Marijuana Addiction

Commonly known as “weed,” or “pot,” marijuana is an almost normalized drug, especially since it recently became legal to recreationally use in parts of the United States.

Marijuana first became normalized throughout the medical world, as scientist began testing its healing natures in the early 2000’s. Now many states have adapted laws to allow medical patients to use marijuana in the form of pills, lollipops or other foods, to help deal with different physical ailments. Policy surrounding marijuana has changed from a ticket to jail to a citation or fine given when citizens are found with under a certain amount on there person. In some states they have even completely legalized recreational use for those over 21.

Marijuana comes from the cannabis sativa plant. People abuse marijuana because it contains delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, also called THC, a chemical that produces a high that can be described as “relaxing and euphoric.”

Marijuana can be a green or brown, it can be a dried leafy plant that looks like grass or a moss like bud that can be picked apart and put into cigarette-looking joints and blunts.

Marijuana can also be cooked down to butter and eaten in brownies or other baked goods.
Dabs, which is a common street name for marijuana wax or oils, can vary. The liquid form is often called hash oil or honey oil and looks like other kinds of oils. Wax is a soft solid, like lip balm, and shatter is amber-colored solid form of the wax.

Much of the marijuana in the United States is grown locally, which is one factor that contributes to marijuana addiction.

Is marijuana addictive?

Whether or not marijuana is addictive is something doctors, scientists and addiction specialists are still debating. Some people believe you can become addicted to the high you get when using marijuana and national studies still suggest that it can be a gateway drug for many young people. While studies have been done on mice, that state marijuana use made mice more likely to use other drugs, there are not long term studies done on the effects childhood marijuana use has on the brain development of a person long term.

Some things that are certain is that smoking anything is bad for your lungs. Smoking marijuana can irritate the lungs and give smokers lung and breathing problems. Marijuana also impairs judgement and could lead to decisions that you wouldn’t make if you weren’t high on marijuana.

When you use marijuana, the drug releases THC into the brain. This mind-altering chemical causes physical and psychological effects. These effects are both short-term, directly after use, and long-term, seen over time.

Smoking-Marijuana
Smoking marijuana is common among teens, it can lead to negative side effects and addiction.

Signs of Misuse

• Bloodshot eyes
• Smell “like a skunk”
• Increased use of candles/deodorizer to mask smell
• Increased use of eye drops
• dizziness when standing
• Drowsiness
• Slowed reaction
• poor coordination
• Increased appetite (also called the munchies)
• Mood swings
• Altered sense of time
• Increased heart rate
• Anxiety or panic attacks
• Impaired judgement
• Memory and learning problems
• Paranoia
• Psychosis/hallucinations- Rare

Marijuana Withdrawal

Withdrawal from marijuana is commonly debated, the question is “is there or isn’t there?” Withdrawal may not be as severe as “harder” drugs or alcohol, but it can still be very difficult for a person to cope with. The physical symptoms of withdrawal from marijuana can last from three days to two weeks, while the psychological symptoms may last longer. Signs of withdrawal are:

• Headaches
• Chills
• Irritability
• Anxiety
• Depression
• Loss of appetite
• Restlessness
• Difficulty sleeping

Addicted to Marijuana, Now What?

The best way to treat any addiction is by seeking help. Entering treatment allows medical professionals and clinical therapists to determine the severity of the addiction, find and treat any underlying co-occurring disorders and helps those addicted to marijuana learn new coping skills, create recovery communities and finally end their addiction to marijuana. Amatus Recovery Facilities located around the country can help make this process easier. Every facility evaluates patients and learns about their history with addiction. This helps us create a treatment plan specifically for you. Once a treatment plan is created a team of dedicated professionals will determine the severity of the addiction and if medical detox is needed.

Marijuana-Leaf
Marijuana can be a green or brown, it can be a dried leafy plant that looks like grass or a moss like bud that can be picked apart and put into cigarette-looking joints and blunts.

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