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Marijuana Abuse: Addiction Signs & Treatment Options

Marijuana is a common drug in the United States, and it has been made legal in many states due to its medical benefits. Most people think that consuming marijuana is safe. While this may be true, this drug’s continuous use can lead to addiction, just like any other drug.

Substance use disorder that may result from consuming marijuana can be similar to that of other addictions. If the effects are left untreated, they may result in long-term consequences. Currently, most states are changing their laws regarding marijuana and legalizing the substance, implying that the drug is available to more people than before.

People will use marijuana for pleasure as well as medical use. Either way, the more a person uses it, the more he or she teaches the body to be dependent on it. This continued use could result in an addiction, so it’s important to recognize the signs and learn about treatment options.

Effects of Marijuana Use

Marijuana contains THC, a chemical substance that produces psychoactive effects in the brain when you are under the influence of marijuana. If smoked, THC will pass from the lungs to the bloodstream. Then, it will head to the brain. It will act on the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, affecting the brain’s functioning in terms of pleasure, memory, thinking, and other activities that the cannabinoid receptors control. If you use marijuana heavily for a long period of time, your brain could depend on THC to function.

How marijuana affects your body will depend on the method you consume it. When you inhale marijuana, the drug is quickly absorbed into your body. You may start experiencing the effects instantly, unlike when you eat it.

The results that marijuana will have on your body may both be physical and psychological. The effects may also be short term or long term, depending on the amount you consume. Short-term effects of marijuana commonly include:

  • Memory loss
  • Change in mood
  • Inability to reason well
  • Hallucinations

Long-term marijuana effects of marijuana are rare. However, if one uses the drug more often, then the consequences may be more severe. Marijuana will take a few minutes to take a toll on your body. Therefore, consuming more of it before the first effects are prevalent may lead to severe risks to your health. Some long-term effects of marijuana include:

  • Heart attack
  • Increased heart rate
  • Lung infection
  • Breathing problems
  • Inability to coordinate
  • Low memory activity
  • Depression
  • Impaired judgment

Is Marijuana Addictive?

Marijuana is addictive even though it is legal in many places, which is similar to alcohol and tobacco. State governments who legalize the substance emphasize that it is safe and has medicinal benefits. These claims can be valid, but the fact remains that marijuana is addictive like any other drug.

From the National Institute of Drug Abuse statistics, nearly 9% of marijuana users become addicted. The addiction cases are more prevalent in people who start using it at a young age, leading to a higher rate at about 17%. Those who consume the drug daily are about 25% to 50% more likely to develop an addiction.

It can be difficult to identify a person with a marijuana addiction, especially if he or she lives in a place where it is legal. The signs of addiction may vary in the emotional, physical, and mental effects. However, you may notice that the person’s way of thinking is different or you may look at the way he or she behaves and recognize the addiction.

Signs of Marijuana Addiction

Noticing that a person is addicted to marijuana is not straightforward. Part of the reason is because people will react differently to it. Some will continue with their everyday lives whereas others will experience interruptions to their normal activities.

You will know that you are addicted to marijuana when you crave it. Even when you try to withdraw from it, the process is difficult. At this point, you have trained your body to require it for existence. You likely experience severe withdrawal symptoms when you fail to use it if you are addicted. Some withdrawal symptoms you may experience as you try to quit include insomnia, fatigue, anxiety, restlessness, nausea, lack of appetite, and agitation.

Other signs and symptoms of marijuana addiction:

  • Bloodshot eyes most of the time
  • Hunger
  • Dry cough
  • Loss of control
  • Slow reactions
  • Lack of coordination
  • Irritability


Your behavior might change in the following ways:

  • Taking more and more of it because to get a particular effect on your body
  • Withdrawing from people and activities you initially loved
  • Use the drug for more extended periods and in large amounts
  • Can’t stop using marijuana no matter your efforts to quit
  • Are continually having a strong desire for marijuana
  • Neglect personal responsibilities such as school and work

If your addiction continues, it might result in the following:

  • Relationship hardships caused by the use of the drug
  • Financial constraints
  • Lack of motivation to work or to be productive
  • Continued use of marijuana even after facing negative consequences

If you continue using the drug even after you know it is taking a toll on your health, then you are at the cornerstone of marijuana addiction. You can address this concern by getting help from a medical expert or by enrolling in a drug rehab center.

While the effects of marijuana may not hit as hard as other drugs, the possibility of relapsing is still high. Someone who is used to employing cannabis to ease pain or anxiety may decide to use a little bit of it when facing such a situation. If you are looking to treat your addiction thoroughly, then seeking professional help will go a long way. Rehab facilities offer treatment options that help you prevent future relapsing.

Effects of Marijuana Legalization

One reason why many people will not admit that marijuana is affecting them is because of its legality. The notion that it is safe and that it has medical benefits is like a mental block to many people who don’t believe that marijuana is addictive. As such, mobilizing an addicted individual to attend a treatment program is challenging.

Even though most states that are legalizing the drug are not allowing minors to use it, these minors are frequently teens. Teens form the largest percentage of people who struggle with marijuana addiction. Because of this need, during their adult ages, they may still be using the drug.

Since convincing people that marijuana addiction is real is difficult, the effects can get more pronounced before a person finally sees that he or she needs help. However, there is still hope. You can encourage a loved one to attend a rehab center treatment program to change his or her life.

When to Seek Help for Addiction to Marijuana

People who use marijuana may disagree that they are addicted to it even when the effects are apparent on their faces. Also, admitting that a person is addicted to the drug in a place where it is legal can be challenging, especially where people have a strong belief that it is medicine.

When you notice that you or your loved one is using marijuana and that it is disrupting everyday life, it’s important to seek treatment. Marijuana changes your brain functioning. As such, the longer you use it, the more your brain depends on it to function. Also, if you start feeling uncomfortable interacting with people when you are not under its influence, then this is a good reason why you should seek assistance.

Most people use the drug without a problem, and there are not cases of overdose. However, it becomes addiction when a person is taking marijuana frequently and when his or her body fails to function without it. In this way, marijuana addiction is similar to that of other drugs.

If you know someone struggling with addiction, offer him or her the best support you can. Respectfully approach the person. Remember, this person is not bad or weak; his or her body is just used to a specific drug that needs to live everyday life.

Marijuana Treatment Program

Treatment programs for marijuana addiction are similar to those for other drugs such as alcohol. Therapy sessions are the best options for a person struggling with marijuana addiction. These sessions aim to ensure the complete recovery of a person without relapsing. Also, the person will be able to detox from the drug one step at a time until he or she is entirely non-dependent.

Therapy sessions are crucial in ensuring that the person adopts necessary life skills. At the end of it all, a person will be able to say no to cannabis when offered and be able to handle life without depending on the drug.

For individuals with severe dependence on a drug, the best option has to be an inpatient program. Inpatient facilities have a serene environment that ensures there are no external factors to cause relapse. Such facilities also give individuals more attention from specialists who are helping fight the addiction. Therefore, if you are looking for something that will provide you or your loved one security and more focus to overcome. Enrolling at Granite Recovery Centers may change you or a loved one’s life.

You can also opt for an outpatient program that allows you to receive treatment as you go to school or work. Though these programs differ slightly due to the settings and how they operate, the therapy will be the same. With an outpatient program, however, a person needs to get proper support. Otherwise, he or she may end up relapsing due to old triggers.

The evidence-based treatment program at Granite Recovery Center offers different types of therapies that a person addicted to drugs may require. The program uses a 12-step treatment plan to ensure that a person dealing with marijuana addiction gets a long-term solution and continuing support.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy mainly deals with how the mind thinks. The thoughts and ideas that run through a person’s mentality are what determines his or her behavior. The therapy session thus seeks to change thoughts to focus away from drug use.

This therapy is flexible and seeks to find a long-term solution for people struggling with marijuana addiction. Through this session, you will learn healthy ways of dealing with struggles other than turning to marijuana for rescue. As such, you’ll develop new coping mechanisms, and through practice, these mechanisms will become your daily problem-solving techniques.

Motivational Enhancement Therapy

People who use marijuana may not admit that they are addicted to it. Through motivational therapy, a person may acknowledge that he or she does indeed have a problem, and he or she can start the recovery process. Different rehab facilities have their own ways of handling motivational therapy sessions, but they all aim to help an addicted person own up and continue with the treatment.

The motivational therapy session will ensure that a person is internally motivated and ready to change. Through this type of therapy, a person will have the confidence to seek treatment and to persist on the journey to sobriety.

Contingency Management

Some specialists apply contingency management to help a person struggling with marijuana addiction. It is an approach that involves therapy to encourage good behavior by addicted individuals. Typically, the therapists will be monitoring the actions of the person after a treatment session. If they notice a positive change, the individual can receive rewards that will motivate him or her to remain sober.

Other therapy sessions, such as massage therapy, yoga, meditation, art therapy, and exercise, will also help develop a coping mechanism for stress without using marijuana.

Marijuana is addictive, and the earlier you recognize this quality, the better it is for your treatment. Many people who have struggled with this addiction have ended up getting clean by closely following treatment programs. Do not be left behind. Enroll in our treatment program today to receive help from Granite Recovery Center. Granite Recovery Centers provides medical detoxification for people who do not need immediate medical intervention, are not a danger to themselves, and are capable of self-evacuation in the event of an emergency.