Despite federal attempts to halt the progress of marijuana legalization, medical cannabis has never been more common in the United States. As of January 2018, 29 states have legalized marijuana for medical use or recreational use. Some have even legislated for both.
Not only has this led to an increase in the number of people who are now using legal marijuana, but it has made marijuana research easier. As a result of this, scientists are learning more about the plant than ever before.
Today, marijuana is being explored as a treatment for everything from Alzheimer’s disease to irritable bowel syndrome. And alcoholism is the latest possible medical condition for which marijuana could soon be prescribed.
Alcoholism is a huge public health crises in American today. It’s estimated that 1 out of every 8 Americans is an alcoholic., according to a study by JAMA Psychiatry. This figure is approximately 49% higher than it was at the turn of the century. These figures indicate a rapid increase in alcohol abuse over the past two decades.
Alcoholism has far reaching consequences on both the individual and on society as a whole. This disease often destroys families, ruins careers and the side effects of binge drinking can be life threatening.
The implications for communities where alcoholism rates are high are very serious. The children of addict parents suffer severe psychological trauma. It is, without a doubt, one of the biggest social issues of our time.
Twelve step treatment programs such as alcoholics anonymous offer some hope to those who want to stop drinking for good. While these recovery programs can be life saving to many people, for others they simply don’t work.
These people have been very much left with no options other than to try to stop drinking on their own with no support. However, in almost all cases the withdrawal symptoms and alcohol cravings prove too overwhelming. Sadly, a return to binge drinking is inevitable.
Thankfully, it appears that there is new hope for alcohol treatment in the form of medical marijuana. Researchers now believe that this ancient plant medicine could be perfectly placed to offer a safe substitute to alcohol. They also believe that marijuana could effectively treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms themselves.
Because medical marijuana is only legal on a state-by-state basis, the process for obtaining a medical marijuana card depends on where you live. For the most part, the differences are minor and very manageable. If you live in a medical marijuana state, the process of obtaining a card is simple enough.
Before applying for a medical marijuana card, you should make sure you qualify for one in the first place. All cardholders must be over the age of 18. They must provide proof of state residency. Finally, they usually have to be experiencing one of several qualifying illnesses. The most common illnesses that qualify for medical marijuana are:
In most states, alcoholism and addiction treatment are not listed as qualifiers. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that alcoholics won’t qualify. Marijuana treatment for addiction is a very new field, but its notoriety is definitely growing.
You may very well find a way to qualify for medical marijuana treatment for alcohol recovery. This will depend on your state laws as well as the severity of your physical symptoms.
Once you’re sure that you do qualify, the next step is to Identify a medical marijuana doctor in your area and make an appointment. For many patients, meeting with a medical marijuana doctor will be an entirely new experience. Most marijuana doctors will require upfront:
After you’ve received a medical marijuana recommendation from a doctor, most states require you to submit a patient application. Some states offer online applications, while others have slightly more demanding application procedures.
Just as prescription drugs must be bought at a drugstore, medical marijuana is purchased from licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. Depending on your state laws, it may also be possible to obtain medical cannabis from other patients or grow a limited supply of your own product. Patients such research this thoroughly before attempting to do so.
Marijuana has proven to be an effective harm reduction treatment method for addiction. Early studies show that marijuana is effective in treating opiate addiction, while a 2009 study revealed that 40% of its participants used marijuana to reduce alcohol dependence. Further studies have indicated that medical marijuana treatment has significantly reduced or completely eradicated alcohol use in those suffering from alcohol abuse.
Given that alcohol abuse is such a prevalent problem in America today, it is no wonder that so many people are curious about the potential of medical marijuana addiction treatment. The internet is teaming with claims of the “miracle of medical marijuana”. So, it’s understandable that many people think it could be the answer to their problems.
However, patients should always keep in mind that there is still much that we don’t know about the effects of medical marijuana. Researchers are still investigating the long term side effects of the drug on the body, and on alcohol withdrawal.
However, the current body of research into medical marijuana alcoholism treatment is extreme promising. New discoveries could change the way we treat this serious illness in the not-too-distant future.