Marijuana is a psychoactive drug with it’s very own subcategory of substance use disorder. Marijuana use disorder is a diagnosable mental disorder which is used to diagnose someone who has become chemically dependent on marijuana. Becoming chemically dependent on marijuana is completely possible, which is why continuing to use it in recovery can be dangerous. When using marijuana, the brain is still being activated in its reward centers. As a result, the brain continues to go through cravings and symptoms of withdrawals. Being chemically dependent on medication in recovery is usually reserved for those who have an absolute necessity for being on prescription medication for a specific issue. Today, medical marijuana is being prescribed for a broad range of issues and does have effective results. Unless there is a specific reason to use marijuana, it is a replacement drug. Using marijuana for a medical purpose is generally frowned upon in recovery because it can quickly become a replacement drug.
General use of marijuana is commonly seen as a way to just stay high. Recovery has many different definitions. Since treatment for recovery is not standardized, abstinence is not standardized. An increasing amount of research shows that abstinence is the best way to avoid chronic relapse which takes a harmful impact on the brain and body. Recovery is meant to be about freedom- freedom from relying on drugs and alcohol in order to feel “normal”. Discontinuing to use harmful substances like heroin, cocaine, crack, prescription pills, and alcohol is wonderful. However, the promise of recovery is about so much more than just discontinuing abuse of some substances. The promise of recovery is the ability to live a full and happy life without using any substances (unless specific prescription medications are necessary).
Marijuana maintenance is sometimes a defense mechanism to only semi-participate in recovery. With a mind altering substance like marijuana consistently present in the mind, there is no need to dive into feelings, work through past trauma, or even make plans for the future. At Lakehouse Recovery Center, we believe recovery is about more than that. Our programs offer the solution for the problem of drugs and alcohol. We strive to help each client learn how to have fun again in their lives while gaining the skills they need to live sober for a lifetime. Call us today for more information on our residential treatment programs and twelve month aftercare program. 877.762.3707.