Marijuana Addiction Recovery Services in Central Texas
Marijuana, also known as cannabis, is one of the most commonly used and abused drugs. Although it is now legalized either medically, recreationally or both in the vast majority of states, marijuana use disorder is a recognized mental health condition.
There are now treatment programs for cannabis use disorder that address how the addiction forms, ways it can negatively impact a person’s life and strategies for living life without using marijuana.
Find out how an Any Length retreat can help you overcome marijuana addiction.
Is Marijuana Addictive?
When you are discussing addiction, many people question is marijuana addictive. Due to its rapid legalization across the United States, many mistakenly believe that marijuana use is completely safe. Unfortunately this puts many people at risk for developing dangerous addictions to marijuana itself or to other “harder” substances.
Although marijuana admittedly doesn’t create a strong physical dependence in many people like other substances, it does carry a risk for serious psychological addiction and poses some major health problems.
New Research About Treatment for Cannabis Use Disorder
Research from the CDC clearly states that long term marijuana use can lead to addiction, with approximately 9% of people who use marijuana becoming addicted in the long term to marijuana other illicit substances.
The CDC also reports that “the number goes up to about 1 in 6 among those who start using marijuana as teenagers and to 25% to 50% among those who smoke marijuana daily”.
If someone becomes addicted, it means they meet the diagnostic criteria for dependence outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This may be more common than you’d think, as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has found, in 2020 around 14 million people, or 5% percent of the population, had a marijuana use disorder.
Despite the notoriously euphoric effects of the plant, the problems associated with a cannabis use disorder are no laughing matter. The CDC says marijuana use disorder includes health problems such as persistent or increasing use and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home.
And worst of all, studies show how difficult it can be to finally stop an addiction that does not necessarily threaten your life, but rather threatens to slowly, subtly limit you and prevent you from being your best self. This makes professional rehab for marijuana addiction even more important.
To top it off, research from the CDC shows strong evidence that marijuana abuse can keep your brain primed for addiction, simultaneously threatening to become a highly detrimental addiction in itself.
The Connection Between Marijuana Potency and Addiction
Research suggests that an issue is marijuana potency. Cannabis addiction has increased as THC levels have risen. In the past few decades average THC content of marijuana has risen dramatically. In the 1990s marijuana contained about 4% THC. Today, marijuana flower in dispensaries often has 15%-25% THC, but it can be as high as 35%.
In addition to cannabis flower being more potent, there are also different forms such as cannabis extracts and concentrates that can have very high concentrations of THC. Extracts typically have somewhere 50% and 90% THC.
Men’s addiction recovery programs utilize gender-specific solutions to address marijuana use disorder head-on so that the addiction doesn’t get worse. At Any Length Retreat you’ll find the drug addiction help you need to finally quit cannabis and beginning being your best self.
Understanding Marijuana Use
Marijuana goes by many different names including cannabis, weed, dope, Mary Jane and pot. It’s a plant with psychoactive properties from the cannabinoids it contains. Cannabinoids are compounds with cannabinol, which is mildly psychoactive.
Currently, the federal government has classified marijuana as a Schedule I drug. However, the Biden Administration has announced that it will be reconsidered the country’s marijuana policies given that there could be potential therapeutic uses for cannabis. While this may be welcome news for people with certain mental and physical health issues, it’s a bad sign for addiction treatment experts that are working to reduce marijuana use disorder.
THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol. It’s a psychoactive cannabinoid that generates the “high” feeling when smoking marijuana or ingesting it. There are many different types of THC, but what’s most often being referred to with marijuana use is Delta 9 THC.
Sativa is a strain of cannabis plant. The cannabis sativa plant produces more of a cerebral “head high” that is energizing and anxiety reducing. It can actually make a person feel more alert and focused.
Indica is another strain of cannabis plant. This strain is known for giving a “body high” that relaxes the person and can even promote sleep.
A hybrid strain is a mix between a sativa and an indica.
It’s common for young men to develop a marijuana addiction in their teenage or college years, since weed can be more attainable compared to alcohol for underage users. Marijuana is also used to help adolescents manage stress and cope with social anxiety during their formative years.
Effects of Marijuana on the Mind and Body
When people think of the negative effects of marijuana use the first thing that usually comes to mind is marijuana smoke. While there are negative impacts on the respiratory system, the effects on the neurological system and brain development may be much more impactful.
Marijuana affects the cannabinoid receptors in the brain that influences pleasure, as well as sensory and time perception. Those receptors also affect thinking, concentration, and memory, which is part of the concern of widespread marijuana use.
Young people have to be particularly careful. Some studies suggest damage to the brain that occurs with marijuana use could be long-lasting or even permanent, especially when use begins at a relatively young age. Since individuals under the age of 25 don’t have fully developed brains, they’re at higher risk of being acutely affected by drugs like marijuana.
Other effects of marijuana include:
- Impaired motor function
- Poor reaction time, impaired judgment
- Increased heart rate, which can raise the risk of heart attack
- Respiratory issues if the drug is smoked
- Anxiety and panic
- Increases appetite, craving for food
Long-Term Effects of Marijuana Abuse
The long-term effects of marijuana can become even more problematic. Using marijuana for long periods can lead to:
- Lung damage
- Diseases similar to what occurs with cigarette smoking
- Suppressed immune system
- Impaired sexual function
- Intense mood and personality changes
As more people use cannabis, it’s clear that treatment for marijuana addiction will be needed to help those that become chronic users.
Signs Someone Needs Marijuana Addiction Help
It is a common misconception that you can’t develop an addiction to marijuana. While this drug may not be as addictive as other drugs, people can certainly get hooked on it. It’s also important to note that for most people marijuana isn’t physically addictive so much as it’s psychologically addictive.
Men who regularly use marijuana may begin to feel like the only way they can feel normal is to use the drug. The risk of substance abuse is even higher in those that start using the drug at a younger age.
There are a few ways you might recognize that a loved one has a marijuana addiction, and would benefit from professional treatment. First, you may begin to find drug paraphernalia around the house. For marijuana users, this can include a number of different things, since there are different ways to use the drug. Cigarette rolling papers are common for those who prefer to smoke joints. You may also find glass pipes or smoking apparatuses lined with tinfoil.
Other signs that someone has a marijuana addiction include:
- Diminished motivation
- Pulling away from friends and family
- Sleeping frequently
- Changes in appetite
- Decreased personal care
Our supportive staff can help you recognize the signs of marijuana addiction. If you or someone you love is struggling and needs rehab for marijuana addiction, please do not wait to get help.
Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms
It was once believed that marijuana wasn’t addictive in part because the drug wasn’t associated with withdrawal symptoms. We now know withdrawal symptoms aren’t the benchmark for addiction and marijuana dependence does cause a significant percentage of cannabis users to go through withdrawal when they try to quit.
Common marijuana withdrawal symptoms include:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Strange dreams
- Anger and irritability
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Mood swings
About half of regular marijuana users experience withdrawal symptoms if they drastically reduce or stop using completely.
*Any Length Retreat is a supportive, educational recovery system and community for men’s addiction treatment. It is not a substitute for psychotherapy, clinical or medical treatment for substance use disorders or mental health disorders.