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Is Recreational Marijuana A Gateway Drug For Opioid Abuse?

Update Date: Feb 27, 2017 11:16 AM EST

Marijuana legalization made it big during former president Barack Obama's term as most of the states was given access to medical and even recreational marijuana use. With the current administration, however, it was White House press secretary Sean Spicer opened up about having a tighter regulation when it comes to recreational marijuana consumption stating that it can potentially be linked to opioid abuse.

Press Secretary Sean Spicer recently opened up about the possible correlation of recreational marijuana consumption to possible opioid abuse. Though it is often linked and even labeled as a gateway drug, there is still no solid proof that recreational marijuana consumption can lead to opioid addiction according to CNN.

Dr. Andrew Kolodny, opened up about his knowledge of opioid addiction and the ongoing epidemic in regards to the consumption. He then explained that some of the factors that trigger addiction are over medication and exposing the patients to highly addictive drugs, which can sometimes go beyond their control.

"We know why there's an opioid addiction epidemic. I don't think there is really a debate," Dr. Kolodny, stated. "It's because we have overexposed the population to prescription opioids, the driver behind that increase in opioid addiction has been an over-prescribing of pain medicine, overexposing the population to a highly addictive drug."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mentioned that opioid-related deaths significantly increased over the past 15 years. It was then added that most of which are patients who underwent chronic pain and were prescribed with opioids.

Another doctor, Dr. David Fiellin, a professor at the Yale School of Medicine stated that opioid abuse is often triggered by several factors, none of which, however, is triggered by recreational marijuana. Fiellin then added that other factors aside from prescription are triggered by psychiatric, economic, and social factors.

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