Marijuana Use and Dependency
Marijuana is a drug that is commonly abused throughout the U.S. because of its mind-altering effects. While many states have legalized marijuana for medicinal use, most people use the drug casually as a way to experience the euphoria produced by THC which is the main chemical found in Cannabis plants. Marijuana can be consumed by smoking it or ingesting it in the form of food containing THC. The chemicals in marijuana take effect very soon after consuming it as THC quickly enters the bloodstream. Most people begin to feel disoriented and struggle to think clearly once they start to experience the “high” of marijuana. Depending on how much they have taken they could also experience a rapid heartbeat and feelings of paranoia or panic. Most people have a lack of coordination after consuming marijuana and lose their normal perception of time.
Effects of Marijuana Abuse
Using marijuana may seem harmless for most people but there is potential for abuse and even psychological addiction in some individuals. Like many drugs, marijuana can cause changes in the brain that can lead to brain damage, mental health problems and psychological dependency on the drug to function. Frequent marijuana use can cause young people to lose IQ points they are never able to regain. Other studies have linked heavy marijuana abuse to the development of brain abnormalities and in some cases symptoms of psychosis. Marijuana use can be especially dangerous for people who are already dealing with mental health issues. For people with issues of depression, marijuana can actually worsen their symptoms of anxiety and in some cases it can lead to panic attacks. Even for people without pre-existing mental health issues, long-term heavy marijuana use can cause feelings of depression, anxiety and paranoia while also putting them at higher risk for developing schizophrenia.
Addiction to Marijuana
While the chemicals in marijuana are not known to cause physical addiction there is a potential for people to develop a psychological dependency because of their own emotional issues. Marijuana addiction is rare but it can be a reality for people who begin to rely on the drug to feel happy or use it to control their emotions. It is estimated that about 9 percent of marijuana users become dependent on the drug to function in their daily life. Dependency is more likely to be an issue among younger users but people with emotional instability or mental health issues may also become addicted to marijuana. The drug is known to cause mild withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, mood swings, difficulty sleeping, decreased appetite, cravings, restlessness and other types of physical discomfort that can last up to two weeks. The discomfort of these symptoms can cause people to want to keep using the drug to avoid experiencing withdrawal. This can lead to a cycle that keeps them using marijuana on a regular basis. Over time they may need more and more of the drug to experience the same effects which is how tolerance develops. Withdrawal symptoms and tolerance are two of the key elements of an addiction.
Frequent marijuana abuse can take its toll on a person’s physical and mental health over time. If you want to escape the cycle of marijuana use then Dr. Paul’s By The Sea can provide you with the help that you need. Addiction recovery treatment can be the answer to help people deal with the emotional issues that are often at the core of their substance abuse. Our treatment facility can also give you the assistance you need with any mental health problems that might be involved with your marijuana addiction. Treatment can bring you to better health and positivity through living sober.