Currently, marijuana is fully legalized in 11 states. In 30 other states, it is either decriminalized, legal for medicinal use, or a combination of both. In fact, marijuana is only entirely illegal in just nine states, and the laws are changing every day. With marijuana legalization becoming more prevalent, this begs the question: Is marijuana addictive, and should those in recovery for substance use disorder steer clear of it? The short answer is: Yes.
As part of the marijuana legalization discussion, the addictive properties of the plant have come under much scrutiny. Studies on the matter show that 30-percent of regular marijuana users do become addicted, and that statistic jumps to 70-percent if the user is an adolescent.
The addictive component of marijuana is THC. This is the psychoactive compound found in cannabis that causes altered senses, changes in mood, and impaired memory. Regular users will eventually build up a tolerance to THC, require more of it, and suffer withdrawal symptoms if they don’t have it for an extended period of time.
While the benefits of marijuana have been widely accepted for recreational and medicinal use, here at Victory Recovery Partners, we do not recommend this as a viable long-term treatment option for substance use disorder. When it comes to addiction, there is no evidence that this drug aids patients in abstaining from opioids, reducing withdrawal symptoms, or alleviating anxiety. We do not recommend substituting one drug for another. An option we do stand behind to assist the management of physical pain is cannabidiol, also known as CBD. This is the non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis and can be used to treat a plethora of ailments, including physical pain.
It is our belief that Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medications like Suboxone®/Zubsolv® and Sublocade™ are the best methods of treating addictions to opioids, such as heroin or prescription pain relievers that contain opiates. Prescribed by our experienced physicians, these medications are proving successful in the treatment of substance use disorders, as well as helping in the prevention of overdoses.
Our first priority is helping patients overcome substance use disorder; specifically, opioid addiction. While it is not an encouraged or prescribed treatment method, we do not expel recreational or medicinal marijuana users from our program.
If you or someone you love is struggling with opioid addiction, you don’t have to face it alone. Victory Recovery Partners is here to help. We’re here to provide you with convenient, high-quality medical care you need and deserve. Visit our website or contact us at 631-696-HELP (4357) to begin your journey to recovery today.