What Should I Know About Marijuana Addiction?

What Should I Know About Marijuana Addiction?

One of the most important things to know about marijuana addiction is that it is real, and it comes with serious consequences. Marijuana addiction is often written off as unlikely or even unreal, but abuse, dependence and addiction to this drug are possible. When the authors of “Marijuana,” an article published in Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders, examined various statistics on marijuana use and abuse, they found that “almost 17% of past-year marijuana users met criteria for dependence or abuse…About 4% of new cannabis users become dependent in the first 2 years of use” (2002). As access to marijuana becomes easier, more people are likely to try the drug. Even if the percentage of marijuana addicts does not increase, the overall numbers of those struggling with dependence and addiction will rise as use becomes even more common.

Why People Abuse Marijuana

Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in America, and one of the most widely abused in the world. Increased marijuana use and legalization have made use of this drug seem common and harmless. However, while some people can use the drug to treat issues and without becoming addicted, marijuana is a dangerous drug. THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana, acts on receptors in the brain to produce its desired effects, but these receptors are part of a system responsible for brain development and function. Interfering with this system’s communication can permanently damage mental health. “Cognitive Function as an Emerging Treatment Target for Marijuana Addiction,” published in the April 2010 issue of Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, explains that regular marijuana use leads to “cognitive impairments, most consistently in attention, working memory, verbal learning, and memory functions. These impairments are not completely reversible upon cessation of marijuana use.” There are real consequences to marijuana abuse and addiction, and changes will be difficult or impossible to reverse.

Marijuana Addiction Treatment

Acknowledging that marijuana addiction is real is the first step to getting help and ending use. Do not deny the problem or wait to get help, as the long-term cognitive effects of marijuana use “may interfere with the treatment of marijuana addiction” (“Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology”). Marijuana addiction is a real concern, but luckily solutions exist. Call our toll-free helpline to learn more about pursuing addiction recovery for yourself or a loved one. Our admissions coordinators are here for you 24 hours a day, so do not hesitate to call.