Addiction Treatment

Recovery and Weed: Can They Ever Mix?

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Last updated: 08/8/2019
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review

Reading Time: 3 minutes

When you enter rehab, a 12 step meeting, or any level of outpatient care, you’re told that drug use is drug use. It doesn’t matter if it’s your drug of choice or something else, any drug use will pull you down and keep you under the mask that is addiction.

But is that true?

Are all drugs the same when it comes to addiction?

And does marijuana use mean that you’re not in recovery, even if you haven’t drank or used heroin in years?

Can recovery and weed ever mix?

Marijuana Is the Polydrug Stable

When it comes to polydrug use, there’s typically one drug that most users have in common. Marijuana. Often seen as a “lesser” drug, or at least not a hard drug, marijuana is used by many addicts who have a different drug of choice.

If a polydrug user stops using other drugs, they’re more likely to continue using marijuana more than any other drug and will do it more often than those without a history of polysubstance abuse.

If drugs or alcohol is making your life unmanageable, it’s time to seek help.

Changing Your Mental State

Recovery and Weed

Marijuana side effects can negatively affect one’s recovery.

When you’re in recovery, you make a commitment not to use chemicals to change your mental state. This includes prescription pain pills and marijuana, too, even if it is prescribed by a medical doctor where it’s legalized. This recovery goal is to keep you clear headed and substance free, and marijuana, whether legal or not, does not fit into that description.

Addiction Is a Slippery Slope

When it comes to recovery, there’s no doubt that marijuana is addictive, yet most agree it’s different than the addiction caused by harder drugs such as heroin and cocaine. Yet that doesn’t mean it or its use should be minimized. Marijuana causes psychological addiction and withdrawal symptoms, leaving users feeling edgy, moody, and suffering from insomnia and anxiety.

More so than some of the harder drugs, marijuana can cause post-acute withdrawal, with symptoms showing up well after the drug has left the body. For those that have used harder drugs, these withdrawal symptoms may spur relapse to their drug of choice, ending their recovery.

But What if It’s Prescribed?

Just because a substance is legal doesn’t mean it’s not addictive. Alcohol is legal. Cigarettes are legal. As are morphine and fentanyl. Yet people know these are all highly addictive substances that can be dangerous and even deadly. And for those that aren’t addicts, the choice to use is a personal one.

Yet for those in recovery and the 12 step rooms, alcohol, prescription pills, and marijuana are all unnecessary, mood altering substances that impact one’s sobriety and should be avoided at all costs.

Are You Addicted?

If you’re addicted to drugs and alcohol and they’re making your life unmanageable, it’s time to take control.

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Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by American Addiction Centers (AAC).

We are standing by 24/7 to discuss your treatment options. Our representatives work solely for AAC and will discuss whether an AAC facility may be an option for you. Our helpline is offered at no cost to you and with no obligation to enter into treatment. Neither Addictions.com nor AAC receives any commission or other fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a visitor may ultimately choose.

For more information on AAC’s commitment to ethical marketing and treatment practices, or to learn more about how to select a treatment provider, visit our About AAC page. If you wish to explore additional treatment options or connect with a specific rehab center, you can browse top-rated listings or visit SAMHSA.

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