Research: Cannabis and opioid addiction
Since medical marijuana has become a legal option on most of Delmarva, data suggests it could have a positive effect on the amount of opioid use seen on the peninsula.
Research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and others show that medical marijuana may be saving thousands of lives from opioid addiction.
Anthony Darby, the CEO of Peninsula Alternative Health, said that people are choosing cannabis over opioids because there are fewer side effects and less addictive.
"Physically speaking, just the actual taking the prescription opioids often causes high levels of constipation, lots of stomach issues and nausea along with the addiction side of it where folks develop a dependency on them," said Darby.
According to the studies, cannabis has become an alternative to using opioids due to its euphoria and relaxing sensation.
However, a local clinical psychologist tells 47 ABC that medical cannabis does not save people from opioid addiction.
"[Medical cannabis] traps an individual into a life of that really has not improved because all it's done is that it stopped this bouncing up and down of withdrawal from the opiate," said Dr. Michael Finegan.
"Effective care is about changing how we think and how we act and to use effective strategies to deal with our cravings," said Finegan.