Marijuana Addiction - Treatment and Rehabilitation
Marijuana is the common name for a number of plants in the cannabis genus including sativa, indica, and ruderalis. The drug is used around the world due to its psychoactive properties.
The legalization of marijuana in Canada has made the use of the drug more socially acceptable. Marijuana dependence is real. We offer personalized Marijuana Addiction Treatment Programs.
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Medical and Clinical Content Verified By Our Advisory Board
Dr. Sanjay Acharya
Chief Of Staff – Queensway Carleton Hospital
Robin A. Haslam
D (Aw) CCAC ICADC RSAE ISP EFAP (Provider) Registered
Treating Marijuana Dependence
Like alcohol, marijuana use on its own is not immediately addictive. Marijuana can however have serious effects such as depression, memory issues, paranoia and other dependence issues. Marijuana in some individuals can be addictive.
The signs of marijuana dependence vary. If you are concerned about yourself a friend or family member we are here to help.
When does use turn into addiction?
If you feel that you “need” cannabis or if you experience withdrawal when you don’t then you might have marijuana dependence.
Some of the withdrawal symptoms when you stop include:
- Reduced appetite
- Increased irritability or change in mood
- Anxiety or the feeling of being restless
- Sleep issues
Overuse of marijuana can be considered an addiction when you can not stop using. If the use of cannabis affects your job or relationships this is also another possible sign. Close to ten percent of individuals who use marijuana on a regular basis may become addicted.
Symptoms Of Marijuana Addiction
While Marijuana abuse can be difficult to identify, the following are listed behavioral and personality changes of marijuana addiction:
- Increased blood pressure and heart beat
- Impaired coordination
- Impaired verbal and mental fluidity
- Learning and memory difficulties
- Anxiety, and Paranoia
- Loss of control
- Bloodshot eyes
- Dry mouth and dehydration
Marijuana’s major component is known as THC, this compound is psychoactive and is subject to rapid tolerance. It also contains nonpsychactive components such as CBD which has medical benefits. While this substance has therapeutic use cases, it can be very addictive and should not be treated as a panacea.
The abuse of Marijuana can be different between individuals, however possible side effects include changes in: social behavior, memory, and attitude/mood. Long term marijuana abuse can lead to addiction, which exhibits in compulsive drug seeking habits. Long term users report irritability, anxiety, drug cravings, decreased appetite, depression, and sleeplessness during cessation.
Marijuana usage over a long time is recognized to cause tolerance and withdrawal by the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
Marijuana Use and Youth
In the wake of legalization in Canada there have been many studies on the impact of Cannabis on our youth. One of those studies was entitled The Effects of Cannabis Use during Adolescence highlights the risks. These include:
- Impact on behaviour and brain development.
- Mental health issues that occur as a result of early marijuana use.
- Dependence and addiction to cannabis over the long term.
Our customized treatment plans for individuals addicted to Marijuana include:
- Medically Supervised Detoxification
- Recreation Programs
- Holistic treatment approaches (inc. Yoga, Meditation)
- Art and Music therapy
- Relapse prevention information
- Life management
- Counselling for individuals, groups, and families
- Nutritional and dietary counselling
- Physical fitness and personal training
- Aftercare treatment solutions
Getting Treatment for a Marijuana Addiction
With the recent legalization of marijuana, use is up drastically among youths and adults. Though marijuana is not seen as an addictive substance, there are people who can become addicted to marijuana and who may need help if they decide to stop taking it. Those who need help may want to consider a treatment program designed specifically to help with marijuana addiction.
Challenging the Common Thoughts Around Marijuana
It’s commonly thought that marijuana is not addictive and is not harmful or deadly. However, as marijuana use increases, more studies are being done into how it impacts a person’s brain, whether it can be addictive, and whether it can be harmful or deadly to use marijuana on a regular basis. These studies are being done on the various ways to take marijuana, from smoking to edibles, and are taking into account the rising potency in the marijuana strains available today.
Physical Versus Psychological Addiction
When people talk about addiction, it’s important to differentiate between physical addiction and psychological addiction. The physical addiction can be faster to treat, but the psychological addiction may need to be the focus on treatment as this is more likely to lead to a relapse. When someone is physically addicted, they may experience tolerance and withdrawal.
Tolerance is where the body adapts to the presence of the drugs, diminishing the effects so the person needs more to get the same feeling from them. Withdrawal is where the person experiences undesirable symptoms if they discontinue using the drug. Psychological addiction is the onset of emotional symptoms when the person stops taking the drugs.
Why It Is Possible to Become Addicted to Marijuana?
Marijuana addiction may not be as severe as other types of drugs, but around 10% of people who take marijuana do become addicted to it. They may suffer because of marijuana use or feel as if they need it when they stop taking it for a while. This can culminate in reduced appetite, feelings of anxiety, sleep issues, and more. When they’re taking marijuana, they may end up with increased blood pressure, impaired coordination, memory issues, and anxiety or paranoia. These are all signs that marijuana is impacting them and may need to be avoided, but the psychological addiction to the substance may make it difficult for them to stop.
Who is Likely to Become Addicted to Marijuana?
Typically, around 10% of people who smoke marijuana will become addicted to it. Males are more likely to become addicted than females. When the person starts using marijuana as a teen, the percentage rises to around 17%. It’s hard to tell who can become addicted to marijuana because it can impact anyone, male or female, at any age. Those who smoke or take marijuana more frequently are at a higher risk of becoming addicted and may find it’s more difficult for them to stop if marijuana use starts to impact their daily life.
Why are More People Showing Signs of Addiction?
Signs of addiction are more prominently seen today for a few different reasons. The main one is the legalization of marijuana. Now that it is no longer illegal in many areas, more people are starting to take marijuana on a regular basis. With more people taking it, there are more people that are becoming addicted. Even though it’s a small percentage, the large base of users means more people will be addicted.
On top of this, marijuana is becoming more potent. In the 1990s, THC levels from confiscated marijuana were around 3.8%. This means, out of the section of marijuana tested, 3.8% of it was THC, the substance in marijuana that causes the high feeling. Today, the percentage of THC in marijuana extracts can be up to 50%, and some strains have an 80% potency. This much higher potency means individuals are getting used to a much higher amount in their system at one time, leading to the potential for their tolerance to increase and for them to feel like they need the marijuana if they decide to quit.
Can Marijuana Lead to Death or Illnesses?
The common belief is that marijuana is not harmful and cannot lead to death. However, since the legalization of marijuana in Canada, hospital stays directly related to marijuana use have increased. People do end up in the hospital because of marijuana-related disorders such as cardiovascular or mental health issues. It is also estimated that those who are under the influence of marijuana when they are in a vehicle accident are around 2 to 3 times more likely to be seriously injured or killed in the car accident. For 2012, it is estimated that around 75 deaths due to car accidents were caused by marijuana use before getting into the vehicle or while driving. Cannabis use before or while driving also led to 4,407 injuries in the same year.
Is Entering a Treatment Program Necessary?
When someone feels they need to continue to take marijuana or an extract, even though it has impacted their life negatively and they know they need to stop, they may be addicted. In these cases, a treatment program can help them learn how to get away from marijuana use and get to where they can live without feeling the need to smoke. Treatment doesn’t focus solely on marijuana use, so the person can get the full help they need to recover and avoid marijuana in the future. Though there is a low percentage of people who will become addicted to marijuana, this is the best way for them to get the help they need and avoid the complications that can occur from prolonged marijuana use and addiction.
If you’re addicted to marijuana or you feel you might be, take the time to get the help you need today. While marijuana use is generally deemed safe, there are risks with continued and frequent marijuana use. Make sure you can get the help you need today to avoid the substance so you can improve your life and work on living your best life without the complications an addiction can cause.
Our marijuana treatment program is designed for each client’s specific needs. Our medical and therapeutic professionals will assess individual requirements and build a comprehensive marijuana addiction treatment plan.
Get the help you need!
The impact of cannabis addiction can be devastating. Abuse of marijuana can lead to many mental, emotional and physical issues especially in those under the age of 25. Severe dependence leads to family, financial and social impacts that can destroy lives. There is hope, our mission is to lives and create futures for our clients. We can help you with your marijuana addiction.
1000 Islands Wellness & Treatment Centre can help!