Medicinal Marijuana

Can You Use Medicinal Marijuana And Still Be in Recovery From Addiction?

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Legal Medicinal Marijuana May Have Complicated Matters When It Comes To Recovery

Countries around the world have begun to legalize medicinal marijuana for medicinal purposes. Uruguay, Canada, Australia, the United States, the Netherlands, Colombia, and the Czech Republic are just a few nations across the globe that have amended their laws to allow marijuana consumption for medical reasons.

For many years, marijuana was considered a dangerous drug and was strictly banned by governments as an addictive substance that should be avoided. However, international studies about the benefits of marijuana for treating several medical conditions have changed the minds of those in power and turned them toward marijuana instead of away from it. For many, this has complicated the matter of recovery and marijuana use.

Marijuana is currently being used to treat ADHD, cancer, AIDS, chronic pain and chronic pain disorders like Fibromyalgia, insomnia, epilepsy and other seizure disorders, and mental disorders like bipolar, depression, and anxiety. Many people who are walking the road of recovery are afflicted with one of these conditions and they have to ask themselves, “Can I use marijuana and still be in recovery?”

Sobriety Isn’t So Black and White Anymore – Has Recovery Gone To Pot?

It used to be that recovery was a black and white issue. You either used drugs or you didn’t. If you used drugs after committing to sobriety and staying clean for a certain amount of time, you relapsed. If you didn’t use drugs and continued to walk the path of abstinence, you were in recovery. It was black and white – you were either in recovery or you weren’t. Now, things are quite so simple.

Before marijuana was made legal for medicinal purposes, the stuff was off limits. It was considered a harmful drug. You couldn’t use marijuana and claim to have sobriety. Now, with millions of people in countries around the world using marijuana for legal reasons, marijuana is no longer taboo. In many circles, it is no longer considered a drug – it is considered medication. When used for legitimate reasons, you CAN use pot and enjoy a life of recovery. But, it’s tricky……….

The Fine Line Between Recovery And Relapse When It Comes To Marijuana

To be clear, you can only use medical marijuana and keep your sobriety under three conditions –

  1. You have a legal prescription for marijuana from a doctor.
  2. You have a legitimate medical condition for which marijuana is prescribed.
  3. You only use marijuana AS PRESCRIBED by your doctor.

If you use marijuana under any other circumstances, you are in relapse mode. Here are some examples of situations that would constitute a relapse:

  • If you go to a doctor and manipulate the doctor to get a prescription just so you can use pot
  • If you don’t have a medical condition for which marijuana is prescribe and you make up symptoms just so you can be prescribed weed
  • If you use marijuana more often than has been recommended by a doctor
  • If you use it to get a buzz
  • If you use someone else’s prescription
  • If you have a prescription, but you run out, so you buy marijuana on the street
If You Have Been Prescribed Marijuana, Treat It Like Medication – Because It Is

If you have been prescribed medicinal marijuana, you should view it like you would any other medication. It is okay to take medications that you need for your health while you are in recovery. Medicinal Marijuana is no different. As long as you have a legal prescription for a legitimate medical condition and you take it as prescribed, you can still continue to remain in recovery without worrying if you have relapsed.

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Anne -

Anne Lazarakis joined the DARA Rehab team from Sydney, Australia. She writes about addiction and mental health on a global, local and community level. She also relays personal accounts of substance abuse and recovery through the stories of our clients, their families and our own team members.

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