Alcohol and drug addictions are serious disorders that impact a surprisingly large amount of people.
While alcohol and drugs can be safely used in moderation. However, once there is an addiction, many need medical help to recover.
Marijuana and CBD oil can help addicts recover and also help prevent their return to alcohol or drugs. This article discusses how medical marijuana (including CBD oil) can help heal alcohol and drug addictions.
Defining alcoholism and drug dependency
Alcoholism and drug dependency means that a person has an addiction to alcohol or another substance and is unable to control their use of it.
It is, of course, completely possible and very common to drink alcohol healthily and in moderation. However, when a person starts drinking excessively, daily and looks for more opportunities to drink or feels unhappy when they aren’t drinking, that might be a sign that they are developing alcoholism.
Alcohol, and many other drugs, actually have ingredients that lead to habit-forming. Nicotine, for example, is addictive, which is why it is so difficult to quit smoking cigarettes – the body hurts because it has become used to having this substance and when it is taken away you go through withdrawal. The same thing can occur with cocaine, heroin, prescription drugs, and many other substances.
What causes alcoholism and drug dependence?
These types of addictions are due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. For example, having a parent or other close family member who is an alcoholic makes it much more likely that you will develop alcoholism as well. In fact, there are signs that people with different ancestries have different likelihoods of developing alcoholism.
As an interesting history lesson, alcohol (a fermented beverage) was developed in Europe thousands of years ago, and for centuries beer and wine were more common drinks than water.
Since water usually contained microbes that carried life-threatening diseases, it wasn’t always safe to drink. By fermenting the water and turning it into alcohol, those microbes are killed off, so it was actually safer for people of all ages to drink wine and beer than it would have been to drink water.
Over millennia, human beings from that part of the world developed a tolerance for alcohol that has been passed down to their descendants. Native Americans, on the other hand, had access to cleaner sources of fresh water and never needed to develop other ways of hydrating themselves.
Because of this, they didn’t develop the base tolerance most people of European descent have, which is why there are such high levels of alcoholism among Native American people today –their bodies haven’t developed the ability to process the drink.
In addition, individuals who suffer from mental illness are much more likely to develop a substance abuse problem than those who do not. This is particularly true of those with depression and anxiety since it provides temporary relief to their symptoms.
Symptoms of alcoholism and drug dependency
Many alcoholics will tell themselves that they are not addicts, that they only drink socially and can quit any time. However, the symptoms of alcohol addiction can come unexpectantly. They include blacking out, especially frequently, as well as developing a tolerance that causes the drinker to need more alcohol to experience the same effect.
Alcoholics also experience an inability to meet their obligations due to drinking and often look for excuses to drink. They may also experience tremors after drinking and other withdrawal-like symptoms.
Symptoms of Alcohol and Drugs
Drug addiction is usually easier to recognize, somewhat because drug use is not as widely accepted as drinking alcohol is. Symptoms of drug addiction include pain (often described as flu-like) that only go away when another dose of the drug is consumed.
Dangers of alcoholism and drug dependency
Heavy drinking or drug use can have a wide range of potential consequences. For example, alcohol is a factor in most car accidents, drownings, and traumas. Alcohol and drug use can limit your decision-making abilities, making it more likely that you will hurt yourself.
Drug and alcohol addictions can also lead to liver disease, heart disease, depression, cancer, and a wide range of other potential diseases. Drinking or using drugs during pregnancy can pass these problems and many others on to the fetus, making life difficult for them for decades to come.
Current treatments for alcoholism and drug dependency
Treatment for alcoholism or drug addiction begins with detox, which can be a challenging and painful experience. It generally includes going “cold turkey” on the drug and then waiting out the withdrawal pains.
This period is often painful and frequently described as the worst flu imaginable. That’s why it’s always a good idea to go through withdrawal under professional supervision. The side effects can be life-threatening, and even if they are not, it’s easy to give up and return to the drug use to escape from the pain.
Treatments for alcohol and drug addicts
Luckily, the withdrawal symptoms usually last for a few days or less. After they are gone, the body has gotten rid of all the toxins, and you are able to start working on the psychological triggers for the addiction.
Rehab will usually help you develop methods for handling stress and other triggers in a healthy manner so that you do not return to the drug or alcohol use at your first stumbling block after being released from treatment.
Sadly, a high percentage of people relapse after being treated for alcoholism and drug dependency, which means that they return to being an addict.
CBD as a treatment for alcoholism and drug dependency
While the withdrawal period can be very painful, there is potential for medical marijuana to limit the symptoms of withdrawal and help people push on through the entire challenge. It can also help people heal from the potential side effects of their drug or alcohol use.
For example, Medical Jane reported about a study found that applying a cannabidiol topical to rats helped prevent brain degradation, a common side effect of alcohol consumption. This discovery could help develop new treatments for alcoholism.
CBD oil treatment for alcoholism and drugs
A number of states have also found that alcohol sales have dropped after legalizing marijuana, presumably because many of people would prefer to smoke rather than drink. This has additionally led to a decrease in traffic accidents.
Since cannabis is a depressant and alcohol is a stimulant, people are less likely to go out and make dangerous decisions when they use marijuana than when they use alcohol. Since marijuana is much less addictive than alcohol and other drugs, smoking more than using other substances could also prevent people from developing addictions overall.
CBD vs. THC
There are two primary ingredients in most strains of marijuana, known as THC and CBD. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, leads to most of the effects of marijuana that we are most familiar with, such as paranoia, sleepiness, and particularly the psychoactive effect that leads to the feeling of being “high.”
CBD vs THC
CBD, however, is non-psychoactive and helps people stay more alert. Depending on the strain of marijuana that you choose to use, you may have a higher concentration of either of these compounds, and that will change your experience with the drug.
Most professionals recommend using strains high in CBD (or even a concentrated CBD oil without any THC) for medical purposes since it offers the benefits of marijuana while removing most of the negative side effects.
How to take medical marijuana
There are multiple different methods of ingesting marijuana, and they each have their own benefits and drawbacks.
Smoking, for example, is the most common and well-known method, since it’s so simple. You’ll feel the effects almost immediately, and there is no special equipment required. However, the smoke goes into your lungs and can lead to cancer and other lung diseases. Plus, the smoke will leave a lingering smell in hair and on fabrics, which many people prefer to avoid.
TIP: Looking to buy medical seeds? Check out this marijuana seed shop
Edibles, on the other hand, don’t leave any smell since you ingest the drug by eating it rather than releasing it into the atmosphere. It will take longer to feel the effects since it needs to go through your digestive system, so make sure to give yourself plenty of time, because those effects will last longer as well. Edibles are preferred by many people since you can completely cover up the flavor of the marijuana with the flavor of whatever food it has been baked into.
If neither of these work for you, you can try vaporizing, sprays, topicals, or even eating the plant raw. With a little trial and error, you’re sure to find the method that works best for you.
Grow your own to treat alcoholism and drug dependency
Sample of Marijuana Growing
If you’re interested in growing your own marijuana, it’s very simple to do – you just need to find out what strain you are interested in cultivating and then care for it like you would any other plant.
Some of the easiest strains to start with include Amnesia Haze and Gold Leaf. Your cannabis plant will need water and sunlight, and after it matures, you will need to harvest it and prepare it depending on your preferred method of consumption.
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