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addicted to marijuana

Can You Get Addicted to Marijuana?

Can You Get Addicted to Marijuana?

When a person thinks about substance abuse and addiction, the idea of someone who addicted to marijuana is usually not the first thing that comes to mind. Substances such as heroin, alcohol, cocaine, and opioids are often what a person brings to mind when they hear the words “drug addiction”. However, despite the recent legalization and normalization of marijuana as a socially acceptable substance, it doesn’t take away from the fact that a person can still become addicted to marijuana.

What Does an Addiction to Marijuana Look Like?

The notion that someone can become seriously addicted to marijuana may seem silly to many individuals, as the substance is often viewed as a harmless substance in relation to harder drugs, such as heroin or cocaine. However, the fact that it’s practically impossible to experience a lethal overdose from marijuana doesn’t mean it’s impossible to develop a serious dependence which may require professional help.

Although marijuana has become a more mainstream substance that has lost much of its taboo status, it doesn’t take away from the fact that marijuana can still be a substance which people can become dependent upon. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately 30 percent of marijuana users have some degree of marijuana use disorder. For those individuals who use the substance before the age of 18, the risk of developing a dependence disorder is four to seven times more likely. This fact highlights the risks for individuals who decide to use marijuana before they reach adulthood.

Someone who is addicted to marijuana is likely to experience some level of withdrawal symptoms when they are not under the influence of the drug. These symptoms can be things such as increased irritability, decreased appetite, difficulties with sleep, and other forms of physical discomfort as a result of not using marijuana. Dependence occurs when the brain begins to adapt to large amounts of marijuana being consumed, which reduces the amount the of endocannabinoid neurotransmitters produced in the body.

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How Would I Know I’m Addicted to Marijuana?

A person will know they are addicted to marijuana when they begin to rely on the substance in order to function on a day-to-day basis. If a person believes they are incapable of facing normal, everyday tasks without being under the influence of marijuana, it is a likely indication that they are dependent upon this substance. The number of people with some form of a marijuana use disorder has risen in recent years, perhaps in large part due to the increased availability and new legal status in many states. In 2015, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, there were approximately 4 million individuals in the United States with a marijuana use disorder.

The Similarities Between Marijuana Addiction and Other Forms of Substance Dependence

Many people tend to brush off the idea that being addicted to marijuana can be anywhere close to having a dependence to things such as opioids or heroin, but there are certainly a few similarities to become aware of. Much like how a person may be prescribed opioids for pain and become addicted to this substance, an individual may end up finding themselves addicted to marijuana after they began to use the drug for medicinal reasons. Individuals often begin using marijuana for its medicinal benefits, but may end up abusing the substance purely to get high.

Like many other forms of serious addiction, a dependence on marijuana can progress from a harmless and innocent attempt at treating a specific condition to becoming an unhealthy habit that is hard to avoid. A person may believe they are in control of their use and can stop at any time, but in reality they may be unable to stop without experiencing some level of withdrawal. A marijuana addiction can impact many facets of a person’s life and compound other difficult areas in one’s life. Without a doubt, an addiction to marijuana is an unfortunate reality which can become a serious problem if not properly addressed.

Getting Help for Marijuana Addiction or Dependence

Overcoming an addiction to marijuana can feel incredibly challenging, especially if you’re going it alone without any outside support. If you’re seeking support to make this important self-transformation a reality and are looking for an excellent addiction treatment center, contact Desert Cove Recovery today. Our trusted team will help guide you through the rehab process, working side-by-side with you to create a treatment plan that works. We can help you live a life free from addiction and empower you to become your best self.


Unspoken Dangers of Legal Marijuana

ediblesEdible marijuana has become one of the most popular ways to consume the drug in the states that have legalized it. Licensed retailers are creating more and more snacks laced with marijuana. The trend has become so popular in Colorado, for example, that many companies are struggling to keep up with the demand, and profits are taking precedent over health.

In addition to creating foods that are trying appeal to a broad (and younger) audience, manufacturers are also using potent strands of THC, therefore making the edibles extremely strong and potentially dangerous.

“What we’re seeing with edibles is that effect is delayed for approximately 30 minutes, depending on the person. People get impatient for the effect and will take more, and then the symptoms are more pronounced than what they were expecting,” explained Al Bronstein, a doctor at the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center.

In locations where recreational marijuana is legal, a person can buy as much marijuana snacks as they want. There is no limit to the amount of marijuana a person is allowed to consume. Some people traveling through also decide to try the confections, thinking that they’re more of a novelty. Being unaccustomed to marijuana edibles, they are likely unaware of the delayed effect and the potency and wind up ingesting more of the drug than they anticipated.

At least one incident where marijuana edibles seem to have played a role in a death occurred in March 2014. The coroner’s office ruled that the death of a college student who fell from a window was caused, in part, by too many marijuana snacks.

More recently, a mother who lost her son to suicide is convinced that marijuana edibles played a large role in her son’s death. She believes that he ate too much of the snacks and became overwhelmed. Unable to handle the high and being overwhelmed with different things going on in his life, he shot himself.

As the culture leans more towards the recreational use of marijuana, it is vital that people understand that even if they buy pot legally, it is still a drug with potentially powerful side effects, even in the form of a cupcake or a brownie. The nation should be watching places like Colorado and Washington closely to see the longer-term effects on society before others start trying to legalize the drug for wider use.