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Marijuana has become legal in many states for medical needs, and a handful of states have even legalized it fully. This has led some to believe that marijuana has no negative side effects and that it’s not addictive. This isn’t true. Marijuana may be legalized, but just like many legal medications, it’s possible to become addicted to it. When abused, marijuana has a number of side effects and can lead down the same path as any drug addiction. If you know someone who is abusing marijuana, please reach out to us today. Good Landing Recovery offers marijuana addiction treatment services to those who have begun abusing this drug.
To understand how marijuana can be addictive, you need to understand how it affects the brain and body. It’s also helpful to understand how these effects can be helpful to some and where the line between using marijuana responsibly and addictive lies.
The active ingredient in marijuana that makes people high is called THC. When a person smokes marijuana, THC enters the lungs and quickly passes into the bloodstream. From there, it’s carried to the brain and other parts of the body. THC attaches to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. Normally, these receptors are activated by naturally-produced chemicals. The body produces these chemicals to help the brain function and develop correctly. However, the amount produced is much less than the amount of THC ingested from marijuana.
While many people do smoke marijuana, some choose to eat it. It still produces the same effect, although it takes longer to get into the bloodstream from the stomach.
Once THC has bonded with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, the user will start feeling its effects. Most of these receptors are found in areas of the brain connected with perception, coordination, thinking, memory, and pleasure. When they’re overstimulated by high amounts of THC, the user enters an altered state of perception and feeling. When high, users may experience the following:
According to a number of studies, abusing marijuana by using it daily or by using high amounts of it can lead to physical and mental health issues. It can also result in users getting less satisfaction from any other activity besides getting high. The end result is similar to other addictions in that the user begins focusing solely on chasing the high and neglects school, work, hobbies, and relationships.
There are some specific health risks that marijuana users may experience:
There are other types of risks that come from abusing marijuana, and these risks aren’t limited to those who are addicted to the substance. Using marijuana irresponsibly can be just as dangerous. For example, someone who gets high and then drives may not have the reaction time needed to prevent an accident. A parent who smokes marijuana may not recognize that their child is in need of help until it’s too late. Marijuana has also been linked to depression, anxiety, and a general lack of motivation.
It’s important to note the difference between THC and CBD now that CBD is so widely available. Both are naturally found in marijuana plants, but they don’t have the same properties. THC is what creates the “high” effect. CBD, on the other hand, does not give users the euphoric highs that make marijuana potentially addictive. It does, however, have many of the medicinal benefits as marijuana. If you know someone using CBD oil, know that they’re not getting high, nor are they becoming addicted to marijuana. Overall, CBD is a safer alternative to medical marijuana with some, though fewer, side effects.
If you know someone who has begun abusing marijuana, they need to get marijuana addiction treatment. If someone exhibits some of the following, they’re likely addicted to marijuana:
When a patient comes to Good Landing for treatment, we first sit down with them and discuss their marijuana use. We want to know how long they’ve used the drug, why they started using it, and how often they use it. This gives us a look at their history with marijuana and how it has affected their lives.
Marijuana addiction treatment is similar to other drug rehab. At Good Landing Recovery, we have a holistic, faith-based approach that includes medically proven therapies. Sometimes, those who are abusing marijuana are not fully addicted, but still need help controlling their habit. For these individuals, outpatient rehab is often the solution. They’re often psychologically addicted. Their body doesn’t physically crave marijuana, but they mentally believe they need it to function. We will help them learn healthy coping mechanisms to overcome this type of addiction.
For those who are addicted, partial or full in-patient therapy is recommended. While only a small percentage of marijuana users do develop physical addiction, it happens. This type of addiction is just as strong as an addiction to heroin, cocaine, and other hard drugs. When these users stop using marijuana, they experience withdrawal. We will work with them to deal with these symptoms and overcome their addiction.
We’re here to help anyone overcome the psychological or physical marijuana addiction they’ve developed. If you or a loved one are abusing or addicted to marijuana, please reach out to Good Landing today. We will help you get control of your life back from this addiction.
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These services provided encompass a wide variety of therapeutic settings and intervention modalities.