Marijuana is the most popular and widely-used illicit drug in the United States. The National Institute on Health Abuse (NIHA) and National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) divulged that more than 22 million Americans are marijuana users on a monthly basis. Many people use marijuana for medications although cannabis dependence results to severe marijuana addiction. Rehab admissions for cannabis dependence went up 14% between 2006 and 2010. This percentage definitely increased since that year.
What are the Effects of Marijuana Abuse?
Persons dependent on marijuana must be careful of the long-term negative effects on the physical and mental wellbeing.
Respiratory Issues – Marijuana users usually develop annoying and lung-impairing properties caused by smoking of tobacco. Long-term users are prone to persistent coughing and face the risk of acquiring lung ailments.
Cardiovascular Disorders – Once you get addicted to marijuana, the heart rate increases for a number of hours which also boosts the chances of heart attack or stroke. This will surely aggravate heart disorders for long-term marijuana users as well as older persons.
Mental Health – Long-term marijuana abuse affects the memory of individuals and hampers motivation or interest in day to day activities. People who use marijuana can also lead to possible schizophrenia.
Psychological Addiction – Like other illicit drugs, smoking marijuana for longer periods develops dependence to cannabis. Signs of marijuana addiction include use of this drug in doing routine tasks and craving when the substance is not available.
Symptoms of Addiction
The NIDA identified symptoms of becoming dependent on marijuana.
- Tolerance – This is the first symptom. The more users smoke marijuana makes them feel less of the consequences.
- Withdrawal Symptoms – Marijuana addiction sets in if the person suffers from stress, insomnia, and loss of appetite. People who use marijuana will experience withdrawal syndromes related to nicotine withdrawal which can climax one week following the last use. Nonetheless, symptoms recede within two weeks if the person suits smoking cannabis.
- No Control over Use – The user tries very hard to stop but cannot do this is already addicted to marijuana.
- Spending a Fortune to Get High – Marijuana users become addicts if they spend plenty of money and time to get high.
- Lack of Accountability – The person dependent on marijuana loses interest on daily activities and responsibilities. There is lack of productivity since time is devoted to smoking pot.
Changes in behavior are also warning signs of developing an addiction. These are unclear perceptions, weak coordination, difficulty in thinking, and memory or learning problems. Other signs of marijuana abuse are the followin
- Red and hazy eyes
- Continuing cough filled with mucus
- Fast heartbeat
- Dry mouth
- Constant hunger
- Slow time to react
- Paranoia and apprehension
Treatment for Addiction
Addiction treatment is similar to remedies for other substance abuse even as permanent clinical outcomes are less acute. On the average, grown-ups seeking cure for marijuana abuse smoked cannabis for over 10 years. Most of them attempted to stop six times or more. Many teenagers dependent on marijuana incur psychiatric maladies and get addicted to other illicit drugs like cocaine or even alcohol. Research studies pointed out that effective cure of mental health using prescription medications and therapies for abnormal behavior that can reduce marijuana use.
The therapies are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Contingency Management and Motivational Enhancement Therapy. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not given approval for specific medications with regards to addiction treatment. Some medicines which are promising in initial studies or minor clinical trials are sleep and anti-stress medicines or anti-epileptic drugs. Therapy sessions are boosted by support groups for faster recovery. These consist of massage, physical exercise, art therapy, and other useful alternative programs.
Legalization of Marijuana
States seeking to legalize marijuana use makes treatment programs harder to implement. Advocates of legalization are working intensely to come up with bills in line with these plans. The Office of National Drug Control Policy, these proponents propagate the impression that the substance is not harmful which the media continues to pick up. Marijuana users say their family members simply do not understand the medical benefits and feel supported by these efforts.