Excessive drinking has claimed nearly 90,000 lives each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Those who die as the result of alcohol abuse do so prematurely, on average, as reported by the USA Today.
Alcoholism statistics in Louisiana:
As the recent movement toward cannabis legalization in the U.S. has increased, medical cannabis has become a substitute for alcohol. A growing number of research studies suggest that medical marijuana can be an alternative therapy for alcohol. It can reduce drinking and related problems among alcohol-dependent individuals.
Medical marijuana also has lower psychological and physical dependence risks compared to alcohol. The US National Institute of Drug Abuse reported that alcohol dependence is twice as high as cannabis.
Alcoholism is considered a progressive and chronic disease, also referred to as alcohol use disorder. Individuals who suffer from alcohol addiction crave alcohol uncontrollably even when they experience alcohol-related issues repeatedly, like drunk driving violations, relationship problems, or job loss.
Alcoholism is believed to have a strong heritable component, with between 40-60% of the variance of the risk attributable to genetic factors. However, environmental factors also play an important role in alcoholism.
Drinking during difficult times can potentially trigger long-term alcoholism.
The most common reasons why people start drinking are to:
Drinking too much alcohol can cause serious health problems including stroke, cancer, and cirrhosis. Alcoholics are more likely to get sick and less able to fight off infections. Drinking on a daily basis can have irreversible consequences for both the body and mind.
It can also lead to many issues and impact professional goals, personal matters, and relationships.
Behavioral therapies and medications can help treat alcoholism or alcohol use disorder. Common pharmaceutical treatments include naltrexone, acamprosate, disulfiram, and topiramate.
The British National Group of Consultant Psychiatrists, registered as specialists in addiction, ranked medical cannabis as less harmful than alcohol in terms of physical harm, dependence, and social harm.
A 2009 study found that THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the primary active chemical in marijuana, was effective in eliminating alcohol dependency.
Another study published in the Harm Reduction Journal found that responders successfully used cannabis to curb their alcohol cravings.
Around 40% of patients substituted their alcohol with medical marijuana for these reasons:
Medical marijuana can help with a variety of alcoholism symptoms such as:
Alcoholism can be prevented through programs at the school, family, and community level that create awareness of the dangers of alcoholism and its impact on health.
So far, the best way and the only real choice in beating the alcohol addiction affliction is to entirely quit drinking.
The responsible use of medical marijuana can provide relief from many alcoholic addiction symptoms without the dangers of withdrawal and addiction as seen with alcohol or prescription medication drugs.
People with alcoholism in Louisiana can use medical marijuana, provided they have a medical marijuana card.