With an increasing number of states legalizing marijuana for medical use, recreational use, or both, there is a growing conversation about whether it can be helpful as a treatment component for people recovering from an eating disorder. For those receiving eating disorder treatment in Roseville, CA at our treatment center, we encourage them to know the facts about marijuana and recovery.
The Possible Benefits and Drawbacks of Marijuana Use
The greater availability of medical and recreational marijuana has researchers assessing two aspects of its effect on the body and how they might be valuable as part of eating disorder treatment. The first is its ability to stimulate the metabolism and increase appetite, which might be beneficial for people with anorexia. The second is its ability to relax a user, allowing them to be more open in addressing underlying emotional issues that might play a part in their disorder.
However, at this point, major eating disorder organizations and advocacy groups have been reluctant to endorse the use of marijuana in treatment. There may be many reasons for this reluctance, including some of the acknowledged drawbacks of marijuana use.
For one thing, many experts feel that a person who uses marijuana is simply substituting one form of issue avoidance with another, and therefore isn’t truly advancing their recovery. The marijuana may address some of the symptoms of the person’s underlying issues, but not the issues themselves.
A second concern is that marijuana affects everyone differently. While some people find that it produces relaxation, others experience negative mental and emotional states like anxiety and paranoia. In addition, while some people may report that they find marijuana useful in treating their eating disorder, there have been very few scientific studies on its effectiveness in general. What’s more, marijuana is proven to have harmful effects on the brains, and cardiac systems of younger patients, so they would not be candidates for treatment with it.
The Jury Is Out… But Effective Treatments Already Exist
So, as research on the use of marijuana as a medicine continues, we remind people seeking eating disorder treatment in Roseville, CA that we have a number of programs that are safe and effective for helping people recover from an eating disorder and achieve greater health and happiness. If you have questions about our services, please call 916-784-1120.