Both The Atlantic and Salon have recently published pieces that address the growing trend of finding treatment from opioid addiction through use of other intoxicating substances. In one, marijuana is examined as a possible treatment, and in the other a holistic experience is shown to better the addicted mind.
In The Atlantic, Sarah Zhang highlights Doctor Feeny’s reaction to the frequent refusal of his oxycodone prescriptions for his patients in recovery – which he found was increasingly being replaced with marijuana. Feeny has since begun conducting his own trials of marijuana treatments for the chronic pain caused by addiction. In her article, Zhang mentions the trial and its addition to an almost non-existent discussion, sharing links to just a few other studies on the topic. She also address the difficulty the trial is facing because of the federal ban on marijuana – making it difficult to continue this research. The story is an interesting summary of an emerging method of treatment.
On Salon.com, writer Alex French also focused on an alternative drug-based treatment, though this article takes a more informal approach to its methodology. French looks at a facility Holy Sanctuary, founded by a character self-identified as Johnny the Healer. At his resort, which French describes with lush detail, Johnny uses his “Pouyan Method” of treatment that includes various types of plant-based medicine and iboga, “possibly the most powerful psychedelic known to mankind.” He holds insanely expensive training programs, “which range in cost from $20,000 to $50,000,” and are not accessible to just any person in recovery.
Zhang’s article stays on a more professional route, and uses relevant data and the little available research to show a treatment plan that is just getting under way. French, on the other hand, wants to invite us to a mystical treatment center that might give temporary relief via psychedelic trips.