Marijuana is the most commonly abused illicit substance in the United States. It is a psychoactive drug derived from the “cannabis sativa” or the “cannabis indica” plant. Also known as “weed”, “cannabis”, “pot”, “grass”, “ganja”, and “Mary Jane”, it is a mixture of dried flowers, leaves, stems, and seeds obtained from the cannabis plant. It primarily contains two mind-altering cannabinoids, namely, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

Marijuana is a highly addictive drug. It can be either inhaled, smoked or baked into edible dishes. Essentially known as a gateway drug, marijuana has been classified as a Schedule I drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Other forms of marijuana include hashish, derived from the Indian hemp plant. Commonly referred to as hash, it is six times stronger than marijuana.

Consumption of marijuana increases the levels of dopamine in the brain, making it prone to dependency. Long-term use leads to tolerance and hence addiction. A regular user of marijuana is at the risk of experimenting with other drugs as well. According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 26 million Americans, aged 12 years or above, were current users of marijuana.

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Legalization of Marijuana

Marijuana is a highly controversial drug, the laws and regulations governing which, have relaxed during the past couple of years. Today, 29 states and Washington DC have legalized its medical use and 9 states and Washington DC allow it to be used recreationally. However, it is still illegal at the federal level. Following the legalization in the states, a lot of people now openly accept using marijuana.

Despite the fact that marijuana is addictive, its withdrawal symptoms are not life-threatening. In fact, it is used for medical purposes specially to alleviate chronic pain. Nonetheless, experts constantly contest its use owing to its effects on memory, learning deficits, behavioral problems, and blunted emotions. Thus, people addicted to marijuana need to undergo a proper substance abuse treatment to counter the effects of the drug.

Symptoms of Marijuana Use

Marijuana is primarily used in the form of hand-rolled cigarettes (joints), in pipes, water pipes (bongs), partly or fully filled empty cigars (blunts) and in vaporizers. Additionally, the drug can be brewed in tea or mixed in edibles like candies, pizzas, brownies, and the likes.

Long-term marijuana users exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Red eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Persistent cough
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Cognitive difficulties
  • Impaired coordination
  • Manipulated perceptions
  • Defective problem solving abilities
  • Issues in learning ability and memory
  • Loss of control leading to dependence and then addiction

Effects of marijuana abuse

Both CBD and THC, the primary natural constituents of marijuana, are known to affect individuals differently. Nonetheless, long-term use of these substances can lead to the following effects:

  • Better appetite
  • Feeling of euphoria
  • Lack of concentration
  • Lethargy or drowsiness
  • Lack of mental stimulation
  • Affected coordination abilities
  • Decreased levels of motivation

CBD is prescribed to many medical marijuana users for conditions like anorexia, movement disorder, inflammatory bowel disorder, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and to deal with pain caused from radiation therapies like chemotherapy, chronic pain, and neuropathic pain. This is because CBD helps reduce muscle spasms, and acts like a sedative and an anti-bacterial.

Treatment for Marijuana Addiction

Overcoming marijuana addiction requires professional help offered at reliable drug addiction treatment centers. Though the withdrawal symptoms usually do not last for more than four to six hours, the life tools and coping strategies imbibed at an Invictus Health Group’s behavioral health center assist an individual in maintaining long-lasting recovery.

As marijuana is a gateway drug, its use might lead to the use of other more addictive drugs qualifying for polysubstance abuse. In this case, treatment intervention would be more intense with it addressing all the substances abused simultaneously.

Why choose Invictus Health Group?

Marijuana addiction may take months or even years to develop. This is the reason why a person addicted to marijuana might not realize that they are dependent on the substance. Further, when an individual is addicted to a particular substance, they are addicted to it both physically and psychologically. Marijuana addiction treatment at Invictus Health Group’s drug recovery center enables a person to overcome both these kinds of addiction. Our addiction treatment programs also aim to educate the patient and their families about the adverse effects of addiction to not only marijuana but other substances as well.

Further, in cases where a mental disorder may be involved, along with marijuana addiction, giving rise to a dual diagnosis, our comprehensive plans would address both concurrently, focusing on the patient’s wellness, recovery, and resilience, to ensure lasting recovery.

Patients at Invictus Health Group’s behavioral health centers are encouraged to take a broader perspective and learn to look beyond their addiction. They are motivated to accept and embrace their weaknesses and work over them to emerge as stronger individuals. For this, we use experiential therapies, like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), giving the patient the confidence to look at life in a more constructive manner.

For more information about our therapies and how these can help an individual achieve life tools to overcome an addiction, call our helpline 866-548-0190 and talk to an admissions representative. You can also chat online with a representative for further assistance.

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