Marijuana is Addictive and Causes Several Mental and Physical Health Problems

Marijuana is a drug that comprises of the dried leaves, flowers, and other parts from the cannabis plant. The main chemical that is in such plants is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and when this chemical is consumed – which can be in a number of ways, such as smoking, eating, and inhaling – it alters the users’ mind; makes the user high, as it is colloquially known. People tend to like this altered state of mind, or being stoned, and this is why many are drawn to the drug. Even though the drug has traditionally been illegal in the US, it has recently been legalized – for medicinal purposes, as well as for recreational use – in many states, such as California, Nevada, Hawaii, Maryland, and New Jersey (medicinal use) and Washington, Colorado, and Oregon (medicinal and recreational use). In this regard, it is depicted as the most commonly used illegal (and sometimes legal) drug in the US. The tendency to use it often is known as marijuana abuse, which has several adverse health effects.


Many people tend to regard marijuana as not being addictive and they say that it has medicinal properties, which is why it is fine to consume it.


Even though marijuana does have certain medicinal properties, it is only true in prescribed doses. Marijuana abuse occurs when people start to use it on their own without any prescription and take a lot more of it than it is required. This abuse can lead to several mental and physical health problems.


Marijuana abuse tends to have both short-term as well as long-term effects on the individual abusing the drug


With respect to the short-term effects, when a person consumes the drug, the THC quickly enters the bloodstream and is carried to the brain, as well as the other organs of the body. The users’ mood and senses begin to change, as the individual starts feeling elated and the colors in the visuals are enhanced. The user can have difficulty dealing with logical problems and short-term memory is also impaired. Increased heart rate and a feeling of paranoia are also common in users. These short-term effects are immediate and last for about an hour or two.


Marijuana abuse also has long-term effects on the abuser. Several researches have concluded that continued and chronic marijuana use affects the development of the brain


It can work to impair the person’s memory and learning functions, especially if the user starts abusing the drug at an early age, such as during adolescence. Such effects can last a long time, even after the person has stopped smoking, and in some cases, they can also be permanent. Moreover, marijuana abuse can have adverse physical effects on the body as well. It can cause breathing problems, coughing, increased phlegm production, as well as a higher risk of lung problems, infections, and cancer. Marijuana abuse can also be extremely bad for pregnant women as well as for the baby.


People who regularly abuse marijuana often complain about various problems in their lives, such as poor mental health, relationship problems, not being satisfied in their lives, as well as not having academic and career success


Other than that, people who use marijuana often want to try other, much harsher drugs, such as crack, cocaine, and heroin, which are extremely harmful for the health.


All of this shows that marijuana is not as innocent as some people would like you to believe and that consuming this drug has some very negative and adverse health effects.


Marijuana addiction treatment

Marijuana differs from other drugs. It sits on the fence politically, legally, socially and even in terms of addictions, with camps of ardent supporters on either side of the issue. Debates continue on whether it is a gateway drug to other drugs, whether it should be legalized, and even whether people can become addicted to it.

The debates don’t really matter. When marijuana starts to adversely affect your health, relationships, work ethic and every day functioning, it’s time to take action. You would not be alone – statistics show over 4 percent of Americans have been dependent on marijuana at some point in their lives. Nine percent of those who try it, end up dependent on it, and dependence is twice as prevalent as on other substances like cocaine and heroin.

Choosing the right path

Marijuana is considered the most common secondary drug used by people dependent on other drugs. If you are one of those using some other drug as well, it is important that you make this known as it would affect your rehabilitation choice.

The first step is to come clean about your drug use with someone you trust, you feel comfortable with, and who will be able to give you the most useful information and guidance. This could be your doctor or a counsellor.

Physically, the cannabis withdrawal syndrome is relatively mild. It includes sleep and appetite problems as well as irritability, anxiety and craving.

It may, therefore, seem the cheapest, easiest-to-hide and most convenient way do it privately on your own. However, you didn’t get into this state of dependency on a highly social and recreational substance on your own. So it’s better not to try getting out of it alone – a strong support system could make all the difference between staying sober and relapsing.

Assisted rehabilitation options:

  • Outpatient services: You will receive the same treatment as at a residential centre, but will live at home. If your home or the people around you there contributed to your becoming dependent on marijuana, living at home might negate some of the treatment’s benefits. Any “triggers” for your dependence should be avoided for some time.
  • Inpatient residential programs usually require that you stay at the centre throughout the treatment period. While some will allow you to go to work during the day, this is closely monitored. The aim is to allow you to take a complete break from your old life and concentrate solely on breaking your habit.

Total confidentiality is maintained at private marijuana rehabs in order to protect those who are concerned that their employers or family might get to know they have entered rehab.

Types of therapies used for recovery

Therapies used are behavioral therapies aimed at enhancing self-control and reducing drug use, while at the same time addressing the problems that go along with that drug abuse. This accomplished by

  • Identifying and changing behavior patterns (Cognitive-behavioral therapy).
  • Encouraging internally-motivated change (Motivation Enhancement Therapy).
  • Identifying target behaviors and imposing a give-or-withhold reward system for behaviors that are (or aren’t) met (Contingency Management).
  • Involving family and friends in counselling where possible (Network therapy)

Easing back out:

Sober living communities (Halfway Houses): These are places where you can bridge the gap between your rehabilitation centre and a return to ordinary life after completing your treatment. This provides you with a transition period between the seclusion of the centre and the challenges of the world you’ve been separated from for some time.

They can also provide an alternative way to kick the habit, when linked with outpatient treatment.

Support groups of other recovering addicts know where you were, what you are going through and where you’re hoping to go. They can provide invaluable assistance in your path to recovery.