The Dangers of Marijuana Maintenance in Recovery

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The dangers of marijuana maintenance in recovery speak to the question, “Why induce a drug addiction to maintain sobriety from another drug addiction?” The ongoing legalization of marijuana tends to gloss over its dangers and create confusion. While it may be an effective treatment for the physical discomfort, marijuana is not appropriate for living a sober lifestyle. After all, marijuana is still a drug and can be addictive.

What is Marijuana Maintenance?

Marijuana maintenance in recovery introduces marijuana as a comfort measure for breaking an addiction to another substance. The dangers of marijuana maintenance in recovery lie in the misconceptions about maintaining recovery. Proponents of marijuana maintenance believe it is safe to smoke marijuana without the threat of addiction. This type of treatment is hazardous and invites the possibility of relapse to occur. 

In addiction recovery, it is vital to reduce negative thoughts, negative thought processes, and bad habits to learn how to stay healthy and positive. Marijuana maintenance presents an extra, unnecessary challenge in this process. Simply put, if sobriety is the goal, introducing a new drug into one’s plan impedes progress made in treatment. 

Marijuana’s Effects on the Brain

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a psycho-stimulating substance that alters brain function. Also, THC is a drug with addictive qualities that affects people physically and emotionally. Smoking marijuana causes the THC and other chemicals in the plant to enter the lungs and into the bloodstream, then quickly carry the drug throughout the body and brain. Effects are immediate. Reported side effects include a pleasant euphoria, sense of relaxation, heightened sensory perception, laughter, altered perceptions of time, and increased appetite.

Why Marijuana Maintenance Can Be Dangerous

Sobriety is a lifelong practice. An actual treatment plan for addiction calls for full sobriety, one free of all drugs and alcohol. The dangers of marijuana maintenance in recovery exist through the possible development of another addiction.

Practically all licensed treatment professionals believe that exempting pot from the prohibited drug list is a huge mistake. Marijuana maintenance in recovery is similar alcoholics drinking “only beer and wine” while recovering. Edibles are the choice of some centers utilizing marijuana maintenance. But, again, these items contain the drug and are not keeping the user sober. 

Those seeking sobriety and recovery from addiction are deluding themselves if they believe smoking marijuana is staying sober. In short, those seeking this alternative treatment should reconsider their desire to get sober.

Better Approaches to Recovery

The dangers of marijuana maintenance in recovery put those in recovery into a false sense of sobriety if they use marijuana maintenance. A sober lifestyle does not involve the use of any substance. Using marijuana to avoid discomfort while trying to stay sober only initiates another dependency. Also, recovery consists of learning to incorporate healthy and positive lifestyle choices with a treatment plan to understand unresolved issues involved in the past addiction. Developing a robust support system with family, friends, and others in recovery is crucial. 

In addition, individual and group therapies help the addict realize important triggers, cope with them, and manage emotions and feelings while sober. After all, the prevention of relapse is vital, and one of the dangers of marijuana maintenance in recovery present a stepping stone for developing another addiction. 

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be difficult. Learning how to utilize healthy and positive coping mechanisms takes practice and time. Problems will occur in all aspects of life, and healthy coping habits are vital to sobriety. In conclusion, the dangers of marijuana maintenance in recovery involve sobriety, because marijuana is still a drug. Learning self-reliance is powerful and builds self-confidence. Exercise, hobbies, and volunteering are excellent ways to find support, create a sense of self, and leave drugs behind.

The Dangers of Marijuana Maintenance in Recovery in California

Launch Centers in Los Angeles, CA know the dangers of marijuana maintenance in recovery. If you are considering this option for addiction treatment, let us talk to you about it. We can explain the process, address any concerns and offer other alternatives. Contact us for compassionate services and professionals experienced in addiction treatment.

About Our Founder

Jose Hernandez, for over a decade, has been involved in alcohol and addiction recovery helping people succeed in overcoming substance abuse and regaining control of their lives. He has experience in all aspects of the recovery world, from facilitating entry into treatment as an intervention specialist to counseling and case management at rehabilitation facilities. Jose has worked one-on-one with individuals as a sober companion and with groups as a resident counselor at addiction treatment centers and is certified by the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC) to practice as a substance abuse counselor.

Through his professional experiences in crisis intervention, drug and alcohol detoxification, substance abuse counseling, and relapse prevention, Jose has developed a unique plan for case management that bridges the gap between a person’s painful past of substance abuse and a future of sobriety.

At Riviera Recovery, a sober living facility with multiple locations, clients continue their transition from the supportive environment of a treatment center to living well and happily in the “real” world. The program he designed at Riviera Recovery personalizes treatment plans that enable clients, including those with a single or dual-diagnosed mental health disorder, to embrace a satisfying life.

His greatest endeavor has been establishing LAUNCH, a Los Angeles-based life skills intensive outpatient program for young adults. LAUNCH works with recovering men and women to establish personal vocational and educational goals and develop the tools to successfully meet them. His mission is to ensure that no one stands alone in his or her recovery.

Meet Our Clinical Team

staff member drug alcohol treatment los angeles

Jess Beck, LCSW

Clinical Director

treatment team los angeles ca

Eric Chaghouri, MD


chloe kruskol los angeles rehab team

Chloe Kruskol, LCSW

Family Program Manager

Our Testimonials

Clients and Professionals Share Their Experience

  • HO

    Launch provided care on multiple levels. The highly skilled therapist coupled with the focus on purpose and long-term goals refocused my recovery from what previous treatment centers pushed onto me. I went from believing that I needed years of treatment to believing I needed years happiness and success. I began to focus on what I wanted to accomplish with my life. I came to realize all the things my addiction and mental illness had taken from me, and I used my future goals as a reason to never pick up again. Due to the passion that Launch instilled in me, I have pursued my future with excitement and dedication.

  • Nicole

    This place changed my life! I’ve had good laughs, good cries, shared a lot of heart to heart moments and grew a loving bond with everyone at Launch Centers. I will always be grateful!!! I really do miss it time to time. I highly recommend Launch Centers!

  • Joey

    The staff and clinicians are amazing and make you feel right at home from the second you walk in the door. I would absolutely recommend this place for a family member or close friend.

  • Ben

    This treatment facility has changed my life. I have always struggled with my mental health and this young adult program provided me with the necessary skills to launch to adulthood. I commend anyone who struggles with mental health or substance use (which was not me) to try this program out. It will change your life.

  • Conner

    Launch Centers Treatment was a major help to me. The therapists and staff genuinely cared about me and truly helped me to make a plan for my future. My personal therapists helped me to discover where some of my deeper issues came from. All of the staff worked tirelessly with me to talk through my issues, or just about life, and offered realistic solutions to my current problems and situation. All of the staff went above and beyond and advocated relentlessly for me. I am very grateful that I was able to have such a wonderful experience with Launch.

  • Adam

    In no uncertain terms Launch Centers changed my life. The staff at Launch are professional, knowledgable and relatable. They keep the format diverse and interesting which kept me engaged in the process. The greatest thing we can do in life is seek to improve ourselves. Launch gave me a skill set I consider to be invaluable in the journey of becoming the best version of myself. I would implore anybody considering Launch to step outside their comfort zone and go, you will not regret it.


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