How Marijuana Addiction Affects Decision Making Abilities

How Marijuana Addiction Affects Decision Making Abilities

Many people consider marijuana a softer drug in that it does not produce a physical dependency or severe withdrawal symptoms when users quit the drug. It is virtually impossible to overdose on marijuana, and cases of marijuana use leading to emergency room visits are unknown. However, marijuana can produce psychological addiction, and chronic use of marijuana can result in many negative consequences. If you think that marijuana does not affect your ability to think clearly, think again.

The Nature of Marijuana Addiction

Few people outside of the treatment community understand the difference between addiction and dependence, but it is a critical distinction. Dependence occurs when the body requires a substance to function normally. An easy example to understand is caffeine dependence, as many caffeine dependants will not feel right without a morning cup of coffee or soda. In the same way, opiates or sedatives (including alcohol) produce strong physical dependence, complete with severe withdrawal symptoms if users go long enough without a dose. This can occur even in cases where the drug is used strictly for medical reasons and is not abused recreationally.

On the other hand, addiction is a psychological phenomenon that involves seeking out a high and may physical dependence depending on the drug in question. It is possible to be addicted to drugs such as marijuana that do not produce physical dependence, because users become obsessed with the psychological effects. Therefore, breaking addiction is not a question of will power, but rather a disease of the mind. Brain scan imagery shows differences between healthy and addicted brains to support this conclusion.

When marijuana addiction takes over the mind, an addict’s first thought is to satisfy cravings. They will do what is needed to obtain and use marijuana, regardless of the consequences. This typically leads to impaired decision-making abilities and poor choices as addicts will neglect responsibilities and even needs like proper diet and hygiene in favor of getting high.

Treatment for Marijuana Addiction

Addiction is often a maladaptive response to stress, pressure or emotional pain. Addiction may also manifest from a psychological issue such as depression, bipolar disorder or a stress disorder such as PTSD.

Therapy for marijuana addiction will address the behavior that led to the addiction as well as any deep-rooted issues that may have contributed to it. As a result patients will understand not only the addiction, but also themselves, which will help them deal with any underlying issues that need to be treated. They will then learn healthier, more productive ways of coping with stress or other issues that triggered addictive behavior in the past. In these ways, people can overcome their marijuana addictions.

Marijuana Addiction Help

Call our 24 hour, toll-free helpline today for instant support. You can overcome marijuana abuse if you seek help now.