Can I use marijuana if am recovering from alcoholism or drug addiction? Does medical marijuana provide pain relief for alcoholics and drug addicts in recovery or does it threaten their recovery instead? If you’ve been asking yourself such questions, you came to the right place!
Ever since the state of California legalized the medical use of marijuana in 1996, its use has grown quickly, and more states are approving it. As of now, 28 states, including the District of Columbia, allow the use of medical marijuana for a variety of reasons, including anxiety, chronic pain, and nausea from chemotherapy. Like anyone else, people in recovery suffer from these conditions that medical marijuana is used for. As a result, an increasing number of alcoholics and addicts in recovery and medical professionals are struggling with the question of whether marijuana is safe for treating these conditions.
Here is what you should know about smoking marijuana in recovery:
Risk of getting hooked
Most people believe that marijuana is neither harsh nor addictive; therefore, it can be used by severe addicts who are not ready for full abstinence. Contrary to this belief, many regular marijuana users develop marijuana use disorder, and some of them become dependent on the drug.
For someone looking to stay sober, this could be a dangerous risk to take because you may end up replacing your drug or alcohol with marijuana addiction. Also, it is a known fact that marijuana addiction increases the risks of psychosis, impaired memory, anxiety, and depression. Trust me, you don’t want to deal with this list of problems while battling another addiction. Besides, there are no scientific or long-term studies to confirm that marijuana use can help those in recovery adjust to sobriety.
Along with the risk of getting hooked, smoking marijuana in recovery could act as an addiction trigger. Especially if you used to smoke other illicit drugs, the act of smoking itself can be a strong drug trigger that can lead to intense drug cravings. On the other hand, using marijuana may trigger a relapse because it can make you more likely to seek your primary drug once ingested.
Additionally, we all know recovering addicts or alcoholics find themselves in far worse places than they were in their addictions when they relapse. This is because addictions are progressive in nature. For this reason, as a recovering addict, you don’t want to risk relapse. It may lead you to consume larger amounts of drugs than you were before you stopped. Apart from this, a relapse can also plunge you into further problems, like job loss, hospitalization, or even death.
Masks underlying problems
Many people who struggle with addiction most likely have a co-diagnosis of other psychological disorders, such as low self-esteem, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Mostly, they resort to smoking marijuana as a means of coping with these issues and as an escape from any negative feelings that they may be experiencing.
However, by evading these problems instead of treating them, the underlying root cause of their prevailing addiction persists and worsens with time, eventually triggering a full-blown relapse.
Any use of marijuana thus contrasts your goals of recovery. Instead, learn how to cope with these issues or engage in any recovery activity in a healthy and productive manner, such as enrolling in a nearby gymnasium.
Nonetheless, if you really think smoking marijuana can help you recover smoothly, here is what you should consider before coming to that decision:
Tell your doctor you are an addict or alcoholic in recovery. A drug is a drug. Addictive behavior can occur in response to any drug as long as it produces a high even if the intention was purely medical. If you are recovering from addiction and want to avoid any addictive behavior, talk to your doctor so that they administer other alternatives that are non-addictive.
Do your research and talk to an addiction therapist. This will give you a clearer picture of what you are putting yourself into. Ensure that you understand fully the effects of short or long-time marijuana use, which may include, cravings for the drug, anxiety, nervousness, and depression.
Finally, if you decide to use marijuana, ensure you beef up your recovery program. Having prior knowledge will thus help you recognize the risk of relapsing and enable you to take the right steps towards mitigating that threat. This may entail, among other things, stopping the use of the drug as soon as the symptoms worsen or increasing your participation in therapeutic activities.
Staying clean is the best decision you can ever make as an addict. A relapse or disorder resulting from the use of marijuana is the last things you want. So, before you decide on marijuana as a recovery drug, think twice. If you are battling an addiction or having a rough recovery, our professionals in Palm Beach County, South Florida are ready to assist you to get your life on track. Reach us at 844-903-2111 today!