Stoned Sober: Addiction Recovery and Cannabis

By: Lainie Ruth

"The Sober Stoner"


Speaking properly, I use cannabis as a medication-assisted-treatment (MAT), also known as harm-reduction therapy for my substance use disorder. Not only does cannabis maintain my sobriety, but it also aides my chronic back pain and debilitating panic attacks.

As a young child, I encountered severe emotional/verbal abuse and suffered multiple incidents of sexual abuse. My addictive behaviors began soon after, at around 10 years old. I would sneak wine out of the refrigerator at night and would steal cigarettes whenever I had the chance. At 15-years-old, I was forced out of a long-running soccer career by fracturing my lower back during a game. I was left with persistent pain and a lost identity, which sent my substance use disorder into hyper-speed.

Then, during an alcohol-induced blackout at sixteen, I crashed my mother’s car into a tree five times. Five times!

How do you crash into a tree 5 times, you ask? Witnesses to the accident saw me reverse the car and hit the accelerator multiple times. I was totally unaware of what was happening. Finally, the car rolled onto its side.

I was rushed to a psychiatric ward for two weeks. Months later, I was admitted into a 45-day young adult program at one of the state's finest addiction treatment centers. There, I was taught that abstinence and 12-Step Programs were the only paths to sobriety. While AA did help me remain abstinent from ages seventeen to nineteen, it failed to work for the long-term. On my 2 years sober anniversary, I relapsed on became a daily user again. This ended in a frightening accidental overdose.

After this overdose, I became desperate for alternative healing, since I felt that all treatments had failed me so far. It was then that a very dear friend presented an idea. They suggested that I try replacing the dangerous substances that I was using, like alcohol and cocaine, with a safer, non-addictive substance like cannabis! The biggest advantage of cannabis was the fact that there were no reported overdoses! Ever. Thus, I began what's often referred to as a “marijuana maintenance” plan and chose to use it as a vehicle for my healing and recovery.

I quickly realized that I could use cannabis to combat my cravings, depression, and help with physical pain. After many healthy lifestyle changes and cannabis, I was able to become more aware of the world around me. My creativity, empathy, and spirituality grew immensely, too. Cannabis encouraged me to grow into the human I had always hoped to be and I'll forever be grateful for that gift.

After experiencing the benefits of cannabis for substance abuse and addiction first-hand, I felt compelled to share my experiences with others who may be suffering. So in 2013, I founded a support community called, Maintaining My Recovery with Cannabis.

I created MMRC for people using cannabis in recovery for substance use disorder. MMRC has a following of over 1.5K members on our one-of-a-kind support forum on Facebook, while also offering other peer support programs through the MMRC website.

We are an all-inclusive group that allows people to use all types of recovery methods.

Our goal is to remain a supportive structure that cultivates positivity and acceptance and encourages healthy behaviors.

MMRC promotes harm-reduction principles and cannabis use in personal and community recovery efforts. MMRC is a peer-operated support community that connects those using cannabis as a tool for harm-reduction for substance use disorder. This is also known as cannabis substitution/replacement therapy, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), or marijuana maintenance. We remain all-inclusive and non-judgmental. MMRC provides a moderated Facebook Support Group and page, Cannabis in Recovery Success Stories on Instagram, and an informational website with links to helpful resources.

I sincerely thank platforms like Cannabis for Breakfast, OOV Lifestyle, and This is Jane Project for sharing my story and other important information about using cannabis as a healing tool.

We're healing, not high.

Interested in learning more about Lainie's exciting journey towards spiritual, mental, and physical recovery?

Follow her journey below.



Maintaining My Recovery with Cannabis:

IG: @recoverywithcannabis

FB: @recoverywiththeexitdrugfa

Have a healing anecdote to share? We'd love to hear from you! Email 700 words or more to Be sure to include "Jane's Journal Submission" in the sub