Medical Cannabis Use Found to Dramatically Decrease Reliance on Addictive Prescription Medications

I have to preface the following NaturalNews.com article with a few points.  As my readers know, I am dead set against prescription drugs and other drug use and am very active in ministry and in teaching, taking people through recovery and bringing awareness to addiction and prevention.  The note I need to make is that I am not against medical marijuana; however, I am very against recreational use of medical marijuana.  Smoking and vaping it, in my opinion and according to my research, is highly toxic and has disease producing potential.  I advocate medical marijuana in capsule form, juiced raw and in edibles.  That all said, please read the article below.

Taking medical cannabis may significantly reduce the need for prescription medications, a recent study revealed.

As part of research, a team of health experts at the University of New Mexico examined patients who voluntarily enrolled in the New Mexico state medical cannabis program. The patients were also on scheduled prescription medications.

Prescription drug use was reported to the New Mexico Prescription Monitoring Program. Opiates and benzodiazepines were among the most common drugs that the patients used.

According to the research team, patients enrolled in the medical cannabis program have significantly lower monthly average number of prescriptions than those who did not enroll in the program. Enrolled patients also reduced the types of prescription drugs they took as well as the number of prescribers and related pharmacy visits, the scientists noted.

In addition, the health experts found that up to 71 percent of enrolled patients either ceased or reduced their use of scheduled prescription drugs within six months following enrollment.

The study was slated for publication in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association.

Previous studies support link between cannabis use, lower Rx drug use

The recent results coincide with findings from two studies published last year.

In one study, a team of researchers at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and Medical School examined 185 patients from a medical marijuana dispensary in Ann Arbor between November 2013 to February 2015.

The research team found that patients who took medical marijuana to treat chronic pain exhibited a 64 percent reduction in their use of more traditional, opioid-based medications. The experts also noted fewer side effects and a 45 percent increase in quality of life in patients who took medicinal cannabis.

Study lead author Kevin Boehnke stressed that the country is in the midst of an opioid epidemic, and said that the findings may hopefully lead to discussions about cannabis being a potential alternative to opioid treatment.

“We are learning that the higher the dose of opioids people are taking, the higher the risk of death from overdose. This magnitude of reduction in our study is significant enough to affect an individual’s risk of accidental death from overdose. We hypothesized that cannabis might be particularly effective for the type of pain seen in conditions such as fibromyalgia, since there are many studies suggesting that synthetic cannabinoids work in these condition. We did not see this because the patients in this study rated cannabis to be equally effective for those with different pain severity,” senior author Dr. Daniel Clauw said in a university release.

Another study showed U.S. states that legalized medicinal cannabis use saw a significant decline in prescription drug use among  the elderly and disabled population.

As part of the study, researchers at the University of Georgia assessed prescription data for nine conditions — such as anxiety, depression, seizures and glaucoma — in which medicinal marijuana may be of great use. (Related: Cannabis Compounds Found To Be SUPERIOR To Migraine Drugs.)

The scientists found that fewer prescriptions were written for each condition except for glaucoma in states where medicinal cannabis was allowed. Researchers said medicinal cannabis lowers eye pressure in glaucoma patients, but the effects lasted for only an hour.

Study lead author Ashley Bradford said the results suggest that people are really using medicinal marijuana for health purposes and not just for recreation.

“It turns out that glaucoma is one of the most Googled searches linked to marijuana, right after pain. No doctor is going to let [a glaucoma] patient walk out without being treated. When states turned on medical marijuana laws, we did see a rather substantial turn away from FDA-approved medicine. The results show that marijuana might be beneficial with diverting people away from opioids,” study co-author David Bradford told CBC Newsonline.

Sources include:

NaturalNews.com

NewsWire.com

NS.UMich.edu

CBC.ca


Compassionate faith based online recovery is available HERE.

Long-Term Marijuana Use Changes Brain at the Cellular Level, Say Scientists

In March, long-term marijuana smoker Woody Harrelson surprised fans by announcing he was giving up his chronic pot habit, saying it made him “emotionally unavailable.” Likewise, in June, notorious stoner Miley Cyrus did the same, saying she “wanted to be really clear” while making her new album. Long-term pot smokers who have quit cite similar anecdotal evidence about the chronic effects of weed, but scientists have only recently begun understanding what, if anything, it actually does to the brain.

In a study on mice published Monday in the journal JNeurosci, scientists report that long-term marijuana use does indeed change the brain.

In their study, the researchers from Brigham Young University’s neuroscience department, led by Jeffrey Edwards Ph.D., focused on the brain’s ventral tegmental area (VTA), a region rich with the dopamine and serotonin receptors that comprise the brain’s reward system, looking at how its cells changed as the teen mice they studied received daily THC injections every day for a week. Researchers know that drugs of abuse, like opioids, alcohol, and marijuana, act on the VTA, and it’s thought that the active ingredients in these drugs stimulate the release of dopamine in this area, thereby triggering the flood of pleasure that drugs (as well as friendship and sex) provide — and creating cravings for more.

DEAUVILLE, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 09: Woody Harrelson attends the naming ceremony of his dedicated beach cabana during the 43rd Deauville American Film Festival on September 9, 2017 in Deauville, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images)
Woody Harrelson, a long-term marijuana user, said he quit because it made him emotionally unavailable.

In particular, they looked at a type of cell in the VTA known as a GABA cell that marijuana researchers hadn’t looked at before. The cells are named for the type of neurotransmitter they pick up — GABA, short for gamma-aminobutyric acid — which is well-known for its inhibitory properties. Imagine GABA as the high-strung friend who becomes anxious when the rest of the group has too much fun. When GABA is released in the brain, it regulates the levels of happy-making dopamine, making sure revelry doesn’t go overboard.

This friend is a bit of a buzzkill but seems to be necessary to prevent the brain from having too much of a good thing. But, as it turns out, GABA neurons can be incapacitated, too.

This working model shows how chronic exposure to the psychoactive component of marijuana may increase dopamine levels by altering the function of an inhibitory cell type, contributing to the drug's pleasurable and potentially addictive qualities.
Chronic marijuana use might lead to unnaturally high dopamine levels in the brain by messing with GABA neurons.

As the researchers observed these cells in teen mice over their THC-filled week, they saw that the ability of the GABA neurons to regulate dopamine faltered as the trial went on. In contrast, mice who only received a single injection of THC — the Bill Clintons of the group — didn’t show any changes in their GABA neurons, suggesting that the effects seen in the chronic users are a consequence of long-term marijuana use. Those changes led dopamine to linger in the VTA longer than usual, which caused an abnormally drawn-out feeling of reward. And too much of those pleasurable feelings, scientists have found, is what leads to addiction.

miley smoking weed
Miley Cyrus has put her pot-smoking days behind her so her brain would be more “clear.”

The team behind the study hopes that their findings can eventually be used to treat people with cannabis use disorder, defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 as a “problematic pattern of cannabis use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress.”

The term problematic, in this case, refers to a range of criteria largely centered around the inability of people to do what they need or want to do because of their addiction to the drug. It’s not clear whether Harrelson and Cyrus had been diagnosed with cannabis use disorder, but their reasons for quitting weed seem to line up.

Abstract:

The ventral tegmental area (VTA) is necessary for reward behavior with dopamine cells critically involved in reward signaling. Dopamine cells in turn are innervated and regulated by neighboring inhibitory GABA cells. Using whole cell electrophysiology in juvenile-adolescent GAD67-GFP male mice we examined excitatory plasticity in fluorescent VTA GABA cells. A novel CB1-dependent long-term depression (LTD) was induced in GABA cells that was dependent on metabotropic glutamate receptor 5, and cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1). LTD was absent in CB1 knock-out mice, but preserved in heterozygous littermates. Chronic injections of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol occluded LTD compared to vehicle injections, however, a single exposure was insufficient to do so. Because Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol depresses GABA cell activity, downstream dopamine cells will be disinhibited and thus this could potentially result in increased reward. As synaptic modifications by drug of abuse are often tied to addiction, this data suggest a possible mechanism for the addictive effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol in juvenile-adolescents, by potentially altering reward behavioral outcomes.

ARTICLE SOURCE

HOW SHOULD CHRISTIANS VIEW ADDICTION? Do They?

addiction poster 3

The word addiction has two basic meanings. The first definition, and the one most of us are familiar with is “to cause to become physiologically or psychologically dependent on a habit-forming substance.” Those who are addicted or “given to much wine” (Titus 1:72:3), “drunkards” (1 Timothy 3:3) or “heavy drinkers” (1 Timothy 3:8) are disqualified from teaching or holding a position of authority in the church. It’s clear that church leadership needs to be sober and self-controlled so that, by their example, they can teach others to be the same, for we know that “drunkards . . . shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:10). Believers must not be dependent upon alcohol, and it stands to reason that this would also apply to addiction to any other substance, i.e. drugs, pornography, gambling, gluttony, tobacco, etc.

The second definition of addiction is “to occupy (oneself) with or involve (oneself) in something habitually or compulsively.” This speaks of an unnatural (for the Christian, at least) obsession with anything other than God: sports, work, shopping and/or acquiring “stuff,” even family or children. We are to “love the Lord, your God, with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5), which is, according to Jesus, the first and greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37-38). We can conclude, then, that an addiction to anything other than God Himself is wrong. God is the only thing we can (and should) occupy ourselves with habitually. To do so with anything else draws us away from Him and displeases Him. He alone is worthy of our complete attention, love, and service. To offer these things to anything or anyone else is idolatry.

Whether it’s prescription drugs, illegal street drugs, alcohol, or some behavioral addiction, in order to make it to Heaven, you need to repent and get help.  Staying with your addiction will cause you to miss an eternity with Jesus that is beyond our imagination. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the Bible clearly says that “Drunkards” (those who are involved in any substance addiction) and “Idolators” (people who refuse to get help) don’t make it.  I’m by no means telling you that getting off of drugs is easy; it’s probably the hardest thing you’ll ever have to do.  I know, because I did it over 10 years ago.  Like everything, it’s a choice.  PLEASE choose wisely.  Eternity is forever!  So, what sounds like an insulting or stern warning, is actually an act of ultimate love from me.

Article Sources:  GotQuestions.org and NationalAddictionNews.com

Ingredients for a 7 Layer Slice of Hope

The Problem:  Addiction

The Solution:  Jesus Christ and His Word

The Process:  Our program is composed of 7 perfected layers with the carefully chosen ingredients that offer an indescribably delicious and nutrient rich slice of hope

seven layer 1

Our 7 Layer Recipe for Recovery is:

  1. Salvation through receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior
  2. The Finest Discipleship Available on earth
  3. Specialized Christian Life Coaching with a touch of Mentoring
  4. Biblical Counseling
  5. Paying it Forward
  6. Godly Peer Relationships with Life Transforming Peer Activities
  7. Praise & Worship

Who does this?  We do at Victory Retreat Montana.  We know that people want choices in their addiction recovery and we provide a special type of Bible based recovery that works – simply because God works!  We have put all of the 7 delicious layers together in an uplifting and dynamic program that everyone can enjoy, learn from, grow, and heal.

Questions?  Give us a call or send us an email on how our program can work for you or your loved one!

 

Due to Modern Medicine: You Are Being Duped, Doped & Dying in America

Dereck Merrill survives drug overdose, vegetative state

Dereck Merrill was severely injured by a drug overdose. Some doctors suggested it was time to pull the plug, but his family saw something.

Kim Muncy’s 25-year-old son lay on an emergency room table, unresponsive and unconscious. A drug addict who had overdosed on opiates and benzodiazepines, Dereck Merrill was not likely to make it out of a vegetative state.
If he lived at all.
Muncy did not want her son to die alone among strangers at LewisGale Hospital Pulaski. She was so determined that she tried to talk her way back to the room where they were trying to stabilize him.
“I’m a nurse. I can stay out of the way,” she pleaded. “If he’s not going to make it, I want to be there to hold his hand.”
That was March 24, 2012. The mild-mannered nurse has given up a lot to remain at her son’s side in the time since — her job, her home, most of her free time.
She’s been through the five stages of grief, finally landing on acceptance as the best path for caring for her family and making the perils of drug addiction known. She’s also joined an effort to create a law in Virginia that provides legal immunity for those who call for medical help when a person overdoses.
“Being a family of faith, I think God picked me for this journey because he knew I was a nurse, and he knew I was a blabbermouth,” the 48-year-old mother said.
“He knew I had the ability to spread the word from coast to coast about what substance abuse has done to my child.”
Glassy eyes and SpaghettiOs
Muncy has told her story to area high schools, to youth groups and to recovery program participants. She begins with her son’s troubled primary and secondary school years — Merrill’s severe ADHD and poor school performance; the legal wrangles he got into when he got caught selling his Ritalin and other ADHD drugs for money to buy stronger drugs like Xanax, Valium and Loratab.
The first time Muncy suspected her son was getting high? He came home glassy-eyed, reeking of marijuana and tried to eat everything in sight. He was 14.
“He’d wolf down a can of ravioli then get a can of spaghetti and meatballs. He’d leave the fork in the can, and throw the whole fork with the can away,” she said.
Drug counseling, family counseling — they tried everything they could afford. She was in court so often for Merrill’s drug-related offenses that a Montgomery County bailiff made a crack about reserving Muncy her own seat in the courtroom.
At 17, Merrill was ordered to intensive drug rehab after a conviction for drug possession — his third — and intent to distribute. His crime? He’d stolen the painkillers prescribed for his mother, who was recovering from back surgery. She’d locked them up, but Merrill and a friend figured out how to open the safe.
Merrill had been doing better after a year of drug treatment, or so his mother thought. He was working some and living with a girlfriend in Pulaski County.
After the death of Muncy’s mother, however, Merrill became distraught. He’d been raised with the help of his grandmother, who baby-sat while Muncy put herself through nursing school. Merrill’s father was absent most of his life and died when he was just 15.
When she first learned of Merrill’s “injury,” as Muncy calls it, she and her new husband, Doug Muncy, had just sat down to supper. Merrill’s frantic girlfriend called to say she’d come home from work to find him vomiting, struggling to breathe and white as a ghost.
They’d been to a party the night before, and she’d gone to work that morning, thinking he was just asleep, she told Kim Muncy. She divulged no information about which drugs he’d been taking or even where the party was, family members say. Tests confirmed he had marijuana, benzodiazepines, opiates and alcohol in his system.
“The effects were parallel to what you might see in a heroin overdose,” said Carilion Clinic neurologist Jay Ferrara. The nerve coatings on his brain were so damaged that an outright hole had developed, with fluid replacing what was once been white matter. “He was as profoundly brain-injured as one can be.”
His heart, kidneys and liver were also failing.
Praying for a miracle
Doctors had little hope that Merrill would ever awaken from his vegetative state. They tried one drug after another, but nothing worked. At the long-term acute care facility he was transferred to in Lynchburg, a neurologist held up the Karen Ann Quinlan case as an example of why Kim Muncy should consider pulling the plug on her comatose son. The famous right-to-die case culminated with the young woman living on in a persistent vegetative state for nearly a decade — while a legal battle raged around her.
“They wanted us to discontinue tube feeding and just let him go,” Muncy said.
She and Merrill’s little sister, Deanna Farley, sensed something perking behind his dull stare. Muncy called it “a kind of flicker.” Farley saw it as “a little smirk.”
Neither one of them was sleeping well from driving between Christiansburg and Lynchburg. When the Lynchburg doctor persisted with talk of letting her son die a dignified death — he’d been lying in bed with contracted muscles, and he was beginning to get bedsores — Muncy finally snapped.
“What part of this don’t you understand? I’m not stopping the feeding, period,” she said.
The doctor relented, but the hospital could not keep Merrill much longer. Muncy spent the next week calling 75 rehab and nursing facilities from Wytheville to Richmond, offering to personally provide all his nursing care.
Merrill was too young, too needy and too likely to trigger scrutiny from state long-term care inspectors, Muncy said. The more complicated a patient is, the more likely surveyors are to dive into their care to make sure every decision is backed up with paperwork.
“Patients like Dereck are risky,” Muncy said. “The philosophy is, if it’s not documented, it’s not done.”
Muncy and her husband, a Roanoke mail carrier, prayed for a miracle — for a facility in the region to take Merrill so they wouldn’t have to move.
Only one was willing to take him on.
Magic number eight
It wasn’t quite a flicker, but Stephanie Mangan thought she spotted something behind Merrill’s blue eyes the first time she saw him, four months after his overdose. An occupational therapist at Raleigh Court Health & Rehabilitation Center in Roanoke, she saw in his limp body and faraway stare “some form of drive, some kind of yearning to participate or move,” she recalled recently.
One day in July 2012, she was doing her usual range-of-motion exercises, bending Merrill’s arms and counting softly as she worked to keep his muscles limber.
“Four … five … six … seven,” she said, flexing his elbow as she counted.
“Eight,” Merrill said softly.
He hadn’t spoken in four months. Hadn’t communicated at all. Couldn’t move beyond blinking his eyes.
Now he was not just speaking a word, but saying the correct word in a sequence.
Mangan ran through the facility hallway, telling everyone she saw, “Dereck just spoke!”
The Raleigh Court therapy staff shepherded his gradual awakening, first teaching him to blink for yes or no, helping him put sound behind his mostly mouthed words and teaching him to eat.
His sister shocked everyone, including his doctors, when she described how Merrill happily mouthed the words to the entire Justin Bieber song, “Baby.”
No one believed her that he really knew the song, but Farley recorded the entire performance on her cellphone.
“We had to show the video to the doctors to prove that he was really all there,” said Farley, 21, who helps care for Merrill in the Grandin Court ranch house the family moved to so they could be near him. Farley said she postponed college to help him, and she wants eventually to be a rehabilitation therapist of some kind.
Once the Raleigh Court rehab staff got Merrill speaking and participating more fully in his recovery, he was transferred to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta for a month of intensive rehabilitative training. Though he’s technically still a quadriplegic, he now has limited use of one arm and can feed himself with help.
Certified nursing assistant Andrea Trenor at Raleigh Court became so close to the family that she accompanied Farley to visit Merrill in Atlanta.
“I’m so proud of you, Dereck,” she told him during a recent social visit to the Raleigh Court facility. Muncy took the staff a giant sheet cake that said, “Thank you, Raleigh Court,” and the therapists and aides cooed over how much Merrill had progressed.
“When he first came in he was stiff, and he couldn’t bend or talk. Then he started whispering, then speaking, then making jokes,” Trenor said.
“Many of them inappropriate,” Farley said, laughing.
Not long ago, from the other room, his mother heard him whisper “Hey, baby” while watching a female weather broadcaster on TV. “His new love is Kristina Montuori,” Muncy explained of the WSLS (Channel 10) meteorologist.
When Muncy asked whom he was talking to, Merrill brightened and explained: “I’m saying hi to my girl on TV. Mom, she’s so hot, she’s making the temperature go up in the 70s.”
From acceptance to activist
She’s given up about $60,000 in nursing salary to care of Merrill, working only part-time on weekends for a local hospice company. Initial hospital bills were covered by Muncy’s insurance, followed by Medicaid once Merrill was rendered fully disabled.
The newlywed life she and Doug were enjoying pre-injury — going to church, fishing and going to auctions — has all come to a halt.
Family members say their goal now is to tell Merrill’s story as far and wide as they can, in person and through a social media campaign they call U Turn for LIFE. Muncy is teaming up with Robin Roth, the Roanoke County mother who lost her 21-year-old son, Scott, to a heroin overdose four years ago.
They hope to resurrect a 911 Good Samaritan bill that would provide legal immunity to people who call for medical assistance when someone overdoses, rather than flee the scene for fear of legal trouble. HB 557 was introduced by Del. Betsy Carr, D-Richmond, but was tabled in the 2014 Virginia General Assembly session.
According to the Drug Policy Alliance, 23 states already have enacted similar legislation.
Carr said she plans to introduce another version of the bill next year, recrafted to address opponents’ concerns. Fear of prosecution was a factor in the cases of Scott Roth and Merrill, both of whom could have benefited from earlier interventions, their mothers believe.
Merrill’s friends “took him home and put him to bed when he was passing out,” Muncy said. “Later, at the hospital, they were afraid to tell what he’d done at the party. The doctors wanted to know so they could help him, but everybody played dumb,” she added.
In both men’s cases, smoking marijuana led eventually to much harder drugs, which is why both Muncy and Roth hope to stop efforts to legalize marijuana in Virginia. Roanoke County prevention coordinator Nancy Hans agrees with that strategy, citing Harvard Medical School professor Bertha Madras, whose research underscores how addictive and harmful the drug can be, especially to developing adolescent brains.
“Marijuana is definitely a gateway drug,” Hans said. “In Dereck’s case, it led to not just a drastic change in his life but to his whole family and beyond.”
A new purpose
Ferrara marvels at Merrill’s high quality of life, calling him an inspiration to his doctors and to other brain injury patients. He credits his mother for her remarkable care and advocacy.
“Although he has trouble learning the date and other things going on in the world, and certainly needs help in terms of [daily activities], I do think his family life is rich. He has a great sense of humor and is really a charming guy,” Ferrara said.
That charm was on quiet display during a recent visit to Hidden Valley High School, where Farley pushed him in his wheelchair, and Muncy showed the video Farley made to help spread the word about U Turn for LIFE.
“You can ask us anything,” Farley said at the start of the Q&A session, and slowly and shyly the students did open up: Why are drugs so accessible? What does the future hold? How do you deal with the stress of it?
Asked by one student what his goal is now, “If you don’t do drugs, I will have achieved my goal,” Merrill said.
“That’s why I lived,” he added. “It’s my purpose now.”

Source: roanoke.com  Story by Beth Macy

Why do you need HELP NOW for your Rx Drug Addiction?

Why come to ToGiveYouHope.com for Online Help with your Rx Drug Addiction?

  1. Affordability: We will work with you for a donation of any size whatsoever. No one should ever have to die from an addiction simply because they can’t pay! Our only reason for any donation at all is Accountability; we have found that if you don’t pay something, whether it be a product or service, it’s value is greatly minimized and it becomes unappreciated.
  2. Flexibility: Your schedule is important and we understand this. Rx drug addiction is ‘different’ in that you are probably trying to lead a normal life despite your dependence on Rx Drugs. That said, let’s make it happen according to your lifestyle.
  3. Simplicity: We work with you in different ways according to what works when you need us. We work with you by Phone, Text, Audio Messaging, Video Conferencing, and/or Chatting. It’s your recovery… your choice.
  4. Confidentiality: Addiction is private matter and so is recovery. It’s no one’s business but your own.
  5. Convenience: We don’t believe you need to be ‘warehoused’ somewhere. While facility/hospital detox is necessary to safely clean your body of those nasty prescription drugs, in our opinion, ‘warehousing’ you in a facility for 6 months or more is complete insanity. You don’t need punishment, you need healing.
  6. Methodology: Our methodology is via very specified Christian life coaching by certified coaches, Biblical counseling, Mentoring, Teaching and showing you how Paying it Forward will keep you moving forward. We have also have added sound health coaching to our toolbox. We firmly believe that the fuel (food & liquids) that you put into your body keeps your mind and body running smoothly. We show you what to consume and what not to consume for optimal health and healing.
  7. Permanent Healing: We do NOT subscribe to the disease theory of addiction as it’s only a theory which has never been able to be proven. We believe addiction to be a temporary spiritual and emotional problem that has a very permanent and everlasting solution. When it’s over, it’s over.