The most common method for using marijuana is to place the dried leaves, stems and flowers of this plant on paper and roll it in a cigarette to smoke it. You can also smoke in a water pipe or “bong”, or another metal or glass tube. This drug can also be put into food products or mixed with coffee or tea.
A person who lives with a marijuana addiction is not able to stop using it, even when he wants to. The need to consume it is simply too strong. Engaging drug dependence with the fact that it is cheap and relatively easy to get, you can see why so many people become addicted.
What is marijuana addiction?
The main active chemical in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). When someone smokes marijuana, THC quickly passes from the lungs to the blood, which carries the chemical in the brain. THC acts on specific places in the brain, called cannabinoid receptors, producing a series of cellular reactions that ultimately lead to the ecstasy that users seek. Some areas of the brain have many cannabinoid receptors, others have few or none. The highest density of cannabinoid receptors are found in the parts of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thoughts, concentration, sensory and time perception, and coordinated movement.
Is marijuana really addictive?
This is a frequent question, and the answer is: Yes.
The abuse of any substance – including marijuana – is described by the compulsive desire to consume the substance, although there are harmful effects on the life of the person who consumes that substance, including problems in the family, at school, at work or With the legal system. Research has shown that about 9% of all marijuana users become addicted and that those who start consuming it early and those who are daily users are more susceptible to marijuana addiction.
Marijuana dependence signs
Signs that marijuana use has gone from the recreation stage to a more serious problem are similar to those of other addictions, and include:
- Spend a lot of time thinking about the drug
- Focus on getting more and finding the money to buy it
- Need to consume more to get the same effect
The causes of marijuana addiction
A person who is addicted to marijuana becomes dependent on the drug, since it affects the pleasure centers of the brain. Repeated use makes it more difficult for a person to remember events, learn new things or skills, and adapt to changes appropriately. This deterioration can lead to depression, and the marijuana addict can continue to use the drug as a way to deal with the feelings of emptiness and hopelessness that accompany this disorder. The side effects of using marijuana can also lead to anxiety when the person tries to stop using it.
Effects of marijuana use
Marijuana addicts claim that with the use of the drug they experience these effects, which last two or three hours after the drug is ingested:
- Peace of mind in social situations
- Feeling of relaxation
- Sexual excitement
The complications and effects of long-term marijuana abuse
The use of marijuana produces a sense of lack of clarity in thinking, which has led to a series of vehicle and work accidents. Marijuana abuse during pregnancy results in babies with low birth weight, and the child has a higher risk of developing a form of blood cancer.
Marijuana does not contain nicotine, but it has more tar than tobacco products. Repeated use increases the risk of developing:
- COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
- Lung cancer
- Respiratory tract infections
Marijuana is also commonly known as an “entry drug” because marijuana abusers are more susceptible to abuse of other illicit drugs such as cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens or methamphetamines.
Help and treatment for marijuana addiction
Drug rehab centers that offer drug abuse programs are able to provide help and support to marijuana addicts. These centers can help the addict to easily pass the following withdrawal symptoms:
Once the marijuana detoxification phase is over, individual and group therapy can be used to help the addict stop using marijuana successfully. Patients are taught to recognize relapse factors as part of marijuana addiction treatments. Once relapse factors have been identified, the addict can learn effective strategies to deal with them. The detection of other addictions and psychiatric disorders should be part of the services offered, since marijuana is often used with other substances, such as alcohol, or due to mental illness.
Recovery and rehabilitation of marijuana addiction
Recovery treatment for those who have been addicted to marijuana can include a 12-step program or a recommendation to enter a sober house of life. Any psychiatric problem should be controlled, and appropriate medications or therapy should be used to prevent a relapse.