Medical cannabis may help treat alcoholism

From celebrating a promotion at work to dealing with stress in day-to-day life, alcohol has become an integral part of every individual’s life. However, the persistent consumption of alcohol does no good to one’s overall well-being, rather deteriorates it by developing major health issues like alcoholism. Alcoholism can be defined as an uncontrollable urge to consume alcohol despite its debilitating effects.

According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), approximately 38.4 percent of young adults aged 18 to 25 were binge alcohol users in the past month in 2016. A research, published in the journal American Journal of Preventive Medicine, suggests that the American adults consume over 17 billion binge drinks every year.

Excessive drinking can lead to a number of negative effects on an individual, such as slurred speech, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, disturbed sleep, coma and even death in the worst scenario. Therefore, it is important to refrain from indulging in alcohol or seek help from a specialized facility if already addicted to it. Despite being holistic and comprehensive, the success rate of recovery programs is quite low, somewhere around 50 percent. This can be due to a number of reasons like the use of traditional treatment methods, medications, etc. In order to improve this rate and help an individual overcome addiction, the experts have now started relying on a new treatment option called medical cannabis.

Studies support the use of medical cannabis to treat alcoholism

Medical cannabis or medical marijuana is a whole and unprocessed marijuana plant that can be used to treat various illnesses and medical conditions. Considered to be a gateway drug that leads to the abuse of other drugs, a number of studies have opposed this statement by considering it as a drug that opens the gateway to recovery. A study published in Harm Reduction Journal showed that replacing alcohol with Antabuse and cannabis helped in reducing the negative outcomes. Therefore, it should be included in the entire process of harm reduction. Along the same lines, patients grappling with alcoholism are using medical cannabis as an alternative.

The study showed that medical cannabis patients engage cannabis as an alternative to fight alcoholism, prescription and illicit drug abuse, etc. during treatment. The percentage of people who agreed to use cannabis as a substitute included 40 percent users of alcohol, 26 percent users of illicit drugs and around 66 percent users of prescription drugs. Some of the other reasons cited for substituting the substance of choice with medical cannabis are less severe side effects, better symptom management and lesser withdrawal potential.

Medical marijuana can help an individual deal with a number of alcoholism-related issues like anxiety, depression, stress, nausea and cravings for alcohol. However, this does not imply that using it without an expert’s advice or monitoring is safe. The overuse and persistent consumption of medical cannabis over a long period of time is risky and can lead to a number of dangerous effects on an individual, such as altered senses, mood swings, impaired body movement, hallucinations, delusions, memory loss, etc. It is, therefore, important to ensure that the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes is well-monitored. The drug should only be used after seeking an expert’s advice and never as a way of self-medication.

Seeking help for alcohol addiction

One of the proven facts is that Alcohol addiction is lethal. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) states that approximately 88,000 people (around 62,000 men and 26,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes annually. Therefore, it is extremely important for the common masses to stay away from substances of abuse. Moreover, the federal bodies need to implement necessary laws to curb the problem of alcohol abuse and addiction.

If you or someone you know is addicted to alcohol and is planning to seek assistance from one of the best alcohol rehab centers in Florida, contact the Florida Alcohol Addiction Helpline for help. Call at our 24/7 alcohol addiction helpline 866-220-5381 or chat online with one of our experts to know about the state-of-the-art alcohol rehabilitation centers in Florida.