What Is Marijuana?
Marijuana is harvested from the dried leaves and the flowers (buds) of the plant cannabis sativa. Marijuana is comprised of chemicals called cannabinoids. The most common, or well-known cannabinoid found in marijuana is the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC. THC is the chemical that creates the euphoric feeling or high for marijuana users. While marijuana is most commonly smoked, it can also be eaten or drank. Some more recent forms of ingestion include, vaporizing, dabbing, topical oils, and capsules, also known as “cannabis caps”.
Marijuana is the most abused of the illicit drugs in the United States. In our country today there are a lot of proponents for legalization which sometimes creates a false belief that marijuana is not addictive and harmful. It is sometimes referred to as a “gateway” drug. Marijuana use is most prevalent in younger people. A study done in 2014 reports that 35% of seniors in high school have used marijuana in the last 30 days. Research has shown that when people start smoking marijuana in their teens it leads to the abuse of other dangerous drugs like heroin and cocaine.
Negative Side Effects
- Can exacerbate pre-existing mental health diagnoses, such as anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder
- Can trigger the onset of anxiety & depression
- Hinders brain development in abusers until the age of 25, when the brain is fully developed
- Increased heart rate, which increases the chances of heart attack
- Inhaling carcinogens, which are found in marijuana, can cause cancer
- Memory Loss; both short and long term
As of 2014, 4.2 million Americans were addicted to marijuana. Of those, 138,000 sought drug treatment for their addiction. Many would like to believe that marijuana is not harmful, but marijuana addiction is very real. Research shows that 1 out of every 11 users becomes addicted to marijuana. Studies also suggest that many individuals who suffer from other addictions, such as heroin and alcoholism, began their use with marijuana.
Marijuana can be very addictive and can lead to serious negative consequences. Many people would like to see marijuana be legalized on a federal level because it is not as dangerous as the other “street drugs” available today. Alcohol has been legal for a very long time. Even though it is legal, alcohol is involved with many crimes and deaths in our country. Marijuana will be no different when it is abused.
Warnings Signs & What to Watch For
- Lethargic – The person is suddenly always tired or lacks energy.
- Blood Shot/Red Eyes – THC can cause a decrease in blood pressure. When this happens, blood vessels throughout the body will dilate, causing the arteries around the eye to expand. Furthermore, some users are more sensitive to smoke, also causing red eyes. Typically, users will keep eye drops handy to mask this side-effect.
- Lack Of Coordination – Appears clumsy, has awkward movements or loss of balance
- Overeating – Abnormally eats larger portions of meals, eats in the middle of night, or consumes many sweets and snacks.
- Lack Of Focus – Can’t seem to focus on the task at hand, whether it be work, school or home related. Tends to be easily distracted or daydreams quite often.
- Unmotivated in daily activities – No longer has interest in daily activities nor wants to participate in everyday life, such as attending school, engaging in extracurricular activities, work, or join in on family events/gatherings.
- Glass pipes – Many users inhale their marijuana through a glass pipe. Quite similar in style to a tobacco smoking pipe, but is made out of glass and is usually decorated with colorful designs.
- Rolling Papers – White, thin sheets of paper. Users roll “joints” out of this material.
- Cut Open Cigars – Also known as “blunts”, this is another method for rolling marijuana and smoking it.
- Empty baggies with green leafy residue – Much smaller than a Ziploc bag, but similar in style. When users buy marijuana in larger quantities, you will often find it in a Ziploc bag or folding sandwich bag.
- Marijuana has a very distinct smell – It is impossible to describe the exact smell of marijuana, seeing as there are many strains of the drug. Nevertheless, some have described the smell of marijuana as similar to skunk, pine, and herb.
- Incense/Candles/Air Fresheners – Because marijuana has such a distinct smell, that usually sits in the fabric of clothing and furniture, many users will always have an air freshener handy or have incense burning.
Clearbrook’s Marijuana Addiction Treatment Program
At the drug and alcohol rehab Clearbrook Treatment Centers, we have been treating marijuana addiction since 1972. When a patient is first admitted into our program, they will be evaluated by our medical staff. This is done to ensure that each patient safety as they undergo withdrawal symptoms. Many would like to believe that marijuana does not have its own set of detox symptoms. They are wrong. When a person stops using marijuana abruptly, they can experience feelings of agitation, anxiety, loss of appetite, insomnia, and obsession and craving.
Once each patient completes detoxification, they will then follow a customized inpatient program, which focuses on one-on-one therapy, small groups, relapse prevention education, family education and an introduction to the 12-step philosophy and local meetings.
During the course of your treatment stay, our clinical team will be working closely with you and your support system to devise the appropriate aftercare plan that best suits your needs. This step is crucial in the early recovery process. A well thought out aftercare program will increase your chances of continued sobriety and a life free of the mental obsession.
Our dedicated and knowledgeable staff is available 24 hours a day to answer your questions regarding our marijuana addiction treatment program and how we can best serve you.
You are not alone and help is available. Contact us today to learn more.