicine, therapy would also need to play a strong role in marijuana addiction treatment. Therefore, engaging the patient’s close family and friends in counseling, called network therapy, has led to increased abstinence rates in the past.1 Marc Galanter, M.D., founded network therapy and reports that those who engage in the therapy were twice as likely to achieve abstinence than those who do not.1 Family and friends are held accountable for the patient’s support of a sober lifestyle.1 The patient will also be required to share his/her drug test results with the network, making them more weary of breaking sobriety and letting their friends and family down.1 It’s a powerful system.
More information on nabilone will become available when the study is published.
 Vimont, C. (2013, March 5). Study Examines New Treatment for Marijuana Dependence. Drugfree.org. Retrieved March 6, 2013, from http://www.drugfree.org/join-together/drugs/study-examines-new-treatment-for-marijuana-dependence?utm_source=Join+Together+Daily&utm_campaign=04b4762831-JT_Daily_News_Study_Examines_New&utm_medium=email Marijuana.