Also known as weed, pot, grass, bud, and Mary Jane, marijuana refers to the dried flowers, leaves, stems, and seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant, which contains the psychoactive (mind-altering) chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in addition to other compounds. Cannabis can also be concentrated in a resin called hashish or a sticky black substance called hash oil. In addition to being smoked, marijuana can also be cooked into food or smoked in e-cigarettes. As one of the most commonly abused substances in the U.S., the risks of marijuana abuse are well known, one of them being addiction. Our marijuana addiction treatment is available to those who have become dependent on this substance and want to quit.
Effects of Cannabis Abuse
When marijuana is smoked, THC passes quickly from the lungs into the bloodstream and is then carried into the brain and other organs in the body. THC is absorbed more slowly when ingested through food or drink.
Regardless of how it’s used, THC acts on the cannabinoid receptors in the brain to produce psychoactive or mind-altering side effects. These receptors – ordinarily activated by THC-like chemicals that are naturally produced in the brain – are part of the communication network called the endocannabinoid system.
The highest density of cannabinoid receptors is found in regions of the brain linked to functions like pleasure, memory, thinking, concentration, sensory and time perception, and motor movement. Marijuana over-stimulates the endocannabinoid system, causing a “high” and other side effects, such as:
- Altered perceptions and mood
- Impaired coordination
- Difficulty with thinking and decision-making
- Disrupted learning and difficulty recollecting memories
- Changes in appetite and weight
As with any other form of drug use, chronic marijuana use can cause or exacerbate problems in daily life. Heavy users often struggle with decreased satisfaction with their lives, worse mental and physical health, relationship problems, and less academic or career success when compared with non-users.
The use of cannabis is also linked to an increased risk of dropping out of school. Abusing weed also contributes to increased absences from work, as well as tardiness, incidents, workers’ compensation claims, and job turnover.
There are also various health risks associated with marijuana abuse and addiction, including:
- Daily cough and phlegm production
- Respiratory discomfort and illness
- Heightened risk of lung infections
- Compromised immune system
- Brain cell death and damage in the central nervous system
- Fertility issues
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
Marijuana abuse has also been linked to mental health problems, such as:
- Personality disturbances
- Suicidal thoughts (especially among adolescents)
- Lack of motivation to engage in typically enjoyable activities
For those who have become addicted to weed and don’t want to fall into these problems, our treatment for marijuana addiction in Pennsylvania can help.
Signs of Marijuana Addiction
Contrary to popular belief, marijuana is addictive. Recent data suggests that 30% of those who use marijuana may have some degree of marijuana use disorder. Data also shows that people who begin using marijuana before the age of 18 are four to seven times more likely to develop a marijuana addiction.1
People who are addicted to cannabis may experience withdrawal symptoms when attempting to quit the drug. Long-term users who try to quit weed cold-turkey often experience withdrawal symptoms like irritability, trouble sleeping, decreased appetite, anxiety, and cravings for marijuana – all of which can make it difficult to abstain.
Although medications to treat marijuana withdrawal are not currently available, our detox in Pennsylvania provides a safe, medically-monitored environment where clients can safely recover from withdrawals and remain abstinent. In addition to withdrawal symptoms, other marijuana abuse symptoms include:
- Anxiety, paranoia, or fear
- Constant, mucus-filled cough
- Difficulty in thinking and problem solving
- Distorted perceptions
- Dry mouth
- Impaired coordination
- Loss of control
- Ongoing problems with learning and memory
- Poor coordination
- Poor memory
- Rapid heartbeat
- Red, blurry, bloodshot eyes
- Slow reaction time
Many withdrawal symptoms and side effects of cannabis mimic warning signs of other conditions, so it’s important to receive an expert assessment to determine whether cannabis abuse is the cause and how to best treat it.
Weed Addiction Treatment at Clearbrook
There are only a few marijuana addiction treatment centers in the U.S., which is why our drug rehab in Pennsylvania is proud to share that we offer marijuana addiction help for those who want to turn their lives around for the better.
The first step at our cannabis rehab for addiction is a clinical assessment, which allows our team to determine the nature of the person’s addiction and the best course of action for addressing their recovery. Following an assessment, the usual next step is medically assisted detox.
During detox, patients are slowly weaned off of cannabis in a medical setting where they can receive support and care to prevent any complications, including relapse. After detox, clients can then move on to psychotherapy and counseling, during which they have the opportunity to work with therapists in individual and group settings to learn how to cope with relapse triggers outside of rehab.
For those who may not have a strong support system at home to keep them accountable, our inpatient rehab programs in Pennsylvania also include aftercare services through an alumni program. Our rehab for weed addiction offers everything you or a loved one needs to get and stay sober.
For more information about our marijuana addiction treatment or other services, contact Clearbrook Treatment Centers today.
- NIH – Is marijuana addictive?