Why do some programs encourage the use of medical marijuana?
Cannabis has been proven to simply be habit forming. Alcohol, on the other hand, causes the physical dependence of an addict. With cannabis use, people do not suffer from withdrawal symptoms since it is not physically addictive. Alcohol usage, as we have seen, causes an array of withdrawal symptoms. It is also possible to overdose on alcohol. This is not the case for marijuana use.
It should be noted, however, that incorporating cannabis into rehabilitation programs for alcoholics is not a choice of the lesser evil. There have been recorded benefits of marijuana use for recovering alcoholics. The cannabinoids present in marijuana have been proven to be effective for the treatment of nightmares and anxiety which are withdrawal symptoms from alcohol use.
Marijuana is also neuropathic. As a result, its use protects and encourages the healing of nerves in the brain’s stem that could have been affected by both alcohol use and its withdrawal symptoms. A study by Dr. Tod Mikuriya published in established that cannabis use is beneficial for recovering alcoholics. He administered doses of cannabis to 92 patients, all of whom reported that the drug was ‘very effective’ or ‘effective’ for their alcoholism. Nine of the patients ceased alcohol use for over a year and said it was as a result of their cannabis use. Conversely, patients who stopped marijuana use after the study soon relapsed into their alcoholic ways.
A publication made in an issue of the Harm Reduction Journal in 2009 also suggested that marijuana could be used as a suitable substitute for alcohol in addicts. This is because marijuana is pain-relieving and has been proven effective to treat depression, which were some of the reasons alcoholics cited for their addictions.
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