Marijuana (THC) and Alcohol- A Depression Link

marijuanaThe association of alcohol use or cannabis (THC/marijuana) use and their realtionship with major depression has been well known and established.  In fact it seems so often those with depression or anxiety seek relief of their symptoms by drinking or smoking pot. While this gives a brief rise in dopamine and thus the sensation of calm and less anxiety and just over-all feeling better (dopamine does that), that feeling is short lived and indeed leaves the person more dopamine depleted than they were to begin with, so they repeat the cycle and thus you have dependence or addiction. 

In the study referenced below, the combination of marijuana (cannabis/THC) with alcohol, something we seen done with more and more frequency, actually has a greater association with major depression than either of them alone.  Sadly, our society increasingly is moving toward making cannabis legal which will undoubtedly have the effect of making it’s use more prevalent, just as alcohol use and abuse is prevalent. 

I do see some limited medical uses for marijuana, such as in the terminally ill cancer patient who suffers from severe nausea and pain.  What I’ve seen, however, in Oregon and Washington (THC now legal in Washington State), is that youngsters are obtaining their marijuana card from a practitioner who will give it to them for any diagnosis.  I even had one young man with a straight face tell me he had a marijuana card for his asthma!  What these unfortunate individuals don’t realize is that in addition to contributing in a big way to sleep problems, the use of marijuana and or alcohol will increase their likelihood of a major depression. 

Until you have suffered a major depression, the kind that might include severe anxiety or just anxiety alone, it can be so unbearable that many describe it as “pain”.  It can be a pain that you cannot escape and from which suicide might seem the only way out.  When you drink and or take marijuana, you are playing roulette with your very life.  When that major depression hits, no one knows, but if it does, you may not survive.  Please seek help if you find you already cannot stop drinking or taking THC.  If you can stop, do so now while you still have the choice.

Read the Study Here…

Dr. Paul

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