Article by Elianna Lev, Now Toronto
When he found himself smoking heroin in a bush outside a gas station at 10 am five years ago, Conrad knew he’d hit bottom. The Vancouver-based woodworker decided it was time to tackle his heroin and coke addictions. He chose to go cold turkey.
While he spent a week detoxing in his apartment, Conrad (not his real name) found relief from the excruciating physical pain of withdrawal symptoms by smoking pot. It helped with the puking and nausea.
“Detox feels like you’re dying. It helped a lot.”
Conrad’s been off the hard stuff ever since but has continued smoking weed. Unlike heroin and cocaine, he can take it or leave it.
“I’m able to smoke every day, one joint after work, and then if I want to I’m able to stop without having any sort of withdrawal or serious cravings.”
The physical need for marijuana isn’t there like it is with heroin, he says.
Marijuana was long considered a “gateway” to more powerful drugs – a theory that’s since been largely debunked. Instead, some researchers and medical experts are now suggesting it may be an effective substitute for crack, cocaine, opioids and possibly even alcohol.