There is quite a lot of controversy surrounding marijuana and its addictiveness, with many believing it to be a completely harmless drug. This misconception often has a lot to do with the fact that marijuana comes from a naturally-growing plant; but then again, so does heroin.
Another reason many people believe marijuana to be a harmless drug is the fact that, despite it being illegal here in the UK, it has been legalised in many US states and is freely available in countries such as the Netherlands.
So although it is used for medicinal purposes in some parts of the world, it remains an illegal substance here in the UK, mainly because it carries a high potential for abuse. Moreover, while many do see it as harmless, the reality is that it is a drug that can cause addiction; and there are countless reasons marijuana addiction can be harmful and why it requires treatment.
Are You Addicted to Marijuana?
You may have convinced yourself that marijuana is a drug that carries no risks to your health, but this is not the case. In fact, the marijuana that is available today is actually much stronger than that which used to be on sale even just a few years back. It is often referred to as skunk these days and is a very powerful form of the drug that can cause mental health problems such as psychosis. So, are you addicted to marijuana?
It is important to think about your use of this drug to figure out if it is a problem for you. Like any other drug, tolerance to the effects of marijuana can build up, meaning that you will need more of it to achieve the level of satisfaction that you got from it when you first started using. If you are using more than you did when you first began using it, you are building a tolerance to it. This is often the precursor to dependence and eventual addiction.
Addiction is more about control, or lack thereof, than anything else. So if you find that you are unable to quit marijuana once you start using it, you might be in danger of developing an addiction. If you have tried to quit the drug, or even cut back on your use without success, then it is likely that you already have a major issue.
You also need to think about how your use of marijuana is affecting daily life. Are you spending increasingly more of your time using the drug? Have you stopped spending as much time with family members and friends in order to get high? Have you lost interest in activities that you used to enjoy? These are all signs that marijuana is becoming the most important thing in your life.
Does Marijuana Addiction Requires Treatment?
If you have developed an addiction to marijuana, it is likely that you are going to need professional help to overcome it. While marijuana abuse may be something you can deal with at home on your own, an addiction to it is a different situation altogether. Without treatment, the addiction is likely to get worse, eventually destroying all that you hold dear.
There are so many reasons marijuana addiction must be treated. As with all other addictions, your mental and physical health will suffer if it is left to progress. As mentioned already, you have an elevated risk of developing psychosis with regular use of marijuana. But there are other risks to your health to consider too.
If you smoke the drug, you may suffer lung problems such as bronchitis. Your risk of developing other problems such as chronic pulmonary obstructive disease and lung cancer also increases. Furthermore, the risk of heart disease and strokes will increase, and your fertility may suffer as well.
Marijuana addiction can affect cognitive functioning too, leading to learning and memory problems. In addition, it can affect social behaviour and mood.
How Marijuana Addiction Affects Quality of Life
There is no doubting the effect that a marijuana addiction can have on your mental and physical health, but have you considered the impact that it could have on your quality of life? As you become more dependent on marijuana, you will lose interest in other things that were once important to you. This will include family members, friends, school work, job, and any hobbies or activities that you used to enjoy. All that will matter to you now is marijuana.
You might start living your life around marijuana, which could affect other areas of your life. Maybe you are missing school or work in favour of using the drug. Your performance levels will drop, and your loved ones will not understand the changes in your behaviour. This could lead to them getting upset or frustrated with you, particularly if they are unaware of your marijuana habit.
A marijuana addiction will also have a negative impact on your financial situation. If you are spending increasing amounts of money funding your habit, other important things will be neglected. You might start getting into debt or turning to crime as you desperately try to get your hands on more of the drug that you crave.
How to Spot Marijuana Addiction in Someone Else?
It can be difficult to tell if someone you care about has developed a marijuana addiction, especially if he or she is hiding their use from you. Nevertheless, there are signs to look out for that could indicate a problem. If the person has been acting strangely and is displaying the following symptoms, he or she might potentially have a problem with marijuana:
- Bloodshot eyes
- Being overly talkative
- Laughing for no apparent reason
- Being forgetful from one moment to the next
- An increased appetite.
The above list is some of the symptoms that can occur after immediate marijuana use. If these are coupled with secretive behaviour and a sudden lack of interest in people and things, then it could be the case that the affected individual is struggling with a marijuana addiction.
Getting Treatment for a Marijuana Addiction
As you can see from the above couple of paragraphs, there are many good reasons marijuana addiction should be treated. It is a very real illness of the brain and one that can have negative consequences for not only the individual but also his or her family members and friends.
If you or someone you care about is affected by marijuana addiction, know that there is help available. Here in the UK, you can access free support from local groups, charities, and the NHS. You can also access private inpatient treatment. If this type of care appeals to you, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us here at Recovery Lighthouse today for more information on how we can help you.
We offer immediate access to fully comprehensive treatment programmes in our luxury clinic. We have an excellent record of success and a team of highly motivated and fully trained individuals who will do all they can to help you overcome addiction to marijuana.
Treatment programmes for marijuana tend to focus on behavioural modification. Detox programmes are rarely necessary as the impact of withdrawal are inclined to be very minimal. Symptoms tend to be more psychological than physical and treatment rarely requires medication.
A rehabilitation programme, on the other hand, will delve into the reasons you became addicted. With various therapies such as hypnotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, and psychodynamic therapy, you and your counsellor can work on identifying the cause of your illness and ways of replacing your maladaptive behaviours with positive alternatives.