Can I Get Addicted to Marijuana?
Published: February 11, 2022
Marijuana has recently been legalized for medical or recreational use in some states. This can lead some to wonder, “Can I get addicted to marijuana?” Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the US, but it is also one of the most misunderstood drugs.
While many people think marijuana is a harmless drug because it is “natural” or “just a plant,” marijuana is an addictive drug and one of the most common reasons people visit a rehab center. Studies estimate that approximately 3 in 10 marijuana users have marijuana addiction disorder.
The Effects of Marijuana
Marijuana is a mind-altering drug that can be smoked or ingested to produce a “high.” When marijuana is consumed, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) – the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana – binds with cannabinoid receptors in the brain, interfering with normal brain function.
Marijuana affects coordination, movement, reaction time, sensory perception, and attention span. In addition, long-term marijuana use can alter your brain structure and have lasting adverse effects on your memory.
Side effects of marijuana use include:
- Increased heart rate
- Impaired memory
- Poor coordination and balance
- Breathing problems
Those suffering from marijuana dependence can experience a number of issues related to cognitive dysfunction, mood, social behavior, and mental health. Marijuana’s impact on learning and memory can last well after the effects of the drug have worn off. This can lead to problems in school and work and is a common reason why people who use marijuana find themselves needing addiction treatment.
Those faced with marijuana addiction may find themselves experiencing withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit. Unfortunately, this may cause those with cannabis use disorder to relapse and begin using again.
Withdrawal symptoms of marijuana may include:
- Increased feeling of depression
- Loss of focus
Tips for Quitting Marijuana
Quitting marijuana can be a challenge due to the side effects of withdrawal, but it is not impossible. There is a wealth of resources available for people who are addicted to marijuana and looking to quit, including tips and advice from addicted individuals that have successfully kicked the habit.
One effective method is to slowly reduce your dosage of marijuana over time. To do this, you’ll want to start by cutting back on the amount of marijuana you’re using every few days until you reach a point where you’re only using once in a while and then not at all.
This method, however, takes willpower and can be quite a challenge for addicted individuals. Having someone you trust to hold you accountable can go a long way. Furthermore, gradually tapering your use of marijuana may help reduce withdrawal symptoms.
In order to reduce the likelihood of relapse, you should avoid triggers and situations that may cause an addicted individual to use marijuana again. Check out these ways to avoid relapse triggers.
Quitting Cold Turkey
You can also quit marijuana cold turkey. Many addicted individuals are afraid of quitting cold turkey because they fear the withdrawal symptoms are too severe and intolerable. However, by recognizing the warning signs of a relapse and learning how to cope with them, addicted individuals can quit altogether and stay away from marijuana for good.
When trying to quit, it is important to surround yourself with supportive people you can turn to for encouragement, such as friends and family members. Try keeping yourself preoccupied with engaging activities that do not involve marijuana or people who use it. Stay busy and active to prevent yourself from relapsing. Picking up a new hobby or going to the gym can also help you stay away from marijuana.
Marijuana Addiction Treatment
Overcoming substance abuse may not happen overnight. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help protect yourself from relapse. Treatment options for marijuana addiction may include:
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps you identify negative thought patterns that lead to cravings for marijuana. It also teaches you to correct these thought patterns and effectively manage your recovery. By understanding your triggers and warning signs, you can make a plan before you’re tempted to use marijuana again.
This treatment for marijuana addiction may be an excellent resource for those who need additional support. Having a strong support system can help you resist cravings, stay motivated in treatment, and maintain sobriety. Talking to friends, family, and others who have been addicted to marijuana can help you feel less alone in your battle against addiction.
Sometimes support groups alone are not enough to beat marijuana addiction. Inpatient, residential rehab can provide you with a safe and supportive environment to begin your recovery. In addition, those who use marijuana frequently, those who have a strong urge to use marijuana, and those with mental health concerns may benefit from the structure of inpatient treatment.
Contact Rockland Treatment Center
Struggling with addiction can be a challenge to overcome, but there is hope. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, the resources at Rockland Treatment Center can help.
At Rockland Treatment Center, your recovery is our mission. With our patient-centered care and personalized treatment plans, you can begin living a life that is free from addiction. Help is only one step away. Call (727) 610-6121 or click here to get started on your road to recovery today.