What was considered an illicit drug in the past is quickly joining the ranks of alcohol as a legal and harmless drug. For those who start experiencing the negative effects of use, marijuana rehab offers a path out of addiction.
Marijuana has been produced, sold, and used illegally for years as a way to get high. The dangers of alcohol misuse and addiction are well-established. Its use has led to many illnesses and deaths in one way or another throughout history. Now, the legalization of marijuana threatens to lead many users in the same direction.
Many experts in drug rehab know that marijuana use is often the introduction to more dangerous drugs. They also know that it isn't as safe as many proponents believe it is. Although it doesn't carry the same level of risk as some of the opioids being produced and sold on the streets today, marijuana does pose a risk of misuse, addiction, and even overdose.
Marijuana, cannabis, pot, Mary Jane, and reefer are just a few of the names given to this popular weed. But it isn't just its recreational use that has made it such a popular choice. It's also touted for its medical benefits, particularly as a pain killer.
To date, thirty-three states and the District of Columbia have adopted laws legalizing marijuana in some form. Of that number, ten have broad laws allowing the recreational use of pot including Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, Alaska, Michigan, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Maine. The laws differ among the states, including restrictions on how the pot can be obtained, how much a person is allowed to have available, and in what form.
The legalization of pot has led to many people trying the drug for the first time. For long-time users, getting the drug legally reduces the worry, perhaps leading to more frequent use. For those with painful illnesses, marijuana promises relief without the side effects associated with strong medications. In spite of its legalization, users shouldn't ignore the addictive potential of marijuana. Although many people use it occasionally without any negative effects, others aren't as lucky. Frequent use increases your likeliness of developing marijuana use disorder, followed by addiction.
Why You Need to Know the Risks of Using Marijuana
Legalization of marijuana shouldn't be a 'free pass' to use the drug in any way that you want. Virtually no drug comes without some potential side effects or risks. Even something as simple as aspirin can have a negative impact on your body. While the pain medication doesn't always cause side effects, it can cause a rash, abdominal pain, gastrointestinal ulcerations, drowsiness, headache, and other symptoms in some people.
Like any other drug, marijuana use comes with some potential side effects. The material below will provide you with an understanding of those risks, including the potential for addiction. If you've never used marijuana, it will help you decide if it's the right choice for you. If you're already struggling with marijuana use disorder or addiction, it will help you understand the importance of marijuana rehab.
What Is Marijuana?
Marijuana is a drug derived from the dried leaves, flowers, stem, and seeds of the Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa plant. It contains more than 100 chemicals and cannabinoids, each with a different impact on the human body. THC (Delta-9-terrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are the most important chemicals in marijuana for recreational users. THC is the ingredient that causes the characteristic high users are looking for.
Most people refer to marijuana that is used for medical purposes as 'medical marijuana' or 'legal cannabis.' The drug used illegally for recreational use has been around a lot longer. Over the years, it has earned a broad range of nicknames including:
- Mary Jane
- Hash Oil
Most people recognize pot for its use as a hand-rolled cigarette, commonly called a joint. Devoted users often purchased pipes, or bongs, for smoking the plants instead of rolling them. Now that pot is legal in so many areas, it comes in more forms than ever. Edibles are especially popular, including foods like brownies and cookies made with cannabis-infused butter.
Other popular forms of marijuana include hash oil, honey oil, coconut oil, wax, and shatter, a hard, amber-colored solid. It can be smoked, consumed, or rubbed on the skin and absorbed. Marijuana can even be brewed and consumed as a tea.
When used for medical purposes, marijuana is often prescribed for pain relief, to control nausea, stimulate appetite, or reduce anxiety. Users might mix the marijuana with other drugs or alcohol. Combining the pot with anti-inflammatory drugs, diabetic drugs, and opioids makes it more potent for better relief from their symptoms. It also makes it more addictive.
Medical marijuana is prescribed more often for certain medical conditions than others. Doctors sometimes prescribe it to treat health conditions like mental health disorders, HIV, glaucoma, Parkinson's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, epilepsy, or cachexia (weakness and wasting of the body due to chronic illness.) Other times it is used to treat symptoms of diseases or conditions, such as pain or nausea. For example, a doctor might prescribe marijuana to kill cancer cells and slow tumor growth in a cancer patient. The same patient might use marijuana to control nausea and vomiting caused by cancer drugs.
Many of marijuana's supposed medical uses are unproven. A lot of what we know about its recreational use has been passed down by illegal users through the years. Now that more than half of the states have legalization in some form, there's an increased interest in research. Only now is research looking into the medical claims associated with marijuana as a drug. Although a lot is still unknown, or at the very least unproven about the effects of marijuana, there are some things that we know.
Is Marijuana Addictive?
In spite of the ongoing debate over whether marijuana is addictive, current statistics show that, for a portion of users, it can be. Nearly one-third of the people who use marijuana develop an addiction for it.
For marijuana to take effect, the THC in the drug is passed from the lungs into the bloodstream. From there, it travels to the brain, activating the brain's reward system. This creates the 'high' that recreational users want. Using marijuana makes you feel good. That's why users want to repeat their experience, leading to a psychological addiction to the drug.
People develop a physical addiction to marijuana when it changes the way your brain works. The euphoria it produces comes from the marijuana and not from the normal activity of the person's brain. The brain stops producing the neurotransmitters that are responsible for a good mood because the drug is working in its place.
People with marijuana use disorders experience withdrawal symptoms when they don't use marijuana. When they go from using the drug frequently to stopping, they experience a range of symptoms including:
- Difficulty Sleeping
- Mood Swings
- Other Forms of Physical Discomfort
These withdrawal symptoms might last up to two weeks.
Marijuana Addiction Statistics
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, nearly 4 million people in the U.S. met the diagnostic criteria for a marijuana use disorder in 2015. Those who started before the age of 18 years are between four and seven times more likely to develop a marijuana use disorder than those who began using it as adults.
Marijuana Addiction Risks
Marijuana is a mind-altering drug that has multiple effects on the body and mind. The more a person uses marijuana, the more likely they are to change priorities in their behaviors and social activities. They might have problems performing at work or school. Their social interactions change and sometimes their behaviors lead to legal problems.
Frequent marijuana use can impact a person's physical and cognitive abilities. Any or all of these changes can have a negative impact on every aspect of their lives.
Signs of Marijuana Addiction
The high produced by marijuana might last no more than a few minutes but it is intense enough to make using pot a pleasurable experience the person wants to repeat. The person might use marijuana to relax and relieve anxiety. When they use it frequently, dependence develops. They might feel as though they can't face stressful situations without using the drug first.
Since it acts on both the body and brain, marijuana causes both physical and psychological symptoms.
– Physical Symptoms
- Slowed Breathing
- Bloodshot Eyes
- Hypotension and Dizziness
- Heightened Senses
- Slow Reaction
- Increased Appetite
– Psychological Symptoms
- Mood Swings
- Panic Attacks
Side Effects of Marijuana Addiction
Many people who become addicted to marijuana never realize the need for marijuana rehab. They might begin using it thinking they are safe from misuse and addiction. If they feel the need to use more, they don't know they are developing an addiction. They think it is safe and poses no risk to their health or their life. But there are also some side effects of marijuana addiction that can lead to long-term problems for medical or recreational users.
Side Effects of Marijuana Addiction
Some people use marijuana frequently. More consistent use leads to marijuana use disorder, addiction, and a higher potential for side effects. Some of the most common side effects include:
– A Drop in IQ
– Mental Health Disorders
– Chronic Cough
– Repeated Chest Colds
– Higher Risk of Addiction
– Marijuana Overdose
Many people don't realize the potential for marijuana overdose. But when you depend on marijuana to help you relax or to alleviate pain, you might develop cannabis use disorder (CUD.) CUD comes from repeated use that is usually compulsive. The person is no longer able to overcome their need to use it and they develop a tolerance to the drug. It takes more of the drug to achieve the same euphoric feelings they've experienced before. Most of the time, this condition occurs from frequent use of marijuana edibles like cookies and brownies.
Symptoms of CUD include:
- Feeling of Unease
- Extreme Hallucinations
- Extreme Paranoia
If you experience any of the symptoms of CUD, contact Satori Recovery. An experienced marijuana rehab center can help you safely recover from your addiction.
Marijuana Withdrawal and Detox
All types of rehab begin with the detox process. As with any addictive substance, detox from marijuana is an uncomfortable and sometimes painful process. Many people who attempt to detox on their own end up returning to their drug use rather than withstanding the painful symptoms of detox.
The withdrawal symptoms that occur during detox depend on the specific drug. Some of the symptoms associated with marijuana withdrawal are:
- Extreme Sweating
- Stomach Pain
- Difficulty Sleeping
Marijuana Detox Process
Detox is the initial phase of an effective marijuana rehab program. Eliminating marijuana from your body helps you move on to a life without drug dependence. The severity of withdrawal symptoms varies among users so you should never try to undergo detoxification on your own at home. At the very least, have someone you trust watching over you and always consult a physician before you take any medications.
A better alternative is to enroll in a marijuana rehab center where you undergo a treatment process that offers 24/7 medical supervision. A rehab specialist will take you through the evaluation, detoxification, and aftercare planning to ensure your treatment is safe and long-lasting.
Satori Marijuana Rehab Program
Satori offers an inpatient marijuana rehab program that implements individual therapy, group therapy, adventure therapy meditation, exercise, and nutritional guidance. Each guest follows a personalized treatment plan to help address the root cause of their addiction. Round the clock medical supervision helps reduce the risk from withdrawal symptoms and ensures you get through the detox phase successfully. Once your body is free from the influence of marijuana, you can start working towards a healthier, addiction-free future.
Don't fail to get the help you need based on myths that marijuana is a harmless, non-addictive drug. It has a serious impact on your body and mind. Detoxing isn't something you should try to achieve on your own. Contact Satori Recovery to learn more about our marijuana rehab program. We offer professional services in a safe and comfortable environment.