Treatment for Cannabis (Marijuana) Addiction

Cannabis addiction

What is Cannabis Addiction?

Marijuana – known as ‘weed’, ‘pot’ or ‘tea’ – is made from the cannabis plant. In most cases, people smoke or ingest marijuana, often baking it into treats like brownies or cookies, or mixing it in with tea. When marijuana enters the body, it produces feelings of pleasurable relaxation thanks to the chemical THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which can be found in the plant’s leaves.

A common side effect of THC is the feeling of euphoria. Because of this pleasurable feeling, it can be extremely common for users to misuse marijuana and develop an addiction. Like any addiction, marijuana overuse can cause tremendous damage in a person’s life, and in most cases, it can also be all but impossible to overcome without professional help.

At Camino Recovery, we recognise the slippery slope of marijuana overuse. We understand that what can begin as harmless fun can quickly turn into a dependency that causes more issues than enjoyment.

Marijuana is a dangerous and often misrepresented drug, and consequently, we provide comprehensive treatment that gives those who are struggling with cannabis misuse the chance to retake their lives and strive for long-term sobriety.

Is cannabis really addictive?

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, people who begin using marijuana before the age of 18 are four to seven times more likely to develop a marijuana use disorder than adults.

There are many myths that surround the use of marijuana. For example, many people claim that marijuana use is harmless and not addictive, and that it causes no lasting effects on the body. But as with many drugs (especially legalised drugs like cigarettes and alcohol), there are always lasting effects on the body from overuse.

Overusing marijuana can cause dependency issues, and as with everything, it can result in a psychological tolerance on the body, meaning that you need to increase the dosage to achieve the same effects.

If you regularly use cannabis and experience withdrawal symptoms and cravings for the drug when you are not using it, this could be a sign that you have developed a cannabis addiction.

What are the signs and symptoms of marijuana addiction?

There are many signs and symptoms of marijuana addiction, but these can vary from person to person, and oftentimes, these symptoms can be ignored or passed off as something else.

For example, memory problems can be put down to the general ageing in a person, when in fact, it is a direct symptom of marijuana overuse. Recognising this, however, can be difficult.

Behaviourally speaking, there are many symptoms to watch out for, including:

  • Frequent, unexplained absences from work or school.
  • Declining performance at work or in school.
  • Losing interest in activities or events that were previously significant
  • Lying, secrecy or other forms of deception involving whereabouts and/or activities.
  • Possessing rolling papers, water pipes and other paraphernalia related to cannabis use.
  • Using cannabis when it is clearly dangerous to do so, such as prior to driving a car.

The short-term symptoms of marijuana can be both positive and negative, depending on the person in question.

Feeling relaxed and positive, however, is why the drug is so prevalent across the U.K., the U.S. and other parts of the world.

Other short-term effects of marijuana use include:

  • Relaxed and positive mood
  • Become more talkative and prone to fits of laughter
  • Exaggerated feelings of hunger, otherwise known as ‘the munchies’
  • Amplified senses such as observing intensely vivid colours
  • Feeling as though time has slowed down
  • Memory problems
  • Feeling sleepy and lethargic
  • Feelings of confusion and panic
  • Paranoia and anxiety
  • Hallucinations

In the long-term, however, the use of marijuana is a different story.

It can often cause signs and symptoms including:

  • Depression
  • Confusion and forgetfulness
  • Anxiety and paranoia
  • Increased risk of developing mental health conditions such as schizophrenia and psychosis
  • Existing mental health problems can be worsened, while medication may not work as well while smoking cannabis

People who smoke or ingest marijuana should do so with these short- and long-term effects front of mind. While the feeling of relaxation can be an attractive reason to use marijuana, it can quickly cause dependency issues, whereby a person can’t function without using daily.

This in and of itself is an addiction that must be treated sooner rather than later.

What are the treatment options for marijuana addiction?

If you’ve had a negative experience with marijuana but you can’t seem to stop using it, it might be time to consider treatment.

There are many ways to treat marijuana overuse.

Take a free addiction assessment

Start with a free confidential marijuana addiction assessment. Camino Recovery is known worldwide for its expert treatment for drug addiction, and marijuana is no exception. Start with this assessment and understand how we can help you tailor your treatment so that you can return to leading a happy, healthy and marijuana-free life.

Medically assisted detox

Rid your body of marijuana in a safe and monitored space at Camino. We can assist you in detoxing from marijuana and help you steer clear from using in the future, too.

Therapy

Often, people will become dependent on marijuana to escape problems that exist in their reality that they don’t want to face. Our group and individual therapy programmes let you explore these issues with an expert in a safe environment. By uprooting your cause for marijuana overuse, you can overcome your dependency.

Family support

Our family support programme runs over four or five days, during which you will have the chance to meet with your loved one’s therapists and participate in process groups and educational sessions.

During this time, you will learn more about family systems, boundaries, communication and the best ways to support your family member in their marijuana recovery.

Holistic and wellness treatment

In most cases, true recovery from something like marijuana overuse requires a completely fresh start, in a completely new place. Our holistic therapies help you channel positive energy that encourages selfcare. Treatments include:

  • Yoga
  • Massages
  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Energy work
  • Nutrition and exercise
  • Taekwondo
  •  

To help yourself or a loved one get the right treatment they need to overcome marijuana overuse, explore our range of treatments here and request a no obligation call with an expert to find out how we can help.

Frequently Asked Questions

The main chemical in marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC. Although the effects of THC wear off within a few hours of ingesting marijuana, traces of the chemical can remain in the body for weeks.

Many times, you hear marijuana referred to as a “gateway drug” to the “harder stuff,” but the question of is marijuana addictive is asked and debated probably more-so than that question involving any other drug. It’s true that weed is often the first stop for many people who are active addicts, or at least it was something that could have been true in the past.

Regular marijuana use has been linked to memory and relationship problems, poor mental and physical health, and a general sense of apathy. Short-term effects include:

• Learning, attention, and memory problems
• Distorted perception (sights, sounds, time, touch)
• Poor coordination
• Increased heart rate
• Anxiety or paranoia
• Psychosis (not common)

Some longer-term effects of marijuana use include:

• Risk of marijuana addiction
• Long-term learning and memory problems if heavy use begins during youth
• Risk for chronic cough, bronchitis
• Risk of schizophrenia in some people with higher genetic risk
• In rare cases, risk of recurrent episodes of severe nausea and vomiting

Someone who smokes marijuana regularly may have many of the same breathing and lung problems as people who smoke tobacco. For example, marijuana smokers can develop a daily cough or have a higher chance of getting a lung infection. Like tobacco smoke, marijuana smoke has a toxic mix of gases and tiny particles that can harm the lungs. Although we’re still learning if marijuana causes lung cancer, many people who smoke marijuana also smoke cigarettes, which do cause cancer. Also, smoking marijuana can make it harder to quit smoking cigarettes.

When you use marijuana you may think about the high you experience as a result, which can often include everything from paranoia to uncontrollable fits of laughter, but beyond the high that comes with the use of marijuana, what are the effects of this drug on the brain in the long-term?

To put it simply, scientists aren’t fully aware of exactly what the relationship between marijuana and the brain are in the long-term. Some studies, primarily in animals, have shown that when people have exposure to THC which is the psychoactive component of marijuana, it can cause changes in cognition and memory later on.

While there are no reports of someone dying directly from marijuana use, it can still cause serious health problems. Some people have psychotic reactions that can lead to dangerous behaviours. Others may have uncomfortable side effects from marijuana, such as shaking, leading them to seek care in an emergency room.

For a no obligation conversation with one of our professionals, speak with an expert today.

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