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The discussions around marijuana can be confusing. As more and more states legalize cannabis, there’s been a shift of acceptance for this substance. And while that’s not necessarily a problem, it’s essential to recognize that marijuana is still an addictive substance. A substance being legal doesn’t mean it’s safe for reckless, unmonitored, or unrestricted use. A perfect example to illustrate this point is alcohol. If you’re of legal drinking age, alcohol is easy to purchase and consume. However, that doesn’t make alcohol a safe substance for all adults, and some develop alcohol addiction. The same applies to marijuana.
Marijuana Addiction is Real
Marijuana is the second most used substance in the United States, after alcohol. In 2018, almost 12 million adults reported using marijuana in the last year. It’s estimated that one in ten people who use marijuana will become addicted. If the person begins using the substance before 18, the risk of addiction rises to one in six.
Signs of Marijuana Addiction
As so many people casually use marijuana, it can be hard to recognize when regular usage has transferred over to addiction. Some of the common signs of marijuana addiction are:
- A strong desire to use marijuana all the time
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you don’t use marijuana regularly
- Continuing to use marijuana even when it’s causing problems in your life, such as at work or with personal relationships
- Developing a tolerance and needing more and more marijuana
- Using it in situations that are inappropriate or dangerous, such as at work or while driving
- Avoiding activities that you used to enjoy if it interferes with your marijuana use
- Being unable to stop yourself from using marijuana regularly
- Dedicating a lot of your time to using, seeking, or recovering from marijuana
- Ignoring responsibilities so you can use marijuana
- Being unable to sleep without marijuana
Long-Term Consequences of Marijuana Addiction
Over a long period, frequent marijuana use can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health.
- A 2014 study on the adverse side effects of marijuana use found marijuana can lead to cognitive impairment and a lowered IQ
- Regular marijuana use can also cause increased anxiety and depression
- Smoking marijuana can increase a person’s risk for chronic bronchitis and respiratory infections
- Marijuana can trigger the onset of psychosis disorders, such as schizophrenia, in people that were already preconditioned for these disorders
- Long-term paranoia
- Fertility issues
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Potential increase in risk for lung cancer
- For adolescents that start using marijuana at an early age, regular use can lead to poor brain development, poor school performance, and a higher risk for other drug use
Marijuana Addiction Treatment
It’s important to note that many of the side effects of marijuana addiction come on slowly. This makes it particularly hard to spot signs of an addiction-forming. However, if a person is dealing with a marijuana addiction, they must seek professional treatment.
Treatment for marijuana addiction is similar to treatment programs for other substance abuse disorders. A facility will use evidence-backed programs, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and support groups, to help patients on their road to recovery.
Some individuals may choose to detox in a professional setting, so they have 24/7 monitoring and assistance during their withdrawal symptoms. Marijuana withdrawal can cause headaches, insomnia, anger, anxiety, decreased appetite, depression, restlessness, chills, fever, and more.
There are many benefits to seeking professional marijuana addiction treatment. Firstly, professional treatment centers offer the best chance for an individual’s successful recovery. These facilities have the knowledge and resources to help patients succeed.
Secondly, a treatment facility can identify and treat any co-occurring mental health disorders. As previously stated, marijuana can increase a person’s risk of anxiety, depression, and even psychosis disorders. During addiction treatment, any co-occurring conditions will be diagnoses and also treated.
Lastly, professional addiction treatment helps to prepare patients for long-term success. Individuals learn what makes them turn to marijuana, how they can avoid these triggers, and how to cope with temptation in the future. These are valuable skills that help to ensure patients avoid relapse.
California Rehab Campus
At California Rehab Campus, our trained and compassionate staff can help you get on the road to recovery. Marijuana may seem harmless, but if it’s taken over your life, it’s time to get help. Contact us today to find out about the different types of addiction programs we offer.