Getting clean from drugs and alcohol means abstaining from them completely. Drug recovery programs such as Narcotics Anonymous consider the term “clean and sober” to mean staying away from any substance use. This involves avoiding substances that might change the working of your mind and emotions, also known as ‘mind-altering substances.’
Efforts in the United States to legalize marijuana for recreational and medical uses are causing many recovering people to ask themselves, “Is using weed a relapse?” If a person has been recovering from using other drugs, such as cocaine, opioids, and alcohol, they might perceive weed use to be a relapse. Unlike weed, illicit drugs and alcohol can cause major legal, health, and financial problems. When people turn to recovery programs to manage their lives better, they don’t want to relapse into old habits.
The legalization of weed for use in medical and recreational purposes might make recovering patients fear relapse. How true is this concern? Let us look into the different studies and research on the topic.
Why Is Cannabis Use a Relapse?
Cannabis, as a drug, modifies how your brain functions and changes your mood significantly. Whether a substance is legal or not doesn’t change its effect on your sobriety. For instance, alcohol is legally permitted, but using it is also perceived as a relapse.
Most people use weed together with other substances. Such users are often unable to take one without the other. Hence, relapsing on weed can cause people to go back to using other substances. Weed is also known to be the reason for lowered inhibitions, making it more attractive to use other drugs. According to research, using marijuana after cocaine and alcohol dependency treatment might lead to a relapse to the previous drug use.
As some people have considered marijuana to be a “gateway drug” for a long time, it has been frequently implicated in the graduation to abuse harder drugs like cocaine. Research has suggested that marijuana might also be a gateway drug leading to relapse.
What About CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a component that is found in weed. It is not psychoactive. Hence, it does not cause addiction and will not affect your sobriety since it does not have the same mind-altering effects that weed and other drugs do. Research has shown that CBD can even reduce the risk of relapse on different drugs and alcohol.
CBD has been shown to reduce the cravings for opioids that a person might experience while they are recovering from opioid addiction. While you are recovering from other drugs, the use of CBD is not perceived to be a relapse. However, you should discuss this with your counselor if you are in treatment.
Research on the Potential of CBD for Relapse Prevention
One study showed that applying a CBD-infused gel on rats’ skin each day for a week reduced relapse. The rats had a history of daily cocaine and alcohol use. In a study, CBD was shown to reduce the impulse and anxiety many people associate with drug dependence. The effect of the CBD was proven to last for five months after the treatment was stopped.
CBD’s benefits are known to extend to the attenuation of neurodegeneration caused by alcohol. It protects the recovering patient’s mental state. Impulse control deficits in recovering alcoholics are better controlled. This also means that CBD has a therapeutic potential relevant to the various conditions that are known to be responsible for relapsing. Factors such as a greater level of anxiety, impaired impulse control, stress, and cravings tend to cause a relapse.
Using CBD for relapse prevention is a promising avenue to follow even if additional research is required. It is known to work without a sedative effect and does not interfere with normal, motivated behavior. It helps prevent reinstatement to the previously used drug, and even with only brief treatment, the results should last for much longer.
Options for Treatment
The reality is that it can be challenging to stay sober. It is more evident when you are under stress or facing temptations. There are treatment programs that will get you the required medications to assist you with managing cravings.
Rehab programs that provide counseling will teach you the best way to deal with stress. They enable you to avoid relapse because the cravings are better managed and even controlled. You’ll want to go for a treatment option that is powerful and supported by scientific evidence. Your treatment plan should be made up of the best options to keep you on the right path for recovery.
With this kind of support available to you, your recovery will be much smoother. Your likelihood of relapse will be significantly reduced, and you will likely find yourself getting more robust. The support programs will get you on the path to recovery and support you even after the treatment.
Post-treatment support is essential as it keeps you on the straight path. It keeps you clear from the dangerous trails that are likely to lead you back to relapse. It also keeps you close to the other people you were with during recovery. The bonds that have been formed in a rehab facility or support group will be even more helpful as you transition to a life of sobriety.
Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are some of the recovery groups that can provide you with support. These groups have others going through the recovery with you, and the 12 steps you follow will be a reliable way to recover gradually.
What Are the Dangers of a Relapse?
The effects and impacts of relapse are significant and a reason to avoid them. Relapsing means that you go back to using the drug, and you will find it harder to stop the addiction when you are using again. Relapse makes you more comfortable using the drug, and recovery becomes even more difficult.
The financial and health implications of relapse are even more remarkable and could cause you to lose a lot of progress. Cravings, anxiety, and impulses are the significant factors behind the regression. When you have relapsed to a drug, it takes longer to recover from its usage.
The receptors in the brain get active again, and the impact of the drug use is even greater. Your systems and brain will absorb the drugs at a greater rate. As such, it will be even harder to recover from the addiction. It is for this reason that recovery programs give you so many tools to help you avoid relapse.
Rehab also gets more expensive when you relapse, which is why many efforts are made to avoid it. Periods of relapse are also known to have more significant mental effects on the drug or alcohol user.
All the progress you made in the recovery program will not be in vain if you relapse into using the drugs you wanted to stop. The recovery will be longer when you have relapsed, but it is still possible to get back on your treatment plan. If you’re taking CBD with your counselor’s approval, the effect on your neural receptors may make it possible to stay off the drugs you are recovering from for the long term.
Granite Recovery Centers
Our treatment centers are dedicated to addiction treatment. The facilities provide you with a comfortable recovery process and helpful information from compassionate counselors and medical professionals. Recovering from drug use is not an easy process, so getting the best support is essential.
Granite Recovery Centers has a few different centers you can choose from for your recovery journey. Our programs are well-organized and designed to help you make it through. Our continuum of care also incorporates planning for your post-treatment life so we’re with you each step of the way. You’ll get an opportunity to bond with other people in recovery and, in the process, grow healthy friendships.
Support systems are essential for people who are struggling with drug addiction or alcoholism. They contribute to better behavior, so getting the support you need in your moments of difficulty is very important. It would be best if you did not relapse to the drugs you have been using in your past, and you may need to lean on trusted friends and mentors in a moment of temptation. Reaching out to a counselor or peer in recovery ensures that you are on the steady path to sobriety. It also makes you healthy and more capable of healing as you gain experience that can help others on the same path.
Friendships are essential for the recovery process to be effective. They move you from the initial broken-down position into a much more powerful state of recovery. With a good friend to recover together with, you will have all the support you need. You will also be able to help others make progress together on the journey to recovery and a brighter, more promising future.
What to Expect from Addiction Treatment
At our rehab centers, treatment programs for addiction follow a 12-step curriculum and include the full provision of care. The plans involve detoxification, extended care, inpatient counseling, and sober living assistance. These programs help ensure that recovering patients do not relapse into drug use.
Granite Recovery Centers has all the resources you need for recovery. Addiction recovery is the main priority here, so when you sign up for 12-step recovery programs, you get counselors who are dedicated to the journey.
The counselors and professionals at the facility will take their time with you. They are patient, and with the much experience they have had with other recovering drug and alcohol users, they will be beneficial in helping you learn tools that ensure you stick with the recovery journey.
The 12-step program helps make you a better person. The counselors are your best help when recovering from drugs or alcohol because they help you identify triggers and other causes of stress. This type of therapy can make it possible for you to fight relapse and push ahead with the healing process.
Never let the fear of relapse be the reason you fail to seek help. Instead, let the power of recovery programs take over and work for you. Our programs are designed to ensure that the progress you make helps you live a better life free from the grips of addiction to drugs or alcohol.
If you are concerned about CBD or cannabis and how it will affect your recovery journey, feel free to reach out to us. We’re happy to provide information that will address your concerns and help you create an action plan to avoid relapse if you’re tempted to use substances that could harm your sobriety.