Until recently, the possibility of using cannabis to help people defeat opioid addiction wasn’t even considered. But due to research and other experiences, society’s view on this has changed radically. More and more people use cannabis as an exit drug and are open to this option.

This is a story of a woman who used cannabis and influenced her life, helping her overcome opioid addiction. Moreover, it gave her a sense of purpose and it also made her help other people.

Deb Guy, 41 – Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Founded Lancaster division of NORML. She started singing and playing guitar after using cannabis to help her give up pain medications.

‘I’ve used cannabis on and off since I was a teenager, as kids do, but when I was 28 I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and degenerative joint disorder.

I have early onset osteoarthritis. My grandparents on both sides and my mother all had rheumatoid arthritis, and my doctors are trying to prevent me from getting that. But in the meantime, they started prescribing opiates on top of all the other medications I was on. It started with Vicodin, but soon I realized you have to increase the dose because you get used to it, so I started to take anywhere from three to six pills a day. And that use kind of grew until the Vicodin wasn’t helping anymore. I knew that my grandmother and my mother all had oxycodone or morphine, and I started to palm them.

So I would get up in the morning and I would take two or three Vicodin, and then later in the afternoon I might take two or three more, or I would take an Oxy, or I’d take two Oxy. And then a few hours later, if that wasn’t doing anything, I’d pop one of the small milligrams of morphine and it was just a constant cycle. I was not healthy at all. I couldn’t get out of the bed in the morning without massive muscle cramping and spasms.’

When she got pregnant, her doctors told her to simply reduce the medications she was taking but she could still take those for ADHD and also Vicodin. What happened because of this? She had a miscarriage at four months. After this, she realized she didn’t want children and she needed to get back on track, to be healthy. ‘I threw the pills away and went cold turkey. And it was the worst three weeks of my life. I went through terrible withdrawal, but I smoked cannabis as often as I could, almost immediately. And it helped tremendously. I got through that first three weeks of sickness and massive withdrawal. I started to smoke cannabis in the morning like it was my coffee cup and then take a walk. I started to do that, and every day I would walk a little further, and within a year I had dropped 60 pounds. My body didn’t hurt nearly as bad. The degeneration had slowed down a little.This idea that cannabis makes you stupid or slow or lazy is just ridiculous. because when I was on the opiates I didn’t want to sit up, I didn’t want to stand up, I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. With cannabis, I love to just toke and run. I love to get outside, it got me out of the house. It got me standing up.’

After telling her doctor what actually helped her thrive, he was shocked. Who would have thought that cannabis was the way to go? This story proves just how complex cannabis is. So bring on the dope!