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Signs, Symptoms & Treatment

Marijuana Addiction

An Overview of

Marijuana Addiction in America

Marijuana refers to the dried leaves, stems and flowers of the Cannabis plant.  The Cannabis plant contains a mind-altering chemical called THC.  Marijuana can be ingested by smoking with hand rolled papers, pipes and bongs. It is also commonly used in vaping, oils and edibles such as brownies, cookies, gummies, energy drinks and just about any other food groups. 

It is known by over a 100 nicknames, including: weed, herb, pot, grass, bud, ganja, and Mary Jane.

Because marijuana is now legal in some states for medical or even recreational uses, it is mistakenly considered to be a safe and an accepted way of relaxing.  The truth is, just because it has become legal in some places does not mean that it is safe.  Marijuana causes many unwanted side effects and can lead to mental and physical health disorders and addiction.

Research has shown that the active ingredient (THC) in marijuana can induce symptoms of psychosis in individuals that have had no previous mental health issues and can worsen psychotic symptoms in individuals who already may experience them. THC alters the brain’s levels of neurotransmitter dopamine which acts against depression and anxiety.

THC levels today are unprecedentedly high compared to the THC levels of marijuana back in the 60’s through the 90’s. Overuse of THC may severely impact an individual’s level of motivation, ability to hold a job and stay in college.

Because marijuana is so widely-used, many teens and young adults don’t view using weed as a problem, making it more difficult for these individuals to see the need for seeking treatment.

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Is Weed Really Addictive?

Marijuana Facts & Statistics

Studies have shown that Marijuana use is widespread among America’s youth. More than 11.8 million young adults used marijuana in the past year.  And with the rise in popularity of vaping, nearly 4% of 12th graders admit to vaping THC daily. 

Marijuana over activates parts of the brain, causing the “high” that people feel. Other effects include:

  • Altered physical senses 
  • Warped sense of time
  • Changes in mood
  • Impaired body movement
  • Difficulty with thinking and problem-solving
  • Impaired memory
  • Hallucinations (when taken in high doses)
  • Delusions (when taken in high doses)
  • Psychosis (risk is highest with regular use of high potency marijuana)
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How to Know if someone is addicted to marijuana?

Signs & Symptoms of Marijuana Abuse

Despite its legalization, many harmful side effects can result from chronic Marijuana use, such as:

Physical Signs

  • Breathing problems
  • Increased heart rate
  • Problems with child development during and after pregnancy
  • Nausea and vomiting

Mental Signs

  • Temporary hallucinations and paranoia
  • Amplified schizophrenia symptoms
  • Depression 
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts

Marijuana abuse can develop into an addiction.  Research suggests that between 9 and 30 percent of those who use marijuana may develop an addiction. Those who begin using marijuana before age 18 are four to seven times more likely than adults to develop an addiction.

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How to Overcome Marijuana Addiction

Marijuana Abuse Treatment Options in Los Angeles

Giving up marijuana use can be very challenging, given its rising social acceptance.  But if you have tried to quit on your own and find yourself unable to stop, you may need help for your addiction.  A treatment center may be the best place of respite to help you kick your habit permanently. 

In 2015, about 4.0 million people in the United States met the diagnostic criteria for a marijuana use disorder. 138,000 voluntarily sought treatment for their marijuana use.

Many misconceptions exist about the safety of marijuana use, but in reality, an addict will who stops their marijuana use may experience the following withdrawal symptoms

  • Increased irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Cravings
  • Depression
  • Restlessness
  • Agitation
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Reduced appetite or weight loss
  • Mood swings
  • Inability to experience pleasure

Currently, there are no approved medications for the treatment of marijuana addiction. However, the following behavioral treatments have been successful:

Cognitive-behavioral therapy

Teaching people strategies to identify and correct problematic behaviors in order to improve self-control, stop drug use.

Contingency management

A therapeutic management method based on frequent monitoring of the target behavior and the provision (or removal) of tangible, positive rewards when the target behavior occurs (or does not).

Motivational enhancement therapy

A form of intervention designed to produce rapid, internally motivated change; the therapy does not attempt to treat the person, but rather mobilize his or her own internal resources for change and engagement in treatment.

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Quit Abusing Marijuana for Good

Recovery Happens at Our Los Angeles
Marijuana Addiction Treatment Center

Seeking help through treatment at Starbridge Recovery can be your path to freedom from the constant cravings to use Marijuana. We teach people who are struggling with marijuana addiction how to get over the emotional and physical hurdles of quitting marijuana. Our Marijuana Treatment Center in Los Angeles includes therapists who can coach patients through rough days and support groups that can provide comfort and lasting care. 

Deciding that you are ready to stop using is a big step and the options can seem overwhelming.  We offer free consultations to help decide if our luxury treatment facility is right for you.  Our dedicated and passionate staff are here to share our expertise and help you achieve the mental and physical health you desire.  Retreat to our state of the art facility where we will give you the individualized attention you need to finally experience lasting recovery. 

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