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Marijuana is one of the most commonly used drugs in America. Its users smoke it as a joint (hand-rolled cigarette), blunt or bong (using a pipe). Other users mix the plant’s stem, seeds, flowers, or leave with their food. Recent developments in the legalization of cannabis add to the common misconception that marijuana use is not addictive. Statistics show that about 26 million Americans used marijuana in 2017. About 30% of these addicts developed an addiction. This dependency has effects on addicts and those around them.

Is Marijuana Addictive?

Cannabis use can cause a marijuana use disorder. This dependency can assume the form of addiction in extreme cases. Recent studies show that marijuana is psychologically and physically addictive.

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The National Institute on Drug Abuse published data that shows that 30% of cannabis users have a marijuana use disorder. Their stats also show that minors that use marijuana are 4 to 7 times more likely to have this disorder than people who use it when they become adults.

Marijuana Use Disorder

Medical professionals can diagnose a marijuana use disorder. This dependence can have adverse effects on both the user and those close to them. Marijuana use disorder develops like many other addictions. When you use cannabis, a neurotransmitter (Anandamide) activates cannabinoid receptors in your brain.

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) mimics and stops the actions of Anandamide. It performs a similar function to the neurotransmitter, which makes your body produce less Anandamide. Your body adjusts to the change caused by using cannabis, and using it feels normal. You experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop using marijuana as your body lacks Anandamide.

Recognizing a Marijuana Addiction

Know you have an addiction to cannabis if you do the following.

  • You cannot resist the urge to use it. Addicts struggle to fight the craving to use marijuana. They go to extreme lengths to satisfy their desire to use.
  • You use marijuana despite being aware of the effects of using it. If you cannot stop your marijuana use despite knowing its consequences, you are an addict. You can develop them but continue to use cannabis.
  • You develop withdrawal symptoms when you stop using cannabis. Addicts have withdrawal signs when they stop using marijuana. They have effects like insomnia, irritability, and anxiety, which make it challenging to stay sober.

Signs of Marijuana Abuse

You must identify your problem if you want to get better. It may be difficult to be unbiased in the assessment of your struggle. Check using these signs to know whether you abuse marijuana. You are abusing marijuana if you show at least two of these signs in 12 months.

  • You have high tolerance levels and withdrawal symptoms. The more you use marijuana; your body will need more intake to experience the feeling it gets. Your use will increase. You experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop using marijuana.
  • Use more than you initially hoped you would use. You think you will use a specific amount of the drug but end up exceeding the limit.
  • You cannot stop or cut down on your use. The efforts you make to quit are futile. You also try to scale down the amount you use but go back to your usual level.
  • Spend a lot of time getting high. If you spend most of your time using marijuana, you are abusing it. It consumes time meant for other essential activities, such as work and spending time with your family.
  • You continue to use marijuana despite the problems it causes. You use marijuana even when it causes health, financial, and social issues.
  • Use marijuana as a coping mechanism. You turn to cannabis when you have stress, anxiety, or depression.
  • Use cannabis to relax or enjoy yourself. It would be best if you had it to feel comfortable. You assume that it contributes to mellow demeanor even though the Office of National Drug Control Policy disputes this assertion.
  • Stop being responsible or doing the things you love. If you change your behavior when using marijuana, you may have a problem. You change your routine to accommodate marijuana use when you are abusing it.

Symptoms of Marijuana Dependence

You will experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop using marijuana if you have an addiction to it. The effects are extreme within the first week of quitting and last for two weeks. Cannabis dependence happens when your brain reduces the production of cannabinoid neurotransmitters because of your marijuana use. There are physical and behavioral changes that can show a dependence on cannabis.

Behavioral changes include:

  • Impaired coordination
  • Learning and memory difficulties
  • Distorted perceptions
  • Difficulty in problem-solving and thinking

Other symptoms of cannabis use disorder include:

  • Hunger
  • Slow reaction time
  • Dry mouth
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Constant cough with mucus
  • Red, blurry eyes

The Dangers of Marijuana

Marijuana use disorder affects your life. The risks have the following consequences.

  • Lagging at work or school
  • Memory and learning challenges
  • Health complications such as brain and lung damage
  • Developing mental health issues such as depression

Side Effects of Marijuana Abuse

Marijuana use disorder has undesired secondary consequences.

  • Addicts are prone to accidents when high. Injuries, when intoxicated are the leading reason many marijuana users end up in emergency rooms.
  • Strain relationships. Addicts struggle to maintain their relationships with their friends and family members. Their misgivings are because of their behavior when high and their lack of concern towards their well being.
  • Legal troubles, such as divorce, arrests over various offenses, and possession of marijuana if it is illegal in your state.

Marijuana Withdrawal and Treatment

You will develop some withdrawal symptoms when you discontinue your use of marijuana. These withdrawal effects are usually severe in the first week of recovery and last for two weeks. The symptoms are like the warning signs of other conditions. Talk to an expert before being sure that you are experiencing them because of your withdrawal. The common symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sleep difficulty
  • Irritability
  • Weight loss or decreased appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Physical symptoms such as tremors, abdominal pains, headache, and sweating

If you have been struggling with marijuana dependence over a long period, you will struggle to stop on your own. Seeking treatment from a rehab center is the most effective way to deal with your addiction. Rehab centers have experts that can guide and monitor your rehabilitation. They ensure your recovery is safe by remedying your withdrawal symptoms. It is easy to relapse when recovering. Physicians at detox facilities prepare you for this occurrence by informing you of triggers and ways to cope with them. Addiction affects you and your family. Professionals help you mend the relationship as you get better through family therapy.

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Getting the standard treatment for mental health disorders can reduce marijuana use. Medications and therapies designed to help patients struggling with cognitive issues are effective rehabilitation approaches for marijuana addiction. These behavioral treatments are promising for treating marijuana use disorders.

  • Contingent Management is a therapeutic approach that involves frequent monitoring of your behavior. It uses positive rewards to get you to conduct yourself appropriately.
  • Cognitive-behavioral Therapy teaches you to identify and rectify problematic behaviors. This ability helps you stop drug use and some with the challenges associated with it.
  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy entails the expert getting you to see the need for change. The professional does not threaten you or force the modification but helps you do it by yourself.

There are no medications that the FDA has approved to treat marijuana use disorder. However, researchers are conducting studies to discover how different medicines can help addicts recover. Some experts suggest that you should use sleep aid zolpidem to treat insomnia during withdrawal. Others recommend buspirone for treating anxiety and gabapentin to cope with seizures. Consult a physician before taking any of these medications.

Ready to Get Help?

You need to regulate your marijuana use. If you do not control your usage, it will turn into marijuana addiction. Addiction to cannabis can have consequences for you and your family. It would be best if you confronted it. Ebb Tide Treatment Centers are here to support you throughout the recovery process.

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Ebb Tide Treatment Centers offers a range of healing programs for you. Get help from our residential program, outpatient pproram, therapy, and support groups. Our experts look at your case and devise a system that will work for you. They come up with a rehabilitation program that will ensure you do not relapse after your medication. Cannabis use disorder takes a toll on your family. Ebb Tide Treatment Centers guide you and your family through recovery. Family therapy helps everyone move on and prepares them for the next chapter. Contact us today to start a new chapter free from marijuana addiction and most of its effects.

Final Word

Many people can use marijuana and stop using it with no complications. However, marijuana addiction affects about 30% of its users. Cannabis use disorder among these people shows that it can be addictive, contrary to popular belief. If you abuse cannabis, you need to get help to overcome your dependence. Identify that you have a problem by examining your marijuana use. If you use it despite experiencing its consequences, have withdrawal symptoms when you stop, or cannot control your usage, you are an addict.

Marijuana addiction is harmful to you and those close to you. It causes health, financial, and relationship challenges. You can stop these difficulties by seeking help from Ebb Tide Treatment Centers. Ebb Tide Treatment Centers has reliable experts that provide customized treatment for you. They monitor your progress and prepare you to avoid a relapse.

Contact us today for answers to all your questions and begin your new chapter.

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