“Marijuana maintenance” is what it is called and for many addicts, it can be deadly. This maintenance is the use of marijuana during active recovery. The disease of addiction has a three-fold facet: physical, mental and spiritual. According to the book of Alcoholics Anonymous the mental obsession is classified as: “The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking (and using) is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker/addict. The persistence of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates of insanity or death. We learned that we had to concede fully to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics.” This mental obsession, coupled with the allergy of the body in addicts, produces the sprees of alcohol and drug use that lead so many to treatment.
Medical Uses For Marijuana
Marijuana has gained increasing acceptance in the medical field. Namely, for its ability to help those with chronic pain, seizures, multiple sclerosis, and even possibly the slowing of Alzheimer’s. There are numerous medical benefits for marijuana, or more specifically, two of its ingredient: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the active ingredient that produces the “high” effect. While CBD has little to no THC, thereby offering little if any alteration in consciousness. It is this difference between these two components of the marijuana plant which those in recovery must be aware of. If maintaining a sober mind is the goal of the addict, this understanding can be the difference between life and death. CBD has been shown to have many positive effects such as aiding in anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain and epileptic seizures. For our purposes, we will address the use of THC and why it should not be used by those in recovery. When addressing marijuana, we are speaking of the active, high producing, ingredient THC.
Marijuana and Addiction Recovery
The mind of the alcoholic/addict is where his/her problem centers. Unless he can admit to his innermost self that he is an addict or an alcoholic then, according to doctors, he is doomed. The mental obsession tells the addict: Marijuana is a plant; It is organic; It is not a drug; Marijuana wasn’t my problem. It is this type of rationalizing that can be deadly for those in recovery. Here are a few of the many reasons why marijuana maintenance is dangerous to recovery.
Marijuana and Recovery Community
First, addiction is a lonely disease. Most addicts end up alone and, therefore, need a community to help them feel a part of something. Recovery communities, for the most part, believe in a life of abstinence. Therefore, any mood-altering substance is viewed as not a part of sobriety. If an addict or alcoholic is on the marijuana maintenance plan then he/she may not feel like part of the recovery community since they are not sober. He/she may decide to withdraw from the community that is so vital to their recovery.
Marijuana Lowers Inhibitions
A second problem often encountered by addicts smoking marijuana is that inhibitions are often lowered by using any type of mood-altering substance. In turn, this can return the addict or alcoholic to their drug of choice. What may begin as something to help the alcoholic “relax” or “liven up recovery” can eventually bring about false confidence to think that they can control the use of any substance.
Marijuana and the Spiritual Condition
Lastly, for the alcoholic or addict who participates in a 12-step plan of recovery, their hope is the growth and maintenance of a spiritual condition. Any type of mood-altering substance can cut them off from God and therefore from their source of power. According to the basic text of Alcoholics Anonymous, constant contact with God is the only thing sufficient to bring about the necessary psychic change required for recovery.
While there are many reasons why marijuana maintenance is bad for those in recovery, loss of community, the potential for relapse, and loss of spiritual connection are among the top. These are just some of the many reasons why it has been repeatedly proven that the marijuana maintenance plan is not conducive to permanent sobriety.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, or needing help navigating sobriety, please do no hesitate to reach out to the experts at San Diego Sober Living. We are here to help you succeed in your recovery.