According to a new study published in The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, veterans that participate in a state-legalized medical marijuana program often substitute marijuana for alcohol and controlled substances.
Researchers from Harvard University, Palo Alto University in California, and the Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia surveyed marijuana use patterns in veterans and nearly 80% of respondents reported using cannabis “to treat both physical and mental health symptoms,” NORML reported.
More than 60% of respondents said they consumed marijuana as a substitute for other legal or illegal substances, particularly alcohol. Almost 50% of all respondents said that they use medical marijuana in place of prescription drugs.
“The current study also confirms the findings of previous studies that have documented a trend in substitution behavior, where cannabis is substituted for other drugs, which, if associated with reduced harm, could be beneficial for overall health,” the study stated.
The veterans were most commonly reported using cannabis therapeutically to alleviate symptoms of chronic pain, anxiety, PTSD and depression.