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Despite its ongoing legalization across the country, marijuana abuse rarely sees much media coverage. Instead, more widespread and damaging substance use disorders like the opioid epidemic and meth addiction have gotten much of the headlines nationwide. Yet, the majority of drug-related arrests have to do with marijuana possession, use, and sale. While many states have legalized marijuana is for medicinal purposes, and others have decriminalized it, it still has an outsized impact. Therefore, it’s important to understand how marijuana can affect the body and mind, its social impacts, and how it can be abused. While not a conventionally addictive substance, individuals can abuse marijuana leading to psychological dependence and physical health issues.
Fortunately, Harmony Hills has vast experience treating marijuana abuse. Our substance abuse treatment programs are extensive, and our marijuana addiction treatment center can help those struggling with the drug heal and recover.
Marijuana is known by many names, including loud, pot, grass, chronic, and bud. Each generation creates its own nickname for the substance, and it becomes evident how long marijuana has been around.
Marijuana is a psychoactive drug that is derived from the cannabis plant. It can be used for medicinal or recreational reasons. The ingredient that makes it psychoactive is known as tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. There are more than 483 chemical compounds within the plant, most of which have still not been identified.
The method of administration can determine how long it takes for the effects to take place. Smoking marijuana can produce immediate consequences. When someone ingests marijuana in an edible form, it will take much longer due to the digestion process before entering the bloodstream.
When THC interacts with the neurons in the brain, it causes a rush of dopamine or the “feel-good” chemical. As a result, the brain will release higher dopamine levels disproportionate to what natural stimuli would produce.
Marijuana produces common effects such as a relaxed and euphoric sensation. It can also cause a distorted perception in time, increased appetite, and heightened senses. However, that does not mean it will not produce adverse effects as well. Some users report experiencing an increase in anxiety, paranoia, unpredictable mood changes, and fear. The physical effects may include dizziness, dry mouth, bloodshot eyes, and shallow breathing.
When someone has been using marijuana, it will remain in their system for up to three days. However, when cannabis is used frequently or daily, it can stay in the system for more than a week. For heavy marijuana users, the drug can remain present for up to four weeks.
While marijuana can’t cause physical dependency like other substances, it can lead to addiction. This sort of addiction is psychological or process addiction. When someone enters our marijuana addiction treatment center at Harmony Hills, they will find they have a wide range of therapies to choose from to help them. Marijuana addiction is typically a result of some underlying mental health issue, so therapy is often the best way to discover how the addiction arose and address it. Some of our therapy programs include:
As you would expect with any drug addiction, quitting marijuana after prolonged exposure will result in adverse side effects, including irritability, anxiety, drowsiness, loss of appetite, and losing weight. The cravings that marijuana users will experience can cause them to relapse.
The first step is medical detoxification for many drugs, which involves removing foreign substances from your body. If you have been using marijuana, you may not need to go through detox. However, if you have been using other drugs in conjunction with cannabis, you may need detox to move forward in your recovery.
The next step in treatment will depend on the severity of your addiction, and it may involve living onsite at a residential treatment center for anywhere from 30 to 90 days. It will help you get to the root of your addiction and practice methods that help you overcome your triggers. In addition, counselors and therapists will help to identify the thoughts that led you to addiction in the first place.
After residential, you may transfer into an outpatient center, which allows you to go home while still being treated with therapy and group sessions.
Individuals struggling with drug or alcohol addiction need professional support to heal from the disease properly. Our substance abuse treatment programs cover a wide range of dependencies, such as: