The other day we asked our readers what they thought of Dr. Drew’s assertion that, not only is marijuana addictive, it has a “rather severe withdrawal syndrome.” Our readers responded, but we also wanted to get a professional medical opinion on the TV doctor’s claims.
I contacted Dr. William Eidelman in Los Angeles, CA and asked him what he thought of Dr. Drew’s statements. “Dr. Drew’s assertions are not based on any science I’ve seen,” Dr. Eidelman told me. “The real experts say that cannabis is not addicting. Of course, it can cause dependence, as can many classes of phenomena. People can be dependent on television, books, music, corn flakes, sugar…. There is really not much if any withdrawal syndrome. The statements of a heavy withdrawal are not based in reality. Even the FDA/DEA say that any withdrawal is mild, if it exists at all. These kinds of statements are really just to back treatment programs that are usually unnecessary.
“That being said, there are people who misuse and abuse cannabis, but compared to the severity of the misuse and abuse of other drugs, cannabis is very benign. And most of the people who are regular users of cannabis are self-medicating their anxiety or depression. For this, cannabis is much safer than Prozac and related drugs. Much, much safer than Seroquel and related drugs.
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