Marijuana addiction one of the most hotly discussed political issues, with more and more states putting bills on the plan that would legalize marijuana for medical and leisure uses. One of the most common misconceptions propagated by advocates of legalized marijuana use is that it is harmless and non-addictive.
The human brain is quite complex. It seems that a person who is victim to marijuana addiction to cannabis has programmed their brains to respond as though they were getting high. Their endocannabinoid system has significantly decreased in its activity. They require a higher level of dopamine to feel the same level of pleasure that they once felt from smoking cannabis. When they are not smoking, the brain is still activated, and it produces similar responses to feel the same pleasure from marijuana use.
However, the truth is that marijuana addiction is harmful, and the plants are being bred to be more potent every year. According to a report in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, it is estimated that nine percent of people who try the drug will become addicted to it. When anyone begins using marijuana in their adolescence, the rate of marijuana addiction rises to 17%. The prevalence of marijuana addiction for those who use the daily drug ranges between 25 and 50 percent. The development of marijuana addiction is thus a risk that every person who uses the drug takes. As a result, the creation of marijuana addiction is possible that any person who uses the drug accepts.
Marijuana addiction is associated with several marijuana uses that include many of the usual risk factors of any drug addiction. This condition is officially known as “Cannabis Use Disorder,” and it is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
If this process is not successful, the marijuana addiction patient may move on to more invasive measures. They may attempt to use other drugs or substances to mimic the end cannabinoid system in the brain. Although this may work for some, it certainly does not offer a permanent solution and should be avoided at all costs. The end cannabinoid system is responsible for the drug’s effects, so removing this system will not cure the marijuana addiction.
After a few days or weeks of eliminating the marijuana addiction, many will notice a decrease in their overall appetite. This is not necessarily due to reduced appetite but should be treated as a side effect. Many people have reported a reduction in need after quitting cannabis, but the decrease is usually temporary. After a couple of months of removing cannabis, the patient should maintain regular eating habits without discomfort. This is one symptom of actual marijuana addiction and should be treated as such.
Marijuana is Addictive
Regular use of marijuana and daily activates the endocannabinoid gland. This can result in brain changes that make it difficult to avoid using the medication despite the harmful consequences. Furthermore, if the person tries to discontinue using the medicine suddenly, they will experience physical and psychological side effects, yet another marijuana addiction sign.
The Sympotyms of Marijuana Addiction May Include:
- Sleeping habits have been disrupted
- Swings of mood
- Eating behaviors that have become unpredictable
Marijuana addiction effects wear off rapidly, but the substance can be retained in the body for weeks, if not months. The active ingredients and decomposition products of marijuana will stay in the system for a few days to 90 days, based on how often or how much marijuana the individual has used.
Whether or not marijuana is addictive is still a controversial topic inside health communities and marijuana addiction research. Some research states that it is not addictive to the point where one cannot function without it, and others study it as addictive. Scientifically, it is not addicted but dependent. The marijuana addiction occurs when marijuana is taken to relieve a particular physical symptom and maybe as a result of the drug or due to psychological reasons. Whether or not marijuana is addictive has been the subject of much debate since at least the 1970s.
When marijuana is consumed orally instead of just smoked, it takes more time to absorb the blood, generally between 20 minutes to an hour and a half. However, this can vary depending on the quantity consumed and metabolic disorders such as absorption, rates of metabolism, and excretion, which can all affect drug amounts in circulation.
Signs of Marijuana Addiction
Marijuana addiction symptoms are often visible. The user usually has dilated pupils, laughs at trivial things, fades in and out of interactions, and is always depressed to do something other than sitting on the sofa, play computer games, or watch movies. But how do you know when your drug use has crossed the line and turned into an marijuana addiction? Here Are a Few Signs that You Might Be Addicted to Marijuana Dependence:
- The person chooses to marijuana addiction over other activities or declines to participate in activities where he may not use marijuana.
- Marijuana users tend to fall behind at work or school.
- Legal problems associated with marijuana use (e.g., driving under the influence, selling or consuming the drug illegally or in areas where it is not approved, etc.) endanger the addict’s freedom.
- Financial difficulties are often encountered.
- Relationships with people who do not use marijuana become challenging.
Some evidence also suggests that long-term marijuana addiction can cause permanent damage to the brain’s cells. It is believed that long-term cannabis use leads to decreased levels of the chemical dopamine in the brain, which directly affects the neurotransmitters and glial cells that control mood and emotion. The prolonged use also increases the risk of developing a dependence on the plant.
Marijuana addiction short-term effects on memory, thinking, problem-solving, and communication last one to two hours, with some effects lasting up to 24 hours. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, marijuana addiction can affect the driving ability for up to three hours. Marijuana effects are often affected by the terpene concentrations of a particular strain. Citrus terpene profiles, for example, appear to be more relaxing, which may be desired or may lead to anyone feeling nervous.
It is known that the chemical THC damages human brain cells in significant ways that are similar to the effects of cocaine. Long term use of medical marijuana can lead to an increased risk of depression and other mental illnesses, including anxiety and bipolar disorder. Although marijuana itself is not addictive, many feel that psychological addiction is much stronger than physical dependence. Many believe that prolonged smoking creates a “desire for the drug,” which is physically similar to an addiction. Marijuana addiction does, however, often take place over time, and medical marijuana users may experience both psychological and physical habits in the future.
When considering the issue of marijuana addiction, the main concern is the impact on the user or smoker. If someone uses cannabis regularly, using it regularly can seriously impair his/her judgment and sense of reasoning. It can also severely limit his ability to understand and process information, take and keep jobs, or even maintain a position. THC can dramatically reduce a person’s ability to retain his/her memory. Also, prolonged smoking of cannabis can lead to a decrease in lung functioning (due to decreased oxygen) and a reduction in sperm count and quality.
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Treatment: The First Step to Freedom from Marijuana Addiction
The First Step to Freedom from marijuana addiction is the choice of a good rehab center. Whether in an inpatient or an outpatient setting, the process of treatment is a process of self-care. People who have a drug or alcohol problem often feel alone and sometimes ashamed that they fail their marijuana addiction and health. Treatment should be an integrated part of the recovery process. According to the 2013,National Survey on Drug Use and Health(NSDUH), marijuana is the primary drug of choice for around 4.2 million of the 6.9 million US citizens who are thought to have substance abuse or marijuana addiction problem. A faith-based approach to treatment is highly effective and may provide more permanence to treatment than other treatment forms.
During marijuana addiction treatment, it is essential to detoxify the body. This process removes toxins from the body that may be associated with drug or alcohol use. When someone has been abusing drugs or alcohol for many years, there is a build-up of toxins in the body. Also, the body may have various medical conditions such as diabetes, liver problems, or hypertension. These conditions can interfere with treatment and cause discomfort and even pain.
Marijuana addiction Treatment should provide the addict with the opportunity to speak frankly and openly with those close to them. This group therapy can be an essential first step in treatment and provides support during sobriety. It can also offer information on the treatment process and ways to stay focused throughout treatment. The counseling and support in a twelve-step program will help the addict to understand their problem and the effects of their behavior on their lives.
Medication is another crucial step in marijuana addiction treatment. Many times, medication is prescribed to help the person stay focused during treatment. However, there are times when medication is not necessary, such as with the use of street drugs and substances. Taking prescription medications without a script or against a prescribing physician’s advice may have harmful and even tragic consequences. Marijuana addiction, poisoning, driving under the influence, and death are all common occurrences. The use of medication should only be done under the supervision of a doctor. However, it can be beneficial to the person with the addiction to feeling like they are being treated for an illness rather than just a habit.
Aftercare is another vital aspect of marijuana addiction treatment. If the person feels they need to be free of alcohol and drugs, then aftercare is critical. To facilitate this, many rehab centres offer on-site detoxification facilities. These detoxification units allow the individual to participate in a self-treatment plan while receiving the medical care they need.
There are specialists who can help you learn why you use. They will also assist you in determining how cannabis use is affecting your life and developing a strategy to avoid using if it is the best option for you. Anyone facing a drug, alcohol, or marijuana addiction crisis can benefit from the services of a professional treatment center. Whether you choose an inpatient setting or an outpatient one, you will be making a valuable step toward a new beginning. It is important to remember that every situation is unique and will require individual attention. Each person is different and will take some time to adjust to their new lifestyle.
However, if the proper steps are taken from the onset, recovery from marijuana addiction can enrich the experience. Contact us today to learn more about your loved one’s marijuana addiction rehab and treatment choices.
Ben Lesser is one of the most sought-after experts in health, fitness and medicine. His articles impress with unique research work as well as field-tested skills. He is a freelance medical writer specializing in creating content to improve public awareness of health topics. We are honored to have Ben writing exclusively for Dualdiagnosis.org.