While many argue that marijuana is an entirely safe substance to use, the drug’s potential for abuse and addiction are often brushed to the side. Otherwise known as cannabis or weed, marijuana is a collection of dried leaves from the cannabis plant, of which there are various strains. Marijuana is usually rolled into blunts or joints to be smoked, brewed as tea, or baked into food to be eaten. Although many turn to weed as a “safe” alternative compared to other substances, it is a gateway drug that has a potential for addiction. For those who have become dependent on this substance, our marijuana addiction treatment in Massachusetts can help.
Is Marijuana Really Addictive?
Although cannabis may not appear to be as dangerous as other street drugs like heroin, meth, and cocaine, it comes with its own risk. Marijuana is addictive, and marijuana addiction is clinically referred to as a cannabis use disorder, which nearly 6 million people in the U.S. struggled with within a year. Research also shows that adolescents who engage in marijuana abuse eventually show problems in cognitive performance, brain development, and brain functioning.
Additionally, long-term weed use can also lead to physical dependence, which is a physical condition in which a person is unable to feel “normal” or functionally normally without a particular drug. This condition, as well as the person’s growing addiction to weed, becomes evident when they experience withdrawals. Users who become addicted to cannabis require marijuana addiction treatment to recover, many of whom do not receive it.
Signs Someone Needs Treatment for Marijuana Addiction
As a marijuana addiction treatment center, we’re familiar with the various signs of cannabis abuse that can be easily hidden or overlooked. Especially due to the various restrictions on weed that have been relaxed in numerous states throughout the nation, identifying a cannabis addiction is more difficult now than ever. If you suspect that a loved one or your child is addicted to cannabis, below are common signs of marijuana abuse to look out for:
- Bloodshot/red eyes
- Lack of coordination
- Lack of focus
- Unmotivated in daily activities
- Glass pipes
- Cut open cigars
- Empty baggies, joints, rolling papers, and other drug paraphernalia
- The recognizable smell of weed in their room, car, or on their clothes
- Frequent use of incense, candles, and/or air fresheners
While the effects of marijuana are often portrayed as relaxing or even comical in the media, using weed can increase the risk of injury and accidents as well as other physical problems, such as lung and cardiovascular issues. Impairments in cognition and memory have also been reported with long-term marijuana use.
Short-Term Effects of Cannabis & Long-Term Risks
As with other substances, short and long-term marijuana abuse can lead to various symptoms. These effects may dissipate after use stops, but problems like mental impairment can persist even after the person has stopped smoking or eating weed.
Common side effects of marijuana include:
- Short-term memory impairment
- Difficulty with learning
- Altered judgment
- Slurred speech
- Drowsiness and sedation
- Altered brain development
In addition to these immediate impairments, research shows that cannabis use can also affect areas like working memory, verbal fluency, language, speech, and decision-making abilities. There’s also evidence suggesting decreased performance in areas like decision-making skills, problem-solving skills, memory, inhibition, and impulsivity control as a result of long-term marijuana use
Although weed isn’t addictive in the same way that opioids or benzodiazepines are, it does affect chemical balances in the brain as well as the user’s physical and emotional response. As a result, while the physical aspect of a cannabis addiction may seem less severe than that of an addiction to heroin, the emotional and psychological dependence can be just as severe.
Despite these issues, there’s a severe lack of marijuana addiction treatment centers in the nation, but our Massachusetts inpatient drug rehab is proud to offer this service to those in need. With the help of our medical team, specialists, and counselors, our cannabis addiction treatment can help clients recover and get sober.
Our Weed Addiction Treatment
No matter how addictive a substance is considered to be, no one wants to be under the control of drugs or alcohol. The same goes for marijuana, despite the various claims of its harmlessness. While, physically, users might feel happy or relaxed, as cannabis use worsens, they may eventually find themselves unable to stop.
Over time, weed might take precedence over other responsibilities in life, such as school, work, and family. Suddenly, motivation, determination, and other positive aspects of life begin to give way. Therefore, due to the increasing use of both natural and synthetic weed, the need for marijuana dependence treatment has become more apparent.
More and more drug dealers are selling weed laced with fentanyl and other potent drugs on the streets, contributing to various overdoses. Considering that many receive their weed from drug dealers, this is a disturbing reality. Fortunately, our facility offers marijuana addiction treatment, among other levels of care to assist people who have used drugs long-term to achieve a healthier way of life.
- National Institutes of Health – Marijuana use disorder is common and often untreated
- National Library of Medicine – Effects of Cannabis on the Adolescent Brain
- National Library of Medicine – An Evidence–Based Review of Acute and Long-Term Effects of Cannabis Use on Executive Cognitive Functions