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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cannabis Could Help Combat Substance Abuse

A new study at the University of California, Berkeley showed interesting results regarding marijuana and what it could be used for. The study showed that many people are using marijuana to keep themselves from drinking alcohol or doing other illicit drugs. It seems counter intuitive to use a drug to stay off other drugs, but, in these studies researchers have found that cannabis could help combat substance abuse. The study consisted of a 350 cannabis users at a cannabis dispensary the Berkeley Patient's Group. Out of the 350 patients, 40 percent claimed that marijuana helped control their alcohol. 66 percent of the group used cannabis as an alternative to prescription drugs and 26 percent used it to replace hard drugs like heroin and cocaine. These findings are rather alarming but not surprising, addicts have been substituting one drug for another for a long time; marijuana may be less harmful than other drugs but the disease is still present and thriving.

There is no question that marijuana is a better alternative than a lot of different chemicals out there, but, the disease of addiction is being fed by smoking weed and a person's problems are far from being dealt with. Amanda Reiman heads up this study and feels that marijuana could be an effective treatment for other addictions; she may be right, as far as the detoxification process goes. However, this proposed treatment method will not show the addict a better way of life, just another way to blanket one's problems. Marijuana may be an effective medication for certain ailments, I'm not sure that the disease of addiction is one of them.

We can be sure that all the new studies that are taking place will generate the need for more research into the medical benefits of cannabis. The times are changing with regard to marijuana and its new found acceptance, according to Reiman, The Independent reports: "The economic hardship of the Great Depression helped bring about the end of alcohol prohibition. Now, as we are again faced with economic struggles, the US is looking to marijuana as a potential revenue generator. Public support is rising for the legalization of recreational use and remains high for the use of marijuana as a medicine".

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