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Marijuana Addiction Treatment

Marijuana consists of dried leaves, stems, flowers, and seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant. Also known as weed or pot, this plant contains a psychoactive chemical known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC provides users with a “high”, created when the THC attaches to cannabinoid receptors in the brain. This produces a relaxed and euphoric state of mind, known as the marijuana “high”. Additionally, some individuals experience an enhanced sensory perception when using marijuana. On the other hand, people experience feelings of anxiety or paranoia after using weed. This sometimes causes panic attacks.

Marijuana is the most commonly used psychotropic drug in America, excluding alcohol. In fact, over 11.8 million Americans reported using marijuana in 2018. Many people view this drug as harmless, as it may be used for medicinal purposes. However, long-term marijuana use often produces adverse side effects. Unfortunately, some of these side effects include physical and psychological dependence. Individuals suffering from dependence or addiction to marijuana should seek professional addiction treatment.

Effects of Marijuana Abuse

When marijuana is smoked, THC passes through the lungs and goes directly into the bloodstream. Next, the substance is carried to the brain and other organs in the body. While most people smoke marijuana, some people may eat THC infused drinks or food. This is because THC is absorbed more slowly when ingested through food or drink. However this substance is used, THC attaches directly onto cannabinoid receptors in the brain. To explain, cannabinoid receptors are a major part of the neural communication network. This is also commonly referred to as the endocannabinoid system. Furthermore, this system plays an important role in brain function and development.

Most cannabinoid receptors are found in parts of the brain that control pleasure, memory, thinking, concentration, time perception, sensory, and coordinated movement. Due to this, marijuana use causes the endocannabinoid system to go into overdrive, causing feelings of intoxication.

The marijuana “high” causes users to experience effects such as:

  • Altered perceptions and mood
  • Impaired coordination
  • Difficulty thinking or problem solving
  • Disrupted learning and memory issues
  • Increased or decreased appetite

Marijuana has the propensity to provide a variety of health benefits when prescribed by a doctor. However, this substance also is known to cause long-term adverse effects. In fact, for some individuals, marijuana abuse worsens issues in their daily life. For example, frequent weed users may experience poor mental or physical health, less academic or career success, and even relationship problems. Therefore, if you frequently use marijuana and are experiencing adverse effects, you should seek help for marijuana addiction.

Health Risks of Marijuana Abuse

Marijuana abuse is linked to a range of health risks. Most of the health risks associated with marijuana abuse include heart, lung, and mental health conditions. Because marijuana is typically smoked, individuals using this substance experience respiratory issues similar to those of tobacco smokers.

Respiratory issues and other related issues associated with marijuana abuse include:

  • Daily cough and phlegm production
  • Frequent acute chest illness
  • Heightened risk of lung infections
  • Damage to the immune system
  • Killing brain cells and damaging the central nervous system
  • Fertility issues
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure

It is still unknown whether smoking marijuana leads to lung cancer. However, an increase in the likeliness of respiratory illness has been proven. For example, scarring and damage to small blood vessels in the lungs is common. Additionally, marijuana use affects adolescent or young adult brain development when smoked. If you frequently use marijuana, it is possible that you will experience adverse health effects. Also, individuals who routinely abuse marijuana often develop a substance use disorder.

Mental Health Effects of Marijuana Abuse

Marijuana use is known to impact certain individual’s mental health. In fact, a number of studies link chronic marijuana abuse to mental illness. In high doses of marijuana, some individuals experience temporary psychosis. Additionally, marijuana abuse worsens symptoms of pre-existing schizophrenia.

Chronic marijuana abuse has the ability to negatively impact one’s health. Additionally, marijuana is associated with other mental health issues including, but not limited to:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Personality disturbances
  • Suicidal thoughts (among adolescents)
  • Developing bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or social anxiety
  • Lack of motivation to engage in otherwise rewarding activities

The full ramifications of marijuana abuse on an individual’s mental health still remain unknown. However, many negative mental health effects have been linked to long-term and frequent marijuana abuse. If you have experienced a worsening in your mental health due to marijuana use, it is vital that you seek help for marijuana addiction.

Is Marijuana Addictive?

Is marijuana addictive? Many individuals have debated this question for decades. Large numbers of people believe that marijuana is not addictive at all. However, contrary to popular belief, marijuana is an addictive substance. In fact, in 2015, about 4 million people in America met the criteria for marijuana use disorder. Marijuana use progresses into addiction once a person continues using despite experiencing negative consequences. It is important to note that beginning marijuana use at a young age or smoking on a daily basis, makes individuals more prone to marijuana addiction. According to research, people who began their marijuana use before the age of 18 are four to seven times more likely to develop a marijuana use disorder than their adult counterparts.

Because marijuana is addictive, Individuals may experience withdrawal symptoms when they abruptly stop getting high. The existence of withdrawal symptoms proves that marijuana is addictive. To explain, withdrawal symptoms are synonymous with having a dependence on a substance. In other words, if you experience symptoms of withdrawal when you stop using marijuana- it is likely you are either addicted, dependent, or both.

Symptoms of Marijuana Addiction

Addiction to marijuana is most commonly found in adolescents or young adults. However, the legalization of this substance has caused adult cases of marijuana addiction to become more prevalent. Similar to any addiction, there are behavioral and physical symptoms of marijuana addiction.

Behavioral signs of marijuana addiction include:

  • Distorted perceptions
  • Impaired coordination
  • Difficulty in thinking and problem solving
  • Ongoing problems with learning and memory

Other signs of marijuana abuse, misuse, and addiction include:

  • Red, bloodshot eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Constant, mucus-filled coughing
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Hunger
  • Dry mouth
  • Anxiety, paranoia, or fear
  • Poor memory
  • Poor coordination
  • Slow reaction time
  • Labored breathing
  • Loss of control

If you or a loved one have experienced some or all of the mentioned symptoms, you are suffering from marijuana addiction. Recovery from marijuana addiction requires attending a drug detox and substance abuse treatment center.

Symptoms of Marijuana Withdrawal

Any addictive substance has the ability to produce symptoms of withdrawal. Unfortunately, marijuana is no exception. In fact, there are a variety of withdrawal symptoms associated with marijuana. These symptoms typically develop within a week of discontinuing use.

The most common symptoms of marijuana withdrawal include:

  • Irritability, anger, or aggression
  • Anxiety and nervousness
  • Difficulty sleeping or insomnia
  • Decreased appetite resulting in weight loss
  • Restlessness
  • Depressed mood
  • Abdominal pain
  • Shakiness or tremors
  • Sweating and fever
  • Chills
  • Headache

While the symptoms of marijuana withdrawal are not as severe as other drugs, marijuana withdrawal can be difficult. In fact, withdrawal symptoms of marijuana are uncomfortable, oftentimes resulting in relapse and continued use in order to soothe symptoms. Because of this, individuals who wish to develop life-long sobriety should attend marijuana detox and addiction treatment.

Marijuana Detox and Addiction Treatment

If you would like to recover from marijuana addiction, attending detox is vital for your success. Many individuals addicted to marijuana benefit from attending a professional detox program like South Carolina Addiction Treatment. This is because doctors and staff monitor each patient’s physical and mental withdrawal symptoms, treating them as necessary. As a result,  patients are able to remove marijuana from their system. This creates an opportunity for them to treat the root causes of their addiction.

” Our medical detox center in South Carolina, provides custom designed, physician-approved medical detox procedures supervised around the clock by medical professionals dedicated to your recovery. Our board-certified doctors and nurses provide immediate treatment in case problems arise, administer therapies and medications to alleviate severe withdrawal symptoms and collaborate with therapists to form the first stages of your long-term, personalized recovery plan.”

Detox is only the first step in marijuana addiction treatment. Individuals should always attend additional treatment after completing a professional detox program. Typically, individuals will either attend inpatient treatment, outpatient programming, or a combination of both. During these programs, patients receive individual and group therapy. This is done in order to target the mental symptoms of an individual’s addiction. In doing so, a strong foundation of recovery is built – allowing patients to live a full and happy life. If you are suffering from marijuana addiction and need help, contact us today.