Drug addiction refers to a chronic disorder characterized by the irresistible desire to use drugs and a considerable loss of control over the quantity of drug a person consumes. Statistics by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) indicate that about 20 million Americans aged 12 years or older grappled with some form of substance use disorder in 2017.
Out of that number, close to 74% suffered from alcohol-related disease, and 38% battled disorders related to illicit drug use. More worrying is the fact that one in every eight drug addicts suffer from co-occurring disorders, which refers to the existence of a mental health condition concurrently with substance abuse.
Drug addiction isn’t just a medical problem. It’s also an economic one. The United States alone loses more than $750 billion annually in drug use-related expenses, including healthcare costs, reduced workplace productivity, and crime-related expenses. So, addicts must seek urgent medical treatment.
Causes and Symptoms of Drug Addiction
Genetic predisposition accounts for between 40 and 60 percent of the risks of addiction. Besides genetic predisposition, the environment also plays a significant role in influencing a person’s tendency to abuse drugs.
Some of the environmental factors that could increase your risks of addiction include;
- Overexposure to drug cues, such as being raised by parents who use drugs, having addicts within your friend circles, and consuming too much drug-related media content
- Chaotic home environment, where many people look for solace in drugs
- Physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, where some people opt into drugs to avert a possible mental or nervous breakdown
- Too liberal community attitudes towards drug use
- Lack of exposure and poor academic achievements
- Mental health disorders
The symptoms of drug abuse vary among addicts. However, they generally include irritability triggered by the increase of drug cues. Many drug addicts also suffer from various anxiety disorders, diminished self-control, insomnia, and appetite problems. It’s now emerging that cannabidiol (CBD), the non-intoxicating cannabinoid, might help recovering addicts.
How Does CBD Oil Help?
Before you order your next dose of CBD oil or shop CBD edibles from a cannabis store, it’s important to understand how the substance helps. Generally, CBD oil helps drug addicts recover by addressing some of the core drug withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, irritability, drug cravings, and insomnia.
Here are some of the medical benefits of CBD for people recovering from drug addiction;
#1 CBD oil reduces drug cravings
The primary cause of relapse among recovering addicts is exposure to drug-related cues. In most drug therapy sessions, experts advise patients to avoid certain people or places that could trigger a relapse.
But how can we avoid these cues when they’re all over the place?
You may successfully stay away from the company of friends who do drugs. However, the gains made can all be reversed by the mere sight of hypodermic needles popping up on a television commercial.
Fortunately, according to a study in the American Journal of Psychiatry, CBD might help reduce cravings among heroin addicts. In the study, 42 men and women with a history of heroin abuse were exposed to neutral videos and drug-related videos. They were then split into three groups, where one group consumed 400 mg of CBD, another group 800 mg of CBD, and a placebo group. It emerged that the placebo group experienced higher cravings after watching videos of drug-related cues compared to the groups that consumed CBD.
#2 CBD oil relieves anxiety
Anxiety is another common symptom that addicts battle with. This anxiety usually manifests as irritability.
Many people with a history of substance abuse openly admit that they’re often more relaxed while under the influence. While that may be true, especially for stimulant drugs, the side effects usually outweigh the benefits. That makes it necessary to invest in CBD, which can banish anxiety for good.
When you consume CBD oil, the cannabinoids in the oil enter your body through the cell-signaling system known as the endocannabinoid system. CBD then inhibits the activity of stress hormones like cortisol, while increasing your brain’s signaling of ‘feel-good’ chemicals like serotonin and endorphins. Research on the anxiolytic effects of CBD oil shows that it can help to manage social anxiety disorder.
#3 CBD oil treats insomnia
The kind of insomnia that many recovering addicts experience often results from anxiety. So, by relieving anxiety symptoms like post-traumatic stress disorder, CBD oil consequently treats insomnia.
CBD oil also treats insomnia by shortening your sleep latency, or the average time it takes to drift from the state of wakefulness to sleep. The oil can even eliminate rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.
REM sleep is that stage when you’re most physically asleep but mentally awake. Most dreams occur during REM sleep, and depending on the nature of these dreams, it could interfere with your ability to enjoy a restful sleep. By eliminating REM, CBD oil ensures that you have a dreamless night, which translates to a more peaceful sleep.
Evidently, CBD oil is an effective solution for recovering addicts. The substance escalates the recovery process by addressing some of the nagging drug withdrawal symptoms, such as cravings. The fact that CBD oil presents minimal side effects makes it all the more effective.