Substance abuse is a growing problem in the United States today. It’s estimated that one in every eight American adults is addicted to alcohol. However, only 11% of patients suffering with addiction actually receive the treatment that they need.
This is largely caused by the stigma surrounding addiction in America. It is also caused by the fact that current treatments have high failure rates and that many patients do not see successful recovery as a realistic option for them.
However, this could be set to change in the future as a growing number of studies suggest that cannabis could be considered as a substitute therapy for alcohol addiction. Some even suggest that medical cannabis be prescribed to individuals attempting to reduce alcohol use.
The earliest published account of cannabis substitution is a case study of a 49-year-old female alcoholic who found that a combination of Antabuse and smoking cannabis helped her to address her addiction.
Her physician, Dr Mikuriya, noted that although alcohol and cannabis differ greatly, they can both instill euphoria and detachment. While alcohol seriously affected his patient both physically and emotionally, cannabis did not produce the same negative consequences.
An exploratory study of medical cannabis users in substance abuse treatment suggested that medical cannabis use does not hinder drug treatment participation or adversely affect treatment outcomes. Results imply that those using medical cannabis may have had better treatment results, employment and other outcomes compared with their non-medical cannabis using counterparts.
There is more research to be conducted in this area as scientists are still not absolutely clear on the effects of different cannabis strains and doses on patients with addiction problems. However, this research is relatively groundbreaking and could change the way we treat alcohol and general substance abuse in the United States in the future.
Here is the full scientific article if you wish to download it.