By: Lainie Ruth
"The Sober Stoner"
TODAY I AM ALIVE, WELL, AND SOBER OVER 10 YEARS BECAUSE OF CANNABIS.
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.
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:
Have a healing anecdote to share? We'd love to hear from you! Email 700 words or more to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include "Jane's Journal Submission" in the subject line.
Curious about how to use cannabis to confront, manage, and heal trauma with cannabis? Check out the website for resources, inspirational personal stories, and ways you can get involved with This is Jane Project!