Marijuana, while not technically an addictive substance in the way heroin, cocaine, opioids, or other drugs are, is still a substance that puts people at risk. The United States is currently reassessing the role of marijuana as many states legalize it both for medical and recreational use.
As more states legalize the drug, it becomes more socially acceptable. While the benefits are clear–many people enjoy the “high”–there are also many downsides and risks associated with marijuana, particularly overuse or misuse.
When you consider that legal substances like alcohol or cigarettes can lead to addiction, it makes sense that marijuana addiction is possible. Not all drugs are illegal. If you or a loved one needs marijuana addiction treatment, you can reach Northpoint Nebraska at 402.698.3475. We offer a variety of substance use treatment programs and are ready to help. Call now.
Do You Need Marijuana Addiction Treatment? Is That Even a Real Addiction?
According to the CDC, the leader in addiction and disease information in the United States, marijuana addiction is very real. There is a popular misconception that marijuana is not addictive, and many feel there should be no restrictions on cannabis.
Numbers show differently. According to the CDC, an estimated 10% of those who ingest marijuana become addicted. For those who smoke marijuana before turning 18, the number is closer to 20%.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) defines addiction as when a person maintains a compulsive desire to search for and obtain drugs or substances despite the harmful consequences. Addiction is not something that is a complete physical craving. Addiction controls your day-to-day functions and prevents you from living life to the fullest.
Physical cravings come from dependence, which is closely related to addiction but not the same thing.
A substance dependency can feel like an addiction. It is absolutely possible to have both a dependency and an addiction to a substance.
A dependency is when your body and mind have adjusted and adapted to having the substance to help them maintain normal functioning. When you’ve become dependent on a substance, losing that substance will cause discomfort as your body will need to readjust to not having it.
Dependency is not uncommon. Many people form a dependency on caffeine or nicotine from their daily coffee or cigarette intake.
While the world continues to trend toward accepting marijuana, the risk of dependency may be overlooked.
A 2007 study showed that for those who use marijuana frequently, withdrawal symptoms could begin as quickly as 24-38 hours after they stop. While withdrawal symptoms are commonly milder than those for other substances like opioids or alcohol, they still exist.
Where withdrawal symptoms exist, dependency exists.
Side Effects of Marijuana
Marijuana, like any drug, has possible side effects. Cannabis causes mind-altering thoughts in users through the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Short Term Side Effects
Short-term side effects of marijuana can include:
Loss of senses
Marijuana’s short-term side effects are much less severe than possible long-term side effects.
Long-Term Side Effects
The long-term effects of chronic marijuana use manifest in many ways, including cognitive, social, and physical complications. Some of these side effects include:
Cognitive development: For those who use marijuana during their teenage years or younger, marijuana has been proven to slow or alter the development of the brain. THC has also been linked to long-term and short-term memory loss in those who consistently consume marijuana.
Social ramifications: Teenagers and young adults who ingest marijuana are likelier to have an unexpected pregnancy, a sexually transmitted disease, or drop out of school. All users can also experience loss of job opportunities and loss of relationships.
Physical effects: Marijuana contains some, if not all, of the same toxins that are found in tobacco. Consistent smoking of marijuana can lead to many lung diseases or other ailments, such as shortness of breath, wheezing, or cough.
Finding Marijuana Addiction Treatment in Nebraska
The first step in marijuana addiction treatment is finding the right fit. That begins with joining a program that caters to your specific needs and considers your specific medical and social history. At Northpoint Nebraska, we take each individual’s story and build a personalized treatment plan. With that information, we can better find options that work for them.
Marijuana Recovery at Northpoint Nebraska
Marijuana addiction treatment rarely begins with a period of detox, unlike treatment for many other substances, since the symptoms of marijuana withdrawal are milder than for most other substances. Most clients can transition directly into rehab. Rehab often features a mix of therapy sessions that will help our patients understand why they became addicted and how their addiction can be overcome with some simple changes.
Therapy and Counseling
Therapy and counseling sessions will help you identify triggers and change thoughts and behaviors related to your marijuana addiction. However, it is also essential to determine if there is a co-occurring disorder. A co-occurring disorder is a mental health disorder that exists alongside a substance use disorder, and they must be treated simultaneously for true healing to happen.
Using evidence-based treatments like group therapy, one-on-one counseling, and more, we can zero in on the cause of your addiction. Using a mix of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), our therapists will help you discover why you became addicted and how you can change the pathways in your life that led to struggling with marijuana.
Northpoint Nebraska Can Help You Heal
Northpoint Nebraska is located in Omaha, Nebraska and offers a variety of inpatient and outpatient treatment options for those with a wide range of substance use disorders and mental health disorders.
If you or a loved one is struggling with marijuana misuse, addiction, or dependency, we want to hear from you and help you make positive changes for your future. Call us today at 402.698.3475 or reach out to us online.