No one enjoys the feelings produced by a state of anxiety, and for some anxiety suffers those feelings can become excruciating. It is tempting to seek out substances that, when ingested, will provide the anxiety relief we so desperately want. Because marijuana is has become popularly accepted as a natural remedy for many ailments, some people have used it for anxiety relief. Unfortunately, whatever immediate relief some received was far outweighed by the harmful consequences many later had to endure.
Like many drugs, marijuana changes the way the user feels. Because marijuana is complex blend of many different compounds—each of which effects some users differently than others—it’s difficult for users to anticipate precisely how they will feel after each use. Some marijuana users report feelings of calmness and general wellbeing after using, while others report increased anxiety and tension. For those who do gain anxiety relief from marijuana use, the relief gained diminishes over time. Some users, particularly those who have become marijuana dependent, report experiencing generalized anxiety where none existed before. Studies have also shown that people who suffer from socialized anxiety disorder are more likely than non-sufferers to become dependent on marijuana use.
In thinking about using marijuana for anxiety relief, it’s useful to consider the following:
- Marijuana can provide short-term relief symptoms from anxiety, but some users report increased anxiety and panic attacks.
- Using marijuana in a stressful environment can in and of itself increase feelings of anxiety.
- Long-term marijuana users who suddenly stop report heightened states of anxiety.
- People who suffer from anxiety are more prone to overindulge in marijuana as a way to self-medicate—behavior that can directly lead to substance abuse problems.
For those of us who have already diagnosed ourselves as substance use dependent and are recovering from the disease of addiction, we treat marijuana as we do any other drug and do not use it to help us change the way we feel. Those of us in recovery who have tried this experiment have found the consequences to be catastrophic to our sobriety. Using any drug to change the way we feel nearly always opens the door to relapsing on our drug of choice, and when that happens, we find ourselves back in the very worst life situations once again.
If you think you might be suffering from addiction, please call Alta Loma Recovery at 866-457-3843 today. The path of recovery is open to you, so start walking it. Join a whole host of friends who have begun to live a new and exciting, sober life!