Alcoholism is a destructive disease with causes that are not fully known. Effective treatment for alcoholism varies from person to person, although withdrawal is generally considered the best solution. The insidious nature of alcoholism makes abstinence very difficult for certain individuals, which is why some people propose marijuana as a substitute for alcohol. However, marijuana does not treat the causes of alcoholism and can create other problems for the user.
Marijuana and alcohol share many characteristics, which may be one of the reasons why they are possible substituents of each other. Both alter mood and can cause feelings of euphoria. A study indicates that the rates of alcoholism in adolescence are affected by the prices of beer and marijuana, since these substances are consumed interchangeably. Both are addictive in the sense that some people have difficulty controlling alcoholism and marijuana use, which leads them to seek help.
Alcoholism and the abuse of marijuana can manifest themselves very differently. One of the prominent signs of alcoholism and excessive alcohol consumption is angry violent behavior while marijuana users tend to be more isolated and depressed. There are many obvious physical symptoms of alcohol abuse such as tremor, stomach pain and jaundice. The impact of marijuana use is less obvious and rarely fatal. Finally, in most countries alcohol is legal and marijuana is illegal, even if personal use of marijuana is tolerated under certain circumstances.
Marijuana advocates as a substitute for alcohol often consider marijuana to be the lesser of two evils. Some people think of it as a temporary means of alcohol detoxification, which facilitates the path to withdrawal. Others think that marijuana has fewer harmful side effects and is a safer alternative. These beliefs are not compatible with medical experts.
Unfortunately, many people who are tormented by alcoholism cannot be satisfied by the occasional or temporary use of marijuana. For them, the use of marijuana is simply a substitution of one self-medication for another, to mask the symptoms without treating the cause of the disease. The use of excess marijuana can cause problems at work and at school, since it affects reflexes, can inhibit learning, and can cause memory failures. Even occasional use can cause problems, since marijuana is illegal in many countries. Both alcoholism and marijuana use can wreak havoc on someone’s life.
It is best to seek help against alcoholism in order to find treatment solutions that best suit your personal circumstances. There are anonymous groups of twelve steps, both for alcoholism and for addiction to marijuana, and can help achieve complete withdrawal from the drugs they alter. Drug and alcohol treatment centers may offer other long-term alcohol recovery solutions.