Sarah Climaco

Study: Cannabis Could Help Wean Crack Addicts

Researchers at Canada’s BC Centre on Substance Use have found that using cannabis might help wean people off of crack cocaine, according to a Globe and Mail report. Scientists tracked 122 people who used crack over a three-year period and found that they used the drug less frequently when they also consumed cannabis.

M.J. Milloy, an infectious-disease epidemiologist and senior author of the paper, said that while the small study suggests that cannabinoids “might play a role in reducing the harms for crack use for some people,” the “next test” is “to what extent and for who?”

“We’re not saying that these results mean everyone will be able to smoke a joint and forget the fact that they are dependent on crack,” he said in the report.

A much smaller study in Brazil published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs in 1999 found that 17 of the 25 test subjects ceased using crack “and reported that the use of cannabis had reduced their craving symptoms, and produced subjective and concrete changes in their behavior, helping them to overcome crack addiction.”

“Crack has not gone away and we have described in previous research how people using crack in a frequent high-intensity manner suffer from not only dependence, but other risks, in particular, HIV and hep C acquisition,” Milloy said.

The study is published in the journal Addictive Behaviors.

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