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The Dangers of Mixing Cannabis with Alcohol

Cannabis is an illegal substance that is widely used by people all over the UK and the rest of the world. Despite the fact that the number of people using cannabis is declining, the drug is still the most commonly used drug in the UK. According to government statistics, cannabis is the drug most likely to be used regularly.

Cannabis users are also very likely to drink alcohol when taking the drug; experts are now warning that those who smoke cannabis are five times more likely to suffer from alcohol addiction than non-cannabis users. Scientists at the City University of New York and Columbia University also found that alcoholics who use cannabis are less likely to seek help for their addiction.

Increased Vulnerability

Columbia Mailman School of Public Health’s Professor of Epidemiology Dr Renee Goodwin said, “Our results suggest that cannabis use appears to be associated with increased vulnerability to developing an alcohol use disorder, even among those without any history of this. Marijuana use also appears to increase the likelihood that an existing alcohol use disorder will continue over time.”

Cannabis Addiction

Cannabis was once thought to be a ‘harmless’ drug that could not become addictive. However, this is not the case and many people have developed harmful addictions to the Class B drug. As people use more and more of the drug, they begin to crave it and find it difficult to quit, even if this is causing negative consequences. Those who have become physically dependent on the drug will experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking it. These can include mood swings, nausea, trouble sleeping, irritability, shaking, and sweating.

The Dangers of Taking Cannabis

While most will experience pleasant feelings when they first take cannabis – such as an immense sense of happiness and wellbeing – they may begin to suffer unpleasant side effects over time. Some will experience paranoia, anxiety and panic attacks while long-term effects include depression, psychosis, decreased sperm count in men, memory loss, respiratory problems, and trouble concentrating. Women may find that ovulation is disrupted.

Mixing Cannabis with Alcohol

As well as the fact that drinking alcohol in conjunction with smoking cannabis increases the risk of developing an alcohol addiction, there are other risks involved. Research has shown that inhaling cannabis after drinking alcohol increases the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the blood. THC is the psychoactive ingredient found in cannabis, and more of this in the blood means a more intense ‘high’.  

The study, which was carried out exclusively in the United States, found that a combination of alcohol and cannabis was commonly found after road crashes, with questions raised about how smoking cannabis and consuming even a very small amount of alcohol could be an extremely dangerous combination.

Help for Addiction

Addiction is an illness that changes the way the brain functions. It is something that does not occur overnight and treatment can, therefore, be a long process. However, here at Rehab Helper, we have a team of experienced counsellors and therapists who can help.

In many instances, it will be necessary for patients to undergo a programme of detoxification, which is required to get rid of all the toxins from the body. This can produce withdrawal symptoms, but under the supervision of medically trained professionals, these symptoms can be easily managed.

Patients will then typically complete a programme of rehabilitation, either within a residential clinic or through an outpatient programme. The type of treatment a patient will be referred to will depend on his or her circumstances as well as the type of addiction and how severe it is.

Rehab Helper will provide a full assessment of your situation and will refer you to the most suitable clinic based on your needs. Call us today for more information on how we can help.

Sources:

  1. Gov.uk 
  2. Daily Mail 
  3. Daily Mail 
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