With the movement to legalize marijuana and the drug’s social acceptance, the very real dangers of marijuana are often clouded in the public’s perception. However, like other mind-altering substances, marijuana is still an illicit drug in several states and has a high potential for abuse. Many people develop an addiction to marijuana and require substance abuse treatment to get better.
The lines between marijuana use and marijuana abuse are often blurred. Its growing exposure as an alternative treatment for certain medical conditions has given it a reputation as less harmful than other drugs. But marijuana addiction is a very real risk. A large body of research shows that many marijuana abusers develop psychological and physical dependence on marijuana. A recent national survey on drug use found 4 million people in the U.S. met diagnostic criteria for a marijuana use disorder.
If you’re concerned you or a loved one has an addiction to marijuana, take note of the following signs and symptoms of marijuana abuse.
Marijuana addiction signs include:
If these marijuana abuse signs seem all too familiar, it’s time to reach out for help. Specialized substance abuse treatment can help you get ahead of addiction, learn better coping skills and adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Membranes in certain nerve cells in the brain contain protein receptors that bind to THC. Once the membranes and the THC bind together, the THC kicks off a series of cellular reactions that ultimately lead to the high that users experience when they smoke or ingest marijuana.
Some short-term effects of marijuana abuse include:
Continued abuse of marijuana can lead to several health consequences. These may include:
Marijuana users who have taken high doses of the drug may encounter acute toxic psychosis. This can include:
Although the specific causes of these symptoms remain unknown, they appear to occur more frequently when you eat or drink a high dose of cannabis (rather than smoke marijuana).
People who frequently smoke marijuana may have similar respiratory problems as tobacco smokers. These can include symptoms like:
THC impairs the immune system’s ability to fight off infectious diseases and cancer. Several studies support this:
Marijuana use may promote cancer of the lungs and other parts of the respiratory tract due to irritants and carcinogens it contains. A study comparing 173 cancer patients and 176 healthy individuals suggests that smoking marijuana increases the likelihood of developing cancer of the head or neck. It also showed that the more marijuana smoked, the greater the increased risk. An analysis of the data suggested that marijuana smoking doubled or tripled the risk of these cancers.
Effective marijuana treatment programs can prevent worsening of these physiological and psychological symptoms. Call 888-879-1289 now for more information on treatment options for substance abuse and mental health disorders.
Causes and risk factors for marijuana addiction are similar to other drug addictions. The following situations are some of the risk factors that make you more susceptible to substance abuse and addiction as outlined by the National Institute on Drug Abuse:
People who abuse drugs and alcohol often have mental health disorders like depression and anxiety. You may abuse marijuana as a way to cope with psychiatric symptoms. This is known as a dual diagnosis. For instance, analysis of several marijuana studies finds a strong link between marijuana abuse and anxiety disorders. Though marijuana may help to ease your anxiety in the beginning, it can also cause rebound anxiety with regular use.
Adverse experiences can drive people to abuse substances to numb emotional pain. Trauma can be something obvious like assault, rape or military combat. It can also be less obvious experiences like emotional abuse or neglect as a child or witnessing others in traumatic situations.
Your chances of developing a substance use disorder increase if close family members struggle with addiction. The genetic link in substance abuse has been backed by twin studies and heritability studies of certain populations.
Peer pressure to use marijuana as a young adult increases the chances you’ll abuse marijuana. Starting to use substances as an adolescent also ups the likelihood you’ll develop a substance use disorder.
The notion that marijuana isn’t addictive is false. If you or a loved one is showing signs of marijuana addiction, call us today. Clarity Way drug rehab provides evidence-based and compassionate treatment for marijuana abuse and addiction.
Clarity Way drug rehab centers offer:
Call our caring recovery advisors today. We’ll figure this out together: 888-879-1289