Marijuana has become one of the most widely used recreational drugs in the United States. The legalization of marijuana has led to increased usage and abuse. In this article, we will discuss marijuana, its potential for being abused and its addictive qualities.

Marijuana is a psychoactive drug that affects the brain. It contains THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the main ingredient responsible for its intoxicating effect. Marijuana is often smoked or vaped, but it can also be eaten, drunk, or applied topically.

A recent study found that gang related crimes have risen dramatically since the passage of medical marijuana laws. In California alone, there were over 4,000 incidents involving gangs between 2008 and 2012.

This number was up from 1,700 cases in 2006. Many believe that this increase is due to the fact that many young people are turning to marijuana as an alternative to alcohol.

The effects of marijuana on the body are similar to those of alcohol. They include impairment of motor skills, memory loss, coordination problems, confusion, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. The high that comes with smoking marijuana may cause users to engage in risky behaviors such as driving while impaired.

The use of marijuana can lead to dependence and addiction. Marijuana is not as physically addictive in the same way as other drugs such as alcohol, heroin, and benzodiazepines, but it can be very psychologically addictive.

Dependence occurs when someone experiences withdrawal symptoms after stopping using marijuana.

These symptoms include anxiety, depression, irritability, insomnia, restlessness, sweating, muscle aches, headaches, and craving. Addicts will continue to use it to avoid experiencing these symptoms.  Many people who use marijuana daily feel like they cannot sleep without it.

Addictive behavior is defined as compulsive, habitual, and uncontrollable. People who smoke marijuana regularly develop tolerance to its effects. This means that their bodies need more and more of the substance to get high.

Tolerance develops because the body produces less of the natural endocannabinoid system chemicals (endogenous cannabinoids) that bind to cannabinoid receptors.

As tolerance increases, so does the risk of developing a level of physical dependence. Physical dependence refers to the harmful physiological changes caused by long-term use of marijuana. These changes include weight gain, altered moods, and sleep disorders.

Addiction treatment centers offer a variety of services to help patients overcome marijuana addiction. Some of these services include counseling, group therapy, and medication management.

Counseling helps addicts learn how to deal with life without marijuana. Group therapy allows them to share their feelings with others who understand what they are going through.

Medication management involves taking prescribed medications to treat co-occurring conditions like anxiety and depression.  Medication management can also help manage cravings and other withdrawal symptoms.

Marijuana Abuse Statistics

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that approximately 16 million adults in America have abused marijuana at some point in their lives. Of those, 4.5 million meet criteria for marijuana abuse or dependence.

That’s 1 out of every 13 American adults.

The most common form of marijuana abuse is smoking, although vaping, eating, drinking, and using edibles are also popular methods of consumption.

Abusing marijuana may lead to problems such as memory loss, lower IQ levels, and an increased chance of getting into car accidents.

More than 4 million Americans are dependent on marijuana. This means they experience withdrawal symptoms like irritability, insomnia, anxiety, and depression when they stop using the substance.

Many users also become physically dependent on marijuana. This occurs when the body starts producing its own version of THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) in order to cope with the effects of continued use.

Physical dependency usually results in tolerance, meaning more frequent use is required to achieve the same effect. Eventually, physical dependence leads to withdrawal symptoms when use stops.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the following factors contribute to marijuana addiction:

  • A history of family dysfunction.
  • Family members who were themselves abusers of drugs and alcohol.
  • Poor self-esteem.

The Effects Of Cannabis On Your Body

When you inhale marijuana smoke, it enters your lungs and the active ingredients enter into your bloodstream. It then passes through your liver before entering your brain. As soon as the smoke reaches your brain, it binds with cannabinoid receptors.

These receptors are located throughout your body, including your heart, muscles, blood vessels, immune system, digestive tract, and reproductive organs.

Once bound, the cannabinoids stimulate these receptors, causing them to release chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins are responsible for feelings of euphoria and relaxation. They can also reduce pain and increase appetite.

How Does Marijuana Affect The Brain?

When you consume marijuana, it enters your bloodstream and travels to your brain. There, it attaches itself to cannabinoid receptors. These receptors help regulate many functions in your brain, including memory, mood, sleep patterns, appetite, and pain sensations.

Scientists believe that marijuana affects the way your brain works because it mimics the action of another chemical in your brain called anandamide.  Anandamide helps control our appetites and emotions. It also regulates our sense of smell.

Marijuana Use Among Teens

In recent years, marijuana use has become increasingly common among teenagers. Studies show that teens who use marijuana are more likely to start drinking alcohol. Teens who drink alcohol are more likely to engage in risky behaviors like driving while intoxicated.

Marijuana Use By Young Adults

In recent years, marijuana use among young adults has been rising. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), approximately 15 million American adults aged 18 or older reported using marijuana in the past year.

Of these users, about 8 percent said that they had used marijuana daily.

Marijuana Use During Pregnancy

Women who smoked marijuana during pregnancy were twice as likely to give birth to babies born prematurely. Babies whose mothers smoked marijuana before they were born were also more likely to have low birth weight.

Additionally, mothers who smoked marijuana during pregnancy took longer to recover after giving birth.

Marijuana Use With Children

Children exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to have asthma attacks. Secondhand smoke contains nicotine and other harmful chemicals. When children breathe in second-hand marijuana smoke, they may experience coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.

Marijuana Use And Your Child’s Development

Studies show that marijuana affects a child’s development. Marijuana use increases the risk of learning disabilities. Studies have also shown that people who use marijuana are less likely to complete high school.

How Can I Help My Teenager Stop Using Marijuana?

If you’re concerned about your teenager’s drug use, there are many things you can do to help. The first step is to talk to him about his behavior. Ask questions and listen carefully.

It may be helpful if you ask your teen to keep a journal where he records his thoughts and feelings. This allows you to see patterns of behavior.

Second, try not to react when you hear negative comments about drugs. Instead, encourage your teen to seek out positive influences.

Third, make sure your teenager knows that he doesn’t need to take drugs to enjoy life. Try to avoid making comparisons between your teen and others. If your teen feels pressured by peers, he may feel compelled to join them.

Finally, don’t let your own feelings get in the way of helping your teenager quit using drugs. You may find yourself angry at your teen for doing something wrong. But this anger won’t help them stop using drugs.

Marijuana Use For Medical Purposes

Some people use marijuana for medical purposes. Doctors recommend marijuana for patients suffering from glaucoma, AIDS, depression, and chronic pain.

Medical marijuana is becoming increasingly popular as more states legalize its use. This form of treatment allows patients who suffer from conditions such as cancer or chronic pain to use cannabis oil.

The oil contains THC, which provides a calming effect on the mind. Doctors usually prescribe this type of treatment after other methods have failed.

Cannabis Oil For Pain Relief Cannabis oil has been shown to relieve pain and inflammation.

A study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine found that mice suffering from arthritis were able to stop taking their anti-inflammatory drugs once they began consuming cannabis oil.

Researchers believe that the compounds in the plant work by reducing levels of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) in the body. PGE2 causes inflammation in the joints.

Marijuana Addiction Treatment Options

There are several treatment options available for those seeking to overcome marijuana addiction. Many people turn to therapy when they want to quit using marijuana.

Therapy can be helpful if you’ve developed a substance abuse problem. You’ll learn coping skills and how to deal with triggers that cause you to relapse.

Cannabis use disorder refers to the compulsive use of marijuana despite negative consequences. People with this condition experience problems at home, school, or work due to their marijuana use.

They may also develop physical dependence and tolerance to the effects of marijuana.

Marijuana is a psychoactive drug that alters perception, but it doesn’t always make you feel happy. Excessive use of marijuana can lead to visual and auditory hallucinations.

Another common side effect of marijuana use is eating more than usual, which can lead to weight gain.

Increasing THC Content In Marijuana

Marijuana use has gone up dramatically over the last few decades. Today’s marijuana contains more THC than ever before.

This makes people feel more intoxicated, but also increases the chance of becoming dependent on the drug.

THC is an active ingredient found in marijuana. This chemical changes the way the brain functions by binding to certain receptors inside cells.

When these chemicals bind to receptors, they trigger various responses in the body. These responses vary depending on which receptor is activated.

When THC binds to CB1 receptors, it creates feelings of euphoria and pleasure. It also causes increased heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and perspiration.

In addition, THC stimulates the release of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in regulating mood, motivation, and attention.

People who smoked marijuana when they were young decades ago will notice a huge difference if they try marijuana in the modern day.  Marijuana plants have been bred to have really high levels of THC and lower levels of CBD.

Addiction To Marijuana

Marijuana addiction can be clinically diagnosed. A person who smokes marijuana feels normal when he or she does so.

Marijuana Addiction and Abuse (1)But when the user stops smoking marijuana, he or she experiences withdrawal symptoms because of the lack of anandamide in the body. To overcome this problem, the user needs more marijuana. This leads to a cycle of use and abuse.

There are many risks of marijuana abuse. Legal complications happen when people get caught smoking pot, depending on your location.

Young people who abuse marijuana can end up falling behind in school because they’re not paying attention or doing homework. A person could lose their job if they get fired for being high at work.

Marijuana And Other Drugs

Teenagers who smoke marijuana are more likely to develop an addiction to harder drugs later in life. You will have likely heard of the term “gateway drug” being used when discussing marijuana.

While it is likely that users of hard drugs will start out using pot, you can easily say the same thing about alcohol.  There is no evidence to suggest that using marijuana makes you more likely to use more dangerous drugs.

About 16 percent of those entering treatment for alcohol issues were also using pot as well.

A large percentage of those treated for marijuana issues went to rehab of their own accord, because they were able to recognize the detrimental effects that marijuana was having on their lives.

Treating A Marijuana Addiction

People who use marijuana often suffer from withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit. Support groups and therapy are helpful ways to overcome this issue. Inpatient treatment is also an option. People who use marijuana typically have trouble quitting on their own.

In some cases, treatment includes an inpatient program or outpatient program. Support groups and counseling sessions also help people quit.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that marijuana is one of the most widely abused substances in the United States. The number of teens and young adults who admit to having tried marijuana increased by nearly 50 percent between 2002 and 2004.

Many experts believe that marijuana use will increase further. They say that teenagers are experimenting with marijuana at increasingly younger ages.

Marijuana addiction treatment involves learning new ways to live life without drugs. Many people think that marijuana addiction is similar to alcoholism. However, there are key differences between marijuana dependence and alcohol dependency.

For example, marijuana is not as physically addictive as alcohol.  If someone is physically addicted to alcohol, quitting cold turkey can cause death.  This is not the case with marijuana.

The first step towards recovery is admitting that you have a problem. Once you admit that you have a problem, you can begin working on overcoming your addiction. Marijuana addiction treatment programs teach patients how to manage cravings and stress levels.

Patients learn coping skills such as meditation and yoga.

The most important part of any marijuana addiction treatment program is finding a qualified therapist. Finding a qualified marijuana addiction specialist is essential for success in recovering from drug addiction.

If you’re thinking about stopping smoking pot, there are many things that you can do to help you stop. First, you need to decide whether or not you really want to stop smoking weed.

You are far more likely to successfully quit if you truly desire to stop smoking pot. Next, you need to create a strong support system. Talk to friends and family members about your decision to stop smoking pot.

Ask them for encouragement and help. Finally, you need to develop a plan to quit smoking weed.  You may be able to quit cold turkey, but many people have trouble doing this.

You may need to seek out professional help when trying to recover from an addiction. In order to find the right treatment center, you should look into the following factors:

Location

Where you go for treatment depends upon where you live. Most states offer free treatment centers. However, some states require you to pay for treatment.

Type of Treatment

Different types of treatments exist. For example, outpatient treatment is often used for individuals who have mild problems with substance abuse. Outpatient treatment allows you to continue living your normal life while receiving treatment. Intensive outpatient treatment is usually required for those who are addicted to “harder” substances such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and others.

Costs 

Costs vary depending on the type of treatment you receive. You may qualify for financial assistance.

Qualifications

A qualified counselor is very important. Counselors who specialize in treating marijuana addictions are highly skilled professionals. They understand what it takes to treat people with marijuana addiction.

Summary

The debate over whether or not marijuana should be legalized continues to rage on. While most states still prohibit its recreational use, there are several states that have begun allowing medicinal use.

However, the federal government still classifies marijuana as an illegal substance. It remains to be seen how this will affect future legislation regarding the plant.

It is possible to overcome marijuana addiction. With proper treatment, you can recover from marijuana addiction. Marijuana addiction recovery programs are designed to teach you how to deal with your addiction once and for all.

Despite the increasing acceptance of recreational marijuana use in the US, the drug still has the capabilities for abuse.  If you find yourself struggling with marijuana addiction, you can find help and support from professionals.