To The Daily Sun,

It is the responsibility of the American people as well as our government to do anything and everything to prevent another resurgence in opioid addiction like the one that has seriously damaged probably hundreds of thousands of lives over the last 20-plus years. Harm reduction, damage control, and newer pharmacological approaches may help those addicts trying to recover who suffer from chronic relapse.

I believe in the therapeutic effects of marijuana use for many people. I am baffled when I hear that some doctors will not prescribe medical marijuana for patients with substance abuse disorders, just because they have a substance use history, as part of medication assisted therapy (MAT), or for anxiety or pain.

The liquor industry, combined with the pharmaceutical industry, as well as the seemingly unstoppable illegal drug market must be producing centuplicate-billions in profit. No wonder it is so difficult for those with substance use disorder to remain fully abstinent! Twelve-step groups and self-help in the community are only effective for a small minority of alcoholics and addicts who need recovery, approximately 1 in 30.

Many doctors, treatment practitioners, and politicians realize that, in a nation with over $100 billion drug and alcohol revenues, that it is totally ridiculous to think that those who are affected with substance use disorders should be treated with the only goal of permanent, 100% abstinence. The federal government should have fully legalized marijuana use, both clinically and recreationally, decades ago. By now there would have been more people using cannabis instead of alcohol and probably other harder drugs. In many cases, that should include medical marijuana, as well as alcohol or other substance-craving reducers like Vivitrol and Antabuse.

There are many addicts in recovery whose lives are permanently, severely compromised by physical and mental damage, as well as social damage due to criminal histories. The hopes of good jobs, wealth and material gains, even driver’s licenses may be gone, unachievable due to their past SUD-related behavior.

What they may really want is to simply live in peace, with family closeness and minimal chance of re-arrest or incarceration. Many younger, especially poorer people who have become addicts before developing skills and self-improvement abilities that can help them overcome their past are destined to continue in a downward direction.

Whatever it takes to help people in trouble from their addiction should be considered … before the inevitable jails, prisons, and death.

A&D Recovery Counseling has no wait list and very flexible scheduling, including Saturdays. We take a compassionate, never-bullying or demeaning treatment approach by staff in long-term recovery.

Michael Tensel MLADC

A&D Recovery Counseling

Laconia

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