Marijuana is one of the most commonly used and abused drugs in the United States. Almost 30 million people admitted to abusing the drug in 2009, and marijuana remains the drug most commonly abused by high school students. Often, people don’t recognize the addictive nature of marijuana, especially when compared to the effects of Vicodin and cocaine. This is a fallacy because marijuana does have addictive properties and can lead to negative effects on your health and happiness.
Symptoms of Marijuana Addiction
Typically, an addiction is characterized by the inability to go without a drug, as well as an increase in consumption as time passes. Marijuana addiction can manifest itself in a number of ways. While you won’t feel extreme physical withdrawal without marijuana, if you have a dependency on the drug, you may find yourself experiencing cravings for it. You may feel anxious or have difficulty concentrating, and feel that you’ll be better able to relax with marijuana. This is because marijuana interacts with various chemicals in your brain, and when you become dependent on the drug, your brain insists you need it to maintain the same chemical levels. Over the course of your addiction, you’ll find yourself wanting and needing more and more marijuana to combat feelings of anxiety or depression.
While these symptoms are not severe, they can become increasingly detrimental to your life.
Effects of Marijuana Addiction
Long-term marijuana addiction has a number of ill effects. Memory loss and motor function impairment may become permanent. Additionally, you may experience respiratory distress from smoking marijuana. Chronic marijuana use has been linked to depression. This secondary depression is what truly becomes dangerous as depression can lead to suicidal behaviors.
Although marijuana addiction does not cause the same negative effects on your health that other addictions can, you can still benefit from treatment.
Common Treatments for Marijuana Addictions
The Office of National Drug Control Policy compares marijuana addiction to that of nicotine addiction which makes the type of treatment necessary somewhat less severe. Often, marijuana addiction can be treated through counseling, as detox is often not necessary for even chronic users. Counseling will help you to control the mental cravings for the drug, as well as examine the reasons behind your drug use. This treatment can be completed through support groups, outpatient therapy and even individual private counseling. In extreme cases, you can undergo residential therapy as well.
Finding Marijuana Addiction Treatment
Contact us if you’d like help finding any form of treatment for an addiction to marijuana.