Can Marijuana Cause Anxiety?
Use of marijuana, especially regular, long-term use, can cause or increase feelings of anxiety. Users often report feeling anxious or paranoid, and in extreme cases chronic marijuana use may create an anxiety disorder or even paranoid delusional episodes.
The Relationship between Marijuana Use and Anxiety
The exact relationship between anxiety and marijuana use resembles a “chicken and egg” scenario. People may experience anxiety as a result of marijuana use, or they may use marijuana to ease or escape from feelings of anxiety. In other words, these two conditions may become so interrelated that it is difficult to determine which occurred first and caused the other.
Marijuana use may cause anxiety in those with no prior history or predisposition of this condition. Someone who has never experienced anxiety, paranoia or social phobia may find that marijuana causes these feelings for the first time. Patients may find that their normal, outgoing selves are replaced by a shy, retiring, socially awkward wallflower.
However, what is more likely is that someone with an anxiety disorder will use marijuana to relax and relieve stress. This may seem effective at first, and people may even find that the drug helps them be more outgoing. However, regular marijuana use often induces anxiety, and someone who uses marijuana to relax may eventually feel his anxiety compound and worsen. This can lead to a progressive downward spiral that causes people to retreat deeper into drug use and social isolation.
Treatment to Address Anxiety and Marijuana Use
Anxiety is a normal feeling that passes when matters improve. However, chronic anxiety may come from an anxiety disorder that needs professional treatment. If untreated, an anxiety disorder can rob people of the ability to socialize, work effectively and live a satisfying life.
An anxiety disorder coupled with substance abuse is called having a Dual Diagnosis. Treating only one component may slow problems down for a time, but this leaves patients vulnerable to relapse when situations, thoughts or feelings invariably resurface. Integrated treatment addresses both conditions and also the ways in which they interact with each another. It helps patients recover from addiction and a mental health issue at the same time. Additionally, patients can benefit from addressing any underlying conditions that may have contributed to the addiction and anxiety.
Help Finding Treatment for Marijuana Abuse and Anxiety
Patients who receive integrated treatment for addiction and anxiety can live a healthy, drug-free life. If you or someone you know suffers from anxiety and marijuana abuse, or if you simply have questions about these issues, call us. Our helpline is toll free and we are available 24 hours a day.