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Can marijuana help alcoholics stay off the bottle? | The NORML Stash Blog

I am the producer of The NORML Network, the host of the NORML SHOW LIVE and The NORML Stash Blog, and NORML's Outreach Coordinator. I'm married, live in Portland, Oregon, and I am a registered medical marijuana caregiver in this state. I've worked days as an IT geek and nights as a professional musician. Previously, I have been the host of my own political talk radio show on satellite radio. I've been the High Times "Freedom Fighter of the Month" and I travel across the country to educate people on marijuana reform. I've dedicated my life to bringing an end to adult marijuana prohibition and re-legalizing cannabis hemp, and I'm honored to be chosen by NORML to give voice to the Marijuana Nation and to speak for those who can't speak up.

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20 responses to “Can marijuana help alcoholics stay off the bottle?”

  1. GordyOwl

    Oh heck yeah cannabis is a miracle plant for getting booze ape off yor back. Smoke up, relax, and wake up clear and content. Screw the booze lobby.

  2. Lin922

    Isn’t starting to use marijuana and quiting alcohol, just switching addictions? Marijuana was not offered when I sobered up 34 yr ago. I was told that alcohol and marijuana were both drugs. Mind alternating drugs. I think I’ll stick with what works and continue to abstain from both. :-)

  3. highdrated

    i used to be a heavy drinker/alcholoic. i drank nearly daily for the last 3 years and very heavily for almost 10 (if not more).
    needless to say, it had nearly ruined my life.

    i’ve been able to only have a few drinks in the past 1.5 years thanks to mj. yes, i’ve substituted one substance for another.
    however alcohol was about destruction and fake escape from reality and caused me severe depression and anxiety in the long run. weed is about healing… i sustain a very good lifestyle i am more social, happy and energetic than ever. i am very much into sports and healthy living.. and i am determined not to let alcohol in my life again.

  4. using cannabis for alcohol problems help - Grasscity.com Forums

    [...] propaganda stance…MJ does help alcoholics break the habit, recover and abstain from drinking.. Can marijuana help alcoholics stay off the bottle? | The NORML Stash Blog [...]

  5. Sun Rise

    I compare vaporizing marijuana to that of taking anti-depressants like Prozac or Zoloft, just 10 times more effective and safer.

  6. ThatDuDee

    I am 19 years old, just graduated high school in the summer of 2011. I had battled an extremely strong pill addiction throughout high school. It was a nightmare, I was very depressed and tried to commit suicide multiple times. It was after the last time I attempted, and was locked up in a mental institution for 72 hours just a month after graduation, that I decided I finally had enough of the misery and addiction in my life. I talked to my aunt ,and she brought me into Alcoholics Anonymous soon after I had gotten released, but not before I had already started abusing Ambien, Benadryl, and Tylenol PM again for about a month prior. After experiencing my first meeting, I KNEW THAT I NEEDED HELP DESPERATELY! I ended up going out after just 2 days in the program! But then I strung together 8 months completely sober until I went back out and picked up that first bottle of booze, bottle of pills, and even an eighth of mushrooms. That craziness lasted about a month before I came to the conclusion that I either needed to get SOBER FOR GOOD, or possibly try a certain alternative that I had been hearing about: Marijuana! So I went out and bought my first pipe, and a couple of nugs then proceeded to get REALLY BAKED! After a month more of research and experimentation with this new medicine of mine, I decided to buy a Vaporizer and get a medical card. It has now been 4 months since I have touched any type of drug or alcohol, besides marijuana of course (If you want to actually consider it a drug that is. In my opinion and many educated others, it isn’t, it is just a miracle medicine that helps save people’s lives.) I have never been happier in my life. I get excellent sleep at night, no more insomnia! My knee pain (from 2 surgeries) is MAJORLY reduced while taking my medicine. My slight to moderate case of Tourettes is much better, my anxiety has practically vanished, and my O.C.D. is very much in control. Oh, and did I also mention that I no longer have to take anti-depressants or even think about suicide or negativity for a second, as I am the happiest and proudest I have ever been in my life! And I still go to Alcoholics Anonymous and get treatment there for my problems. Now, almost all of my closest friends are members of the AA community and it is quite a joy to regularly see them and hangout with them. I usually stay throughout most of the day without vaporizing, unless it is a REALLY slow day. I do about 3-5 vaporizer bowls at night though. If you haven’t given Marijuana a proper chance yet for your medical needs, I highly suggest trying it. It really is an incredible plant, that God obviously planted (and put THC absorbing receptors in our brains) for a reason. I really do hope that someday I will live to see alcohol and narcotics virtually non-existent, and substituted for marijuana. Where instead of going all the way to a covert dispensary hidden away in the ghetto to pick up my prescription, I could simply walk into CVS, Walgreens, Kaiser, or even the grocery store and get my medicinal review. Anyways much love to all. This Earth is a beautiful place, let’s enjoy it, and never take anything for granted. After all is money, women, power etc. the goal of life? Or is it the pursuit of HAPPINESS

  7. LaidBack

    I switched from booze to cannabis and my overall well-being has improved immensely.

    Over the last 6 months I’ve observed the following: 20 lb drop in body weight, lower blood pressure, better sleep, NO HANGOVERS, better marriage, and best of all – no more alcohol drama!

    Yes, I will still drink on social occasions but the 3-4 times a week merry-go-round bender is clearly over for me.

  8. TheFlick80

    I was an excessive abuser of alcohol for about six years. I’m 30 years old now, but from the time I was about 24, up until about six months ago, I drank every day. I mean, every day. I started noticing pain in my lower back consistently and also started to experience frequent heart palpitations. I also smoked cigarettes pretty heavily. I’ve always smoked weed on occasion. I’d go through phases where I wouldn’t hit it for over a year. I even went two whole years without getting high in my early twenties. I started a very stressful job at a call center in 2007 and my drinking started getting even worse. Eventually, I graduated from just beer to my new poison of choice, gin. I would pour myself gin and tonic, gin and soda, gin on the rocks… then wash them down with about sixer. This would easily be 4 or 5 days of the week. Not only was it getting expensive, but my wife and I had started to have some pretty explosive arguments while I was hammered. It all came to a head one night when I put a hole through our bedroom wall with my fist, and kicked the door off of its hinges when my wife tried to keep me out. I’m getting emotional just typing about it…

    I knew I had a problem and I didn’t know how to fix it. I was having trouble with cravings and decided to buy a bag to kind of curb them. I started smoking it regularly about six months ago. Now I have maybe a six pack of beer every couple of weeks and only in social settings. My wife and I are getting a long great. I even quit smoking cigarettes! Marijuana has improved my quality of life by leaps and bounds. It saddens me that such a wonderful, medicinal plant can be outlawed when alcohol is destroying lives on a regular basis. I don’t think I need the weed to keep from drinking excessively anymore, but I also just love how it helps me wind down after a tough day at work. I only smoke a few hours before bed and I can’t remember the last time I didn’t get a solid 8 hours of sleep since I started smoking daily. Weed has quite possibly save my life and marriage.

  9. Keith Fleming

    I quit drinking almost 28 yrs ago.
    I did attend a treatment center here
    in N.H. for they’re 28 day program and was
    educated about alcohol. I went to A.A. for about 3
    months and found it was not for me. In treatment I learned
    about marijuana maintenance and was told that that road would
    most likely lead me back to drinking.
    The most annoying thing about quitting was the inability to get to sleep.
    I had smoked weed occasionally but never cared for the effect but knew it did make me tired.
    Seeing as I was not trying to replace alcohol with weed but using it as a way to get some sleep
    I decided to give it a try.Just a few hits in the evening and zzzz out I went!
    When I started doing this I smoked about 1/4oz every two weeks just in the evening before bed
    and now after 28 yrs of no alcohol I smoke about 1/4oz every two weeks and sleep like a baby!
    The down side to all this is last yr I was ‘ratted” on for growing 8 plants and am facing felony charges
    from the State of New Hampshire (3 1/2 to 7 yrs) for not being the drunk that killed some ones daughter or son! I still do not believe this is the answer for all alcohol problems because I think if you try to substitute a booze buzz with weed you will be sadly disappointed, but for me it definitely was the ticket.

  10. Gabriel

    I am 34 and have been drinking since 19 yrs of age. My regual drink would be about 7 ounces of brandy mixed with coke or pepsi about 3 times a week. I didn’t like what was happening with me, I knew my liver was being harmed.

    I looked into the medical marijuana card and started using like 1 joint twice a week. Since I have been donig that, I have cut down on my drinking to practically twice a month. I have only been doing this for about 2 months but I have noticed the desire for alcohol to not be as strong.

    When I want a drink I usually do drink a beer but feel like crap afterward and regret it. I kick myself for not smoking a bowl through the vaporizer. My sleep is better when I use the herb and I am more peaceful with my family.

    My wife encourages me to not drink and rather take a hit or two from the vaporizer on occasion. I hope it becomes legal in Califorinia because it’ll thwart a lot of crime and violence.

  11. Kenneth Anderson

    Research has demonstrated that Medical Marijuana is a highly effective treatment for Alcohol Dependence. We have a web page devoted to this topic. Please check out Marijuana Maintenance – Cannabis Substitution for Alcohol Dependence at http://hamsnetwork.org/mm

  12. Paul

    hey all,

    ok, let see,,,, first drink when i was 12, but i didn’t start drinking till 18, colege, serrious problems by the age of 25, tried doctors, anidepresents … the aaa, the alcohol treatment centers …. nothing worked ….
    all just crap …. started smoking weed about a year ago,,,,, been great ,,,, i’m 31 now …. feel good ,,,, got to work everyday …. i just got a mortocycle…. wen’t back to school …. i have to say that weed saved my life ….
    i hope weed gets leagal and alcholo becomes ilegal …. weed works for me, and i bet it works for a lot of people ,,,,, and think of the other thousends of people that it could help….. no i’m not a looser ,,,, a have a degree in mechanical engineering,,,, and now i’m taking phothographing jurnalisim …. weed saved my life ,,,, thank god …. hahah …. oh … i’m a catlic … i go to church every sunday …. so …. what gives you the right to juge me …. trust me if you saw me 3 years ago and now …. you would not recognize me …. totaly diffrent peorson …. i guess i have my mirrace …. it just sucks that i might go to jail for trying to have a life …. that’s all ….. ……………….. to all the hatters …… who the fu…. gives you the right to juge… show me how can you help me ……… ???????????? ….. well …….. ?????????? …. you can”t ………

    weed can …. weed did ………….. thanks all ………… :) paw

  13. wendy parsons

    I have a medical card an have bi polar disorder i was in the mental faclity for depression and wanting to kill my self …………… iwas there from feb 5 til about 3 days ago. iwas sober when admitted. An have not beeen ever sad or stuff when i smoke an i eat much better i gained like 30 pounds….. i looked an felt grt. I’m a lesbian i had isssues with her my finances were like nothing……. just everything piling up…….. so i thought going to seek help would be good……… well first than took my cigarettes, an gave me patch ………..and the doped me up…….i never mentioned my card…………. so I did what needed 2 do to keep them happy but on my release with my medication……I am now <sentenced 2 90 meetings in 90 days ………..so now I only eat like 1 time a day…. I'm sick too my tummy an goin thru hell…. any suggestions…………ty

  14. j

    I would like to share my story. I’ll condense of course. My grandfather,& father died of lung cancer. And were alcoholics. I to became an alcoholic, cig smoker. When my girlfriend left me. And took my family with her, because of my drinking. I decided it had to stop. For so long I had felt like a prisoner. Unable to escape the horrors of addiction. I had lost everything. I decided that I was going to quit drinking and never look back. But I needed help. I looked into getting help from a doctor. But it was expensive. And the pharmaceuticals they were trying to feed me, seemed…. harmful. I smoked a joint. And I was happy after five years. I was happy. And I took it one day at a time. It has been 2 years since alcohol has touched my lips. I am happy other than feeling like a criminal to curb my addiction to alcohol. Or the fact that if I need more medicine. I have to buy from someone I normally would not associate with. I also have been nicotine free for 2 months. I have my fingers crossed but addiction takes time to break free from. I am very happy with marajuana. I jog every day, I eat healthy and cannot remember feeling this well. Unless you count child hood. I just want to be happy. And if a plant, and some healthier life style choices can make me happy then, I would rather be a healthy happy criminal. Then a drunk violent cigarette smoker with lung disease. Thank you for your time.

  15. NeuroGenesis1:29

    The INVERSE is also true.

    Lack of cannabis, cannabis-prohibition,
    the spectre of long-term
    detectability in drug-tests,
    and to a lesser-extent, the prevalence of
    crappy ditchweed over higher-quality
    food-grade herb, tends to cause people to
    partake of the more-dangerous flammable-beverage.

    God forbid that
    this tragic-absurdity continue any longer!!!

    (and vice-versa!!!) :420:

  16. ray

    I am a recovering alcoholic….if I drink nothing good will come from it and I will not be able to stop….cannabis has helped me not to need the drink…..I wish that my father and grandfather had used weed instead because both died tragic alcoholic deaths….it is a medicine to help people stay off alcohol…no doubt.

  17. RUNorml

    There has been alcohol in my family for many generations. My children grew up without any of the problems associated with alcohol because I chose weed. This choice had the added benefit of a relatively low stress lifestyle for ALL of us.
    With weed I have been able to alter the course of history for my family and NO ONE can confiscate that.

  18. eleven1176

    Hell YES, it works.
    Addiction is in my family’s genetic make-up, with alcoholism being the key player, I used to work for a major beer distributor and had access to all the beer I could stand, I used to be a sailor, and I play in a band, in and out of bars every week. I’ve done my fair share of “sport drinking”. I used to smoke a pack a day, and I’ve smoked cannabis for the past 15 years.
    Once I started educating myself on the benefits of the good bud, I realized that it was time to ditch the “ditchweed”, and seek out the more carefully grown stuff that I was reading about.
    Many years, and many hook-ups later, it became clear that there was a lot more to it than just getting stoned for the hell of it.
    In January of this year, just to appease my own curiosity, I started self medicating on a more routine basis- at least 3 times a day- like a dietary supplement. Since then…
    I barely drink anymore, maybe one or two, at best occasionally; I put down the cigarettes in May and have not had a single one since then, without the cravings or the urge to kill; my overall health is as good as it has ever been; I’m more active and personable these days; and, if I wanna settle into a nice hazy “stone” for the evening, I know that I won’t run the risk of doing something stupid to myself or anyone else, nor will I feel like hell the next morning.
    If I had my way, MARIJUANA, would be in health food stores across the land- with an age restriction, of course.

    So, here’s to your health America! :blunt:
    Smoke it if you got it.

  19. Winder

    I haven’t had a drink this year.

    I made some of those 00 caps with the recipe from THCF, I think, and I feel FINE all day…*

    Weed definitely helped me kick the drinking. And drinking made me crave cigarettes, which I’ve also been able to abstain from this year (until someone hands me a cold beer).

    If the 00 coconut/canna caps just aren’t doing it, I’ll crank up the vaporator (I just made that up, it’s a Vapor Bros. vaporizer) and once in a while I’ll still burn a fatty.

    Now, if I could kick these Dienfall PM’s!

    *the super-condensed version of that recipe: saute an ounce or so of pureed dried schwagbud in virgin coconut oil for 20 mins on low heat while stirring occasionally, encapsulate ensuing sludge when cool.

    Start with one, to see how you react.
    Four keeps me relatively mobile and painless for four or five hours.

  20. High East

    I’ve found that drinkning ruins my buzz.

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