Addictions often develop after our receiving a legitimate prescription for medication to treat chronic pain. Opioid prescriptions have led to a wave of addiction in the United States, and those unscrupulous businesses which turned a profit on the suffering of addicts are now being held accountable for their behavior. For those who have recovered from an opiate addiction, your chronic pain is still an issue in your life requiring treatment. Medical marijuana has recently garnered a following as a safe alternative for pain management. Is this a viable option for those in recovery?
The fundamental problem with utilizing medications to treat chronic pain is that these methods are merely masking the symptom of pain, while doing nothing to address the cause of the pain. Marijuana operates in this manner, interrupting the pain signals as they travel to your brain while also prompting the release of neurochemicals which promote feelings of euphoria and relaxation. It is the latter effect marijuana has on our brains which is so dangerous for recovering addicts, as we are predisposed to abuse any substance which causes our brains to produce more of these neurochemicals.
Marijuana is harmful to our recovery in another, more indirect and insidious manner. When we are actively using a mind-altering substance like marijuana our perception of reality becomes warped, affecting our ability to interpret situations and make decisions in our lives. For those attempting a life in recovery, this incongruity with our perception and our reality will inevitably lead to a separation between ourselves and our recovery program and sober supports, as a person actively using marijuana will be blind to certain facts about themselves and their lives. Additionally, marijuana use makes the practices of prayer, meditation, and mindfulness virtually impossible, significantly inhibiting our recovery as a whole due to our lack of connection to both ourselves and our higher power.
Marijuana may have its place as a treatment for pain management, but it is not a viable prescription for those seeking to live in recovery. It’s significant effects on our minds and moods present far too great a threat to our sobriety, mindfulness, and spirituality, and the benefits offered by marijuana as a pain management therapy are modest at best. You would be much better off utilizing traditional NSAIDs alongside physical therapy, massage, and other homeopathic therapies. These treatments provide relief for chronic pain without risking your recovery. At Evolutions, we offer such therapies as part of our holistic approach to addiction treatment. If you fear you have developed a dependence on marijuana for your chronic pain, call our Admissions Counselors today at 833-818-3031 so we may help you rid yourself of this dependence and establish a healthier treatment for your pain!