While the addictive qualities of marijuana are often debated, for those that are struggling with a dependence on pot, it is no laughing matter. For some, the relaxation and good feelings that this drug provides were too much to pass up, for others, marijuana served as a gateway to other, more potent substances. Either way, as with all addictive substances, if you got hooked, you had a clue when you found yourself buying it, and smoking it, all the time.
Yes, marijuana addiction can and does happen, but how do you know, and what should you be looking out for?
Marijuana Addiction and Abuse
Marijuana comes from the Cannabis sativa plant. It grows best in warmer parts of the U.S., but with the help of grow lamps, it can be grown all over. In some cases, marijuana has legitimate medical uses, but the vast majority of people using marijuana are abusing it. They are smoking it before school, before work, or to help them get to sleep each night.
Marijuana is such a common drug that it has a massive list of street names it goes by. Pot, Grass, Ganja, Reefer, Mary Jane, Weed, Dope, and Cannabis are just a few of them.
Marijuana Abuse Compared to Other Substances
Considering the ongoing discussions about marijuana, it’s interesting to examine its use compared to other substances. For example, 12 percent of U.S. adults in a 2019 Gallup poll smoked marijuana. Meanwhile, the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health stated that a higher percentage of U.S. adults, 54.9 percent, drank alcohol in the previous month.
As for younger people, in the 2020 Monitoring the Future study, 43.7 percent of U.S. twelfth graders reported using marijuana at some point in their lifetimes. In comparison, 61.5 percent consumed alcohol at least once in their lives, 46.6 percent tried any illegal drug (including marijuana), and 44.3 percent vaped nicotine products.
Signs of Marijuana Use
Many who have tried weed claim there are no negative side effects associated with it. Unfortunately, these people are wrong. Those who abuse marijuana will experience symptoms such as:
- Distorted perceptions
- Lack of coordination
- Difficulties with logic and problem solving
- Learning and memory issues
- Mucus-filled cough
- Slow reaction time
Since marijuana is such a common drug, it’s easy to get caught up in the web of abuse. Many people just like you have experienced marijuana abuse. If you think you or a loved one is addicted, you should analyze the following symptoms. If you think you or someone you love fulfills these symptoms, you should get help. The symptoms are:
- Tolerance to marijuana
- Spending most of the income on pot
- Spend more and more time smoking and getting high
- Neglecting responsibilities
- Lack of personal grooming
- Loss of interest in previous hobbies
Short-term and Long-term Effects of Marijuana
If you’re experiencing symptoms of marijuana abuse, you should be aware of what the short- and long-term effects of this drug is on your body. If you believe that the worst thing about it is smoking, you’re unfortunately incorrect. In the short-term, you might experience:
- Poor memory
- Difficulty learning
- Difficulty solving problems
- Short attention span
- Lowered reaction time
In the long-run, the effects of marijuana are much more dramatic. If you have been using marijuana for a long time, you might be experiencing the final side-effects:
- Weaker immune system
- Growth disorders (if used while young)
- Reduction in male sex hormones
- Reduced learning ability
- Apathy and lack of motivation
- Personality and mood changes
Marijuana does not have the same physiologically addictive qualities as other drugs. But if you’re experiencing the symptoms above, you’re at risk of missing out on the truly important things in life.
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Overdose Symptoms of Marijuana
Fatally overdosing on marijuana is virtually impossible, but that doesn’t mean you can’t smoke too much pot to function. You should call 911 if someone is vomiting, having breathing trouble, and experiencing a psychotic attack.
Marijuana Withdrawal and Detox
If you plan on quitting marijuana, you will likely need the help of a rehab center. These rehab centers specialize in getting you off drugs for good. The first step to quitting the abuse is detox. Detox is important because it rids your body of marijuana for good. During the drug detox process, you’re likely to experience withdrawal effects. This happens when you don’t give your body the chemicals it is craving. If you’re detoxing from marijuana, expect to experience the following withdrawal symptoms:
- Loss or increase in appetite
- Stomach pain
- Vivid dreams
Some of these symptoms sound terrifying, but they are all manageable at quality rehab centers. The right rehab centers for marijuana abuse will be able to control all these symptoms. It will help you overcome your marijuana abuse effectively.
Marijuana Treatment and Rehab
Treatment options for your Marijuana abuse can vary depending on your personal needs, values, and goals. There is an overall process for Marijuana addiction treatment that is almost universal in all forms of drug rehabilitation.
This process is Intake, Detox, Rehab, and Aftercare, we will tell you what you can expect during each stage on your road to recovery. You should not be worried or concerned about the treatment you will have the opportunity to learn new things about yourself, meet new people, and discover what was causing your Marijuana addiction in the first place. Treatment is a chance to start fresh; you will be under good care and will receive outstanding treatment.
- Intake: You will be assessed by the professionals at the facility to determine your detox and rehabilitation program.
- Detox: As we said in the withdrawal and detox section, Marijuana is a benzodiazepine, the withdrawal and detox can be tough, but you must pass this stage to recover. You will be closely monitored, made comfortable, and have plenty of time to let your body heal.
- Rehabilitation: After getting the drugs out of your system, you will begin your rehab program, depending on many factors.
- Aftercare: When your rehabilitation program is finished, your counselor will develop the best aftercare plan possible for you to remain clean when you go back to your life.
Coming to Terms with Your Marijuana Addiction
If you’re worried you may have an abuse, you might be scared of admitting it to yourself. Unfortunately, that’s the first step to getting better. It’s difficult and terrifying to admit you have wronged yourself and those you love. If you get into rehab, you will learn the tools you need to get and stay sober.
Helping a Friend or Family Member Address Their Marijuana Addiction
Helping friends or family with any kind of addiction is difficult. Often, as a loved one, we feel like our friend or family member will want any help we offer, and this isn’t always the case. It’s not unusual to have a loved one struggling with addiction get upset, frustrated, or even hostile when seeking treatment comes into the conversation. Because of this, it’s important to know what you should expect if you’re going to try to help your loved one deal with an addiction to marijuana or any other substance.
If you want to help your loved one, a great way to do that is to hold an intervention. An intervention is a process where you and other loved ones meet with the person with a substance use disorder disorder to discuss how their drug habits have affected their lives. It’s important to offer the addict hope and to show them as much love as you can.
There are wrong ways to do interventions. If you make promises to your loved one during the intervention and recovery process, it’s important to keep these promises. If not, you may lose the trust of your loved ones when they need trust and support most. It’s also important not to make excuses for your loved one. They need to be held accountable for their actions and abuse.
The most important thing is realizing that an intervention isn’t a miracle. The addict will like not to be happy with the fact that they agreed to get help. What’s important is that they agreed to get help. But your passion for them getting better can possibly change their mind.
Payment Options for Marijuana Abuse Treatment
If you want to get into rehab for your marijuana abuse, you may be worried about how you will pay for it. Especially if you spend all your money on drugs. Fortunately, most insurance providers will fund part or all of your rehab attendance. The hardest part is finding a rehab center that offers the needed treatment.
You should not be concerned about the cost of your treatment, we can help you out for free. All you have to do is give us a call, and we will learn about you, your addiction, and what type of treatment options would be the best for you. We will also verify your insurance benefits and match you up with one of our rehab facilities.
You do not have to be addicted to drugs for the rest of your life, there is a way to change. You can start a new life, meet new people, and learn new ways to deal with your stress and anxiety. If you are truly serious about your recovery, then give us a call today!
Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.
Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.