Medical Marijuana for Addiction is Gaining Traction

In Addiction, Feature Stories by Melanie TsikosLeave a Comment

The jury is still out about weather Medical Marijuana can be addictive, however when you compare the addictiveness of marijuana with alcohol, there doesn’t seem to be much of a comparison. A staggering 50% of alcoholics will relapse with in 6 months. Seemingly, medical marijuana can help ease cravings for alcohol, and one particularly famous person who has made such claims is Willie Nelson.

As a well-known advocate for, and consumer of marijuana, Willie Nelson has found its the only thing that has reliably kept him from an “alcohol induced” depression. Willie believes marijuana has saved his life. Introduced to marijuana in the 1960’s, he also credits marijuana helping him to quit smoking cigarettes.

A popular harm reduction approach has been used with some success with alcoholism –  the Marijuana Maintenance Program has been helping some kick booze. It’s fundamental idea is Harm Reduction, and many are publicly advocating for its expanded use given the loosening of the legal climate surrounding cannabis.  From a health risk standpoint, someone can more easily overdose and die from alcohol poisoning then they would from marijuana. It’s been shown to be physically impossible to overdose on cannabis (your brain turns off receptors when over exposed), and few if any deaths can be linked in any way to cannabis consumption; an important reminder that cannabis is truly a natural medicine and not a drug.

The same cannot be said for alcohol, with reportedly 3 million alcohol related deaths recorded by WHO (World Health Organization) each year globally. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs349/en/

Willie Nelson painting photo courtesy Flickr user Kate Barton

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