According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), and demonstrated in various other forms of research, the reason for the increased rates of illicit drug abuse in the United States is mainly attributed to marijuana. 

The drug is the most popularly widespread amongst teens, adolescents, and young adults. An estimated  (43.5 million) age twelve and older are addicted to marijuana, followed by prescription painkillers and inhalants.

young woman upset as she begins marijuana addiction treatmentStudies show that medicinal and recreational marijuana use continues to be on the rise due to its extreme accessibility, and partly due to its legalization in some states. Excessive use leads to dependence and addiction, requiring professional treatment to recover. 

Treatment options or “rehab” for marijuana addiction is similar to the protocol for managing addiction to other alcohol and drug abuse. Evidence-based therapy services and other addiction treatment programs such as twelve-step, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), medication-assisted detox, and other well-known scientifically advanced approaches have proven to be effective addiction treatment options, depending on each individual’s situation and their needs. A variety of other services can also help to put individuals back on the right track.

A drug detox center is for people who are looking to comfortably detox from marijuana. Someone might want to detox from marijuana for several reasons, including:

  • Employment drug test
  • Personal
  • Financial
  • Family
  • Legal

At LA Detox, through marijuana addiction treatment, we assist individuals from all walks of life, learn to function without using the substance. 

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana otherwise known as cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug around the world. The drug is classified by the Federal Government as a Schedule I, which means that is a controlled substance that presents a high risk for abuse and has no medicinal purposes. However, today, several states have allowed the legalization of marijuana for recreational use and medicinal use to treat certain medical conditions. 

Marijuana is a psychoactive substance, which affects the receptors in the brain, causing major mood and behavioral-altering side effects.  

History of Marijuana

Dating back to the 1850s, products with cannabis in it were made and sold to treat ailments, such as chronic pain and muscle spasms. Soon after, pharmaceutical companies began putting regulations in place in some states for precautionary measures. 

This is because, marijuana, which was classified as a habit-forming substance were also labeled as poisons, and only available to get with a prescription from a licensed physician. 

For hundreds of years, marijuana was made from hemp fibers and seed oils. Today, marijuana is derived from Cannabis sativa, known as the hemp plant. While a component of the drug, CBD may be useful for relieving pain, inflammation, nausea, and some chronic conditions, 

One of the major ingredients within cannabis is called THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). The THC why marijuana produces its psychoactive side-effects causing changes specifically in mood and behavior. It also often causes memory issues, depression, anxiety, and can lead to suicidal thoughts. Most importantly, it causes a major disruption to normal functioning and learning abilities. The properties of marijuana produce dependency leading to the dangerous cycle of addiction. 

How Addictive is Marijuana?

In severe cases marijuana is addictive. Marijuana becomes addictive when the person cannot stop using the drug even though it interferes with their life, how they function, mentally, physically, and socially.

In 2015, it was reported, that approximately 4 million people in the United States were dependant or abused marijuana, meeting the psychiatric Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) criteria for a marijuana use disorder (MUD). Only 138,000 went to receive treatment for their use, which proves that there is a disconnect between the need for addiction treatment and those who actually receive it. 

In addition, the common stigma of feeling guilt, embarrassment, fear, and the thought of not being able to afford treatment often deters people away from receiving the necessary treatment for drug abuse. 

Effects of Marijuana Abuse

Drugs affect the release of neurotransmitters, specifically dopamine within the areas of the brain involved with memory, thinking, concentration, movement, coordination, sensory and time perception, as well as pleasure.

The reward center of the brain called the nucleus accumbens responds to the cannabinoids and THC released within the receptors, producing feelings of euphoria and pleasure. The effects increase with every use, which is what causes one to crave the drug, become dependent and addicted, as they completely change the chemistry in the brain, altering and disrupting normal functioning. 

Signs and Symptoms of Marijuana Abuse 

There are various signs and symptoms of marijuana abuse but commonly varies from person to person. The main signs of marijuana addiction are long-term as they commonly are a physiological reaction to detox called withdrawal. They usually arise one week after discontinuation of the drug. Signs symptoms of cannabis abuse include the following:

Effects on Behavior, Thinking, and Perception 

  • Distorted perceptions
  • Impaired movements and coordination
  • Difficulty in making decisions
  • Ability to think and problem solve is distorted 
  • Problems with learning and remembering things
  • Paranoia

Other signs of marijuana abuse and addiction include:

  • Red bloodshot eyes
  • Slow reaction times
  • Physical Symptoms: Abdominal pain, shakiness, tremors, sweating, fever, chills, headache
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Irritability, anger, and aggression
  • Nervousness, anxiety, depression
  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • Decreased appetite or weight loss
  • Restlessness

Reasons for Marijuana Use

Medicinal and recreational marijuana is more available than ever, and there is a reason for it. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2016, 20 percent of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 used marijuana. Based on resources some possible reasons why people use marijuana include:

  • Ease of Accessibility 
  • More accessible than other types of drugs that require a prescription such as opioids
  • Peer pressure
  • Family history of substance abuse  
  • Use to escape or cope with mental illness, thoughts, and other problems

Marijuana Addiction Treatment 

If you or someone you know needs help with addiction, marijuana addiction treatment might be the answer for you.

Residential (inpatient) and outpatient drug rehab treatment programs for marijuana addiction give the patient time to fully detoxify from the effects of marijuana. A therapy based approach that incorporates comfortable living and healthy food enable each patient to flush out drug residues left behind in fatty tissues of the body. Our marijuana addiction aftercare program can provide continuing support after structured treatment.

Recovery from addiction to marijuana requires the same steps as recovery from any other addiction. Relationships still need to be repaired, and the ability to think clearly and reach goals must be rehabilitated. Marijuana affects and controls all aspects of your life.

In 2009, more than 360,000 Americans who were using marijuana and could not stop without help went to rehab. About 45 percent were under 21 and the majority were 24 or younger. 25 percent of these 360,000 people began using marijuana by the time they were 12 years old. Another 32 percent began by the time they were 14. Either marijuana or alcohol was likely the first drug they started abusing.

The mental effects of marijuana become more severe if the individual uses daily or in the event of higher dosages. This fact becomes significant when you consider the rising potency of marijuana. 

Over the last two decades, the average THC content has increased from less than four percent to more than 10 percent. Some samples have THC contents of 25 percent or even higher. THC is the active ingredient in marijuana that gets you “high.”

The United Nations states that long-term marijuana abusers make less money and struggle with unemployment often. 

Dual Diagnosis: Mental Illness and Marijuana Use

Heavy use or use of high-potency marijuana tends to create mental health problems. Chronic use can result in mental illness including anxiety and depression. People tend to turn to use drugs as a means to cope with symptoms of underlying mental illness. Mental illness is a huge risk factor of substance abuse, in this case, marijuana.

When a person abuses cannabis and has a mental illness, this is called dual diagnosis or a co-occurring disorder. Oftentimes, mental illness is underlying and left undiagnosed. Therefore, one’s addiction continues to exacerbate, leading to further complications. The only option to recover is to receive professional dual diagnosis treatment at a rehab facility.  

LA Detox Can Help You Recover From Drug Addiction

If you or your loved one needs marijuana addiction treatment, our multidisciplinary team of medical professionals and addiction specialists are highly-trained to help people recover from drug addiction. Contact us today to begin your journey to recovery and long-term sobriety!

References

https://www.verywellmind.com/why-do-young-people-use-marijuana-63525

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/246392#effects

https://www.verywellmind.com/rates-of-illicit-drug-abuse-in-the-us-67027

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/marijuana-addictive