A substance that is often mistakenly viewed as “harmless” by those who abuse it, marijuana is one of the most commonly abused drugs in the United States today. The drug is known for its enticing high, which brings about feelings of detachment, relaxation, and pleasure. However, marijuana is hardly risk-free. The continued abuse can also lead to a number of adverse effects that can significantly damage an individual’s mental, physical, emotional, and social wellbeing.
Additionally, according to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), this substance is considered a “gateway drug” that may encourage users to abuse other substances at some point in life. And while a great deal of research has proven the medicinal benefits of marijuana for those who require alleviation from the discomfort of cancer and other progressive or terminal illnesses and conditions, the dangers associated with the recreational use of marijuana cannot be negated. As time presses on, an individual can develop a cannabis use disorder, and require professional intervention in order to successfully abstain from the abuse of this substance.
Fortunately, there are several treatment options for care that are available at marijuana addiction rehab centers that can help those struggling with a marijuana abuse problem so that they can live healthier and more prosperous lives.
Cannabinoids, namely marijuana, are among the world’s most frequently abused psychoactive substances. The APA has noted that adults, aged 18 and older, often abuse this substance, with nearly two percent of the total adult population meeting criteria for cannabis use disorder. Additionally, it has been reported that the rates of marijuana abuse among men are higher than among women, with just over 2 percent of all men abusing this substance and just under 1 percent of women partaking in the abuse of marijuana. Lastly, the APA states that as adults age, the prevalence of marijuana abuse declines. It was found that the largest number of those who abuse this substance are between the ages of 18 and 29, and the lowest number is found among men and women who are 65 or older.
Causes and Risk Factors for Marijuana Abuse
There are many variables to consider when trying to understand how a person comes to abuse substances such as marijuana. A substantial amount of research has been conducted on the causes and risk factors for marijuana abuse, and the following are the most commonly cited by experts in the field of addiction:
Genetic: Experts who have studied how genetic history impacts people’s susceptibility to abusing marijuana and other substances have concluded that one’s genes can, in fact, be a strong determinant. If a person has close blood relatives, such as a parent or sibling, who has a history of marijuana or other substance abuse, it is probably that he or she will also struggle with similar challenges.
Environmental: In addition to a person’s genetics, the environment in which one spends a great deal of time can also be a determining factor for why and how an individual comes to abuse marijuana. If a person lives in an environment that is stressful or unstable, there is an increased risk for that individual to turn to the abuse of marijuana. Additional environmental or circumstantial factors also include being of low socioeconomic status, having a history of smoking tobacco, having a history of abuse or neglect, and failing to achieve academically. Lastly, should an individual be part of a peer group in which marijuana is abused, it is far more likely that that person will experiment with and abuse marijuana as well if rehab at a treatment center is not sought.
- Having decreased inhibitions
- Having a history of conduct disorder during childhood or adolescence
- Having a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder
- Being able to easily acquire marijuana
- Having a history of abuse and/or neglect
- Family history of substance abuse, addiction, and/or chemical dependency
Signs and Symptoms of Marijuana Addiction
In order to determine if an individual is abusing marijuana, it could be helpful to take note of a few telltale signs that would infer an individual is suffering from a substance abuse problem of this kind. The following behavioral, physical, cognitive, and psychosocial symptoms are those that would suggest a person is abusing marijuana:
- Engaging in risky, reckless, or criminal behaviors
- Unexplained absences from work
- Possessing drug paraphernalia used to abuse marijuana
- Social isolation unless it is with others who also abuse marijuana
- No longer participating in activities that were once enjoyed in favor of using marijuana
- Poor performance at work
- Bloodshot eyes
- Poor coordination
- Increased appetite
- Dry mouth
- Perceptual disturbances
- Poor decision-making
- Experiencing the sensation of time being slowed
- Declined interest in activities that were once enjoyed
Effects of Marijuana Abuse
As with the abuse of other substances, abusing marijuana can render a person susceptible to experiencing a wide range of negative outcomes as a result. An individual’s physical, mental, emotional, and social health can all be affected, and the following are likely to occur if treatment is not sought:
- Development of respiratory health concerns
- Poor performance at work
- Job loss or chronic unemployment
- Cognitive impairment
- Onset or worsening of mental health concerns
- Occurrence of a psychotic episode
- Interaction with the legal system
- Strained relationships
Men and women who seek treatment at a rehab center for a marijuana abuse problem are often also struggling with the symptoms of another mental disorder or disorders. When this occurs, those individual will likely require care for any additional concerns that they are battling, of which can include the following diagnoses:
- Paranoid personality disorder
- Alcohol use disorder
- Bipolar I disorder
- Major depressive disorder
- Anxiety disorders
- Stimulant use disorder
- Other substance use disorders
- Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
- Antisocial personality disorder
Effects of Withdrawal from Marijuana
For those who abuse marijuana on a regular basis, being able to function well without the presence of this substance in one’s system can be difficult and lead to a great deal of distress. The reason for the decrease in functioning and increase in turmoil is because an individual’s body becomes accustomed to the presence of marijuana, and because a person can develop a psychological dependence on the drug as well. The following are a few examples of what can occur when an individual is going through the process of withdrawing from marijuana:
- Sleep problems
- Angry mood
- Depressed mood
- Diminished appetite
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
Why Consider Treatment For Marijuana Abuse at our Rehab Center in Newport Beach
Prolonged abuse of marijuana can make it difficult for a person to function in a healthy manner, and compromise an individual’s ability to complete mundane tasks. Should a person find that he or she is unable to go about daily activities without being under the influence of marijuana, that individual can greatly benefit from addiction treatment.
Residential treatment, one of the most effective forms of care that can help men and women break free from the abuse of marijuana, includes many therapeutic interventions that can prepare people to live their lives substance-free. Individual, family, and experiential therapies are provided, and group therapy, which is cornerstone to residential treatment, enables men and women to receive support and encouragement from those who understand the struggles involved with working towards sobriety. Residential programs, which also offer a safe and drug-free environment in which tone can focus solely on recovery, employ dedicated professionals who are on-hand 24 hours a day to lend their support and guidance as well.
Sober Living by the Sea understands how important it is for a person to receive exceptional care in order to overcome a marijuana abuse problem. As a network of revered addiction treatment providers, which includes The Landing, The Rose, and Sunrise Recovery Ranch, Sober Living by the Sea supplies a variety of residential rehabilitation & treatment options so that men and women can win the war against addiction. Only the most proven effective treatment methods are utilized at these centers, and each treatment team member possesses specialized training in treating those who wish to become sober.
If you or someone you care about would like to learn more about the residential care supplies by the rehab centers in the Sober Living by the Sea network, do not hesitate to contact The Landing, The Rose, or Sunrise Recovery Ranch. Your brighter, marijuana-free future is within reach.