…Portland program uses marijuana and kratom to treat opioid addiction

“…basically saved my life,” said Veysey, 33, who works as a prep cook at a Portland retirement home. “I’m able to get up and go to work every day, and have a life. I don’t look at marijuana as a drug anymore.” … Marc Colello, 42, of Auburn said he was a patient of Gullikson, and medical marijuana and kratom helped him beat opioid addictions that lasted nearly 20 years. “If you say you’re going to use cannabis for addiction treatment, people are initially like, ‘Ha, ha, yeah right.’ But it’s happening. People are doing this, and it’s working,” said Colello, a self-employed IT contractor. “I have a life, a job, friends and activities. I had no quality of life before.”

Veysey said when he was taking heroin, he was in and out of jail for various drug-related crimes, “homeless and miserable. I didn’t want anyone else around. I was always chasing the drug.” Marijuana is calming and soothing, and helps him stay focused and get through each day, Veysey said. He said he has joined a church and repaired relationships with family members. On March 1, 2018 Gullikson and her husband, Ron Figaratto, are opening Greener Pastures, a controversial residential treatment home in Portland. It will promote cannabis use for long-term treatment for opioid addiction and kratom for withdrawal from the powerful painkillers … She said she’s not sure how insurance companies are going to reimburse for her services, but they will work with patients. They will try to take Medicaid patients as well, and the plan is to eventually offer two “scholarship” beds where patients do not have to pay. Gullikson said she realizes the out-of-pocket costs are hefty and unaffordable for most. It’s unclear how much of the treatment insurance companies will cover.

Original Article (Press Herald):
Controversial Portland program uses marijuana and kratom to treat opioid addiction
Artwork Fair Use: OSU Special Collections & Archiver

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