Marijuana Dependence – Signs of Marijuana Use Vs. Abuse, Tolerance
- Print VersionIn This Article
- Is Marijuana Addictive?
- Understanding Marijuana Dependency and Tolerance
- Effects/Side Effects
- Withdrawal and Detoxification
- Treatment for Marijuana Addiction
Is Marijuana Addictive?
According to Dr. Jann Gumbiner for a Psychology Today website report, many people who have used marijuana recreationally have not experienced addiction to it. However, other medical experts would argue that long-term use of marijuana could cause addiction. Marijuana is a dry mix of shredded stems, seeds, leaves and flowers that derive from the hemp plant known as Cannabis Sativa. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main ingredient in marijuana and is a strong mind-altering substance. It is believed to be this that causes long-term use of marijuana to lead to addiction. Is Marijuana Addictive? The answer has to be yes it is, although there would seem to be other factors involved.
Understanding Marijuana Dependency and Tolerance
When a person regularly uses marijuana, it is not unusual for them to develop a tolerance to it. This means the person needs to smoke more marijuana, to achieve the same effects. Frequent and heavy use of marijuana can lead to physical dependence. Marijuana dependence occurs when a person’s body adapts to the marijuana and is only used to functioning properly when the marijuana is used. It is also not unusual for people who use marijuana to develop a psychological dependence. This usually sees the person become obsessed with the drug, allowing it to become the biggest priority in their life. Psychological dependence is often what makes people crave the drug and what makes it difficult for people to stop using it. Some people do not understand they are dependent on marijuana, while others may be too embarrassed to seek professional help. If you require further information on our outpatient and inpatient services, please consider calling 1-888-803-9961 Who Answers?. Alternatively, you can complete a quick reply form.
People who use marijuana will experience a high. This includes feeling happy, calm and generally relaxed. Some people may experience bouts of paranoia, coupled with being more talkative and animated. Other side effects associated with marijuana include bloodshot eyes and a dry throat or mouth. Because of the hallucinogenic effects of the THC, people may feel like they are floating or that time has started to slow down. Excessive hunger, which people refer to as “the munchies” is also a fairly common side effect, reports the FRANK drug advice website. As with most drugs, marijuana has a comedown. When this comedown occurs depends on factors such as how regular the person uses marijuana and how much they have smoked at the time. Coming down from marijuana can make a person feel paranoid, twitchy and depressed. Feeling tired and irritable are also common with the marijuana comedown. Studies have reported repeated marijuana use puts people at the risk of developing long-term side effects, such as various mental health conditions.
Withdrawal and Detoxification
Although withdrawal from marijuana is not as difficult as it is with other drug withdrawal, it can cause psychological disruptions. This is what makes a person most prone to relapsing. Withdrawal from marijuana can cause symptoms such as insomnia, excessive sweating, depression and anxiety attacks. These withdrawal symptoms typically last between two and twelve days, although this does depend on individual circumstances. Abruptly stopping the use of marijuana without the support of professionals can be difficult. Someone who attends a medically supervised rehabilitation program is much more likely to make a successful recovery.
Treatment for Marijuana Addiction
Marijuana does not have an alternative substance that can be taken during rehabilitation like many drugs. However, the symptoms of marijuana abuse treatment are usually easier to handle. The biggest challenge for a person dealing with marijuana withdrawal is resisting the strong urge to use again and relieve the physical withdrawal symptoms. For this reason, it is often recommended a person attended a supervised program at a rehabilitation center as oppose to semi-supervised rehabilitation in their home. Trained staff at the rehabilitation center can help teach the people new coping strategies. This means a new way of thinking and finding a way that person can handle life stresses without feeling the need to turn back to marijuana. Cognitive and behavioral therapy will also help with this, as well as addressing the person’s triggers. This is working out what makes the person most likely to use marijuana and teaching them to avoid them. The most common triggers for a person taking marijuana are places and people. Completing a rehabilitation program will give a person the best chance possible to recover from their marijuana dependence.