Marijuana Abuse and Bipolar Disorder

Marijuana Abuse and Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental health illness that often occurs in conjunction with drug abuse. As the most abused illicit drug in the U.S., marijuana is commonly abused by individuals with a mental health illness. Each disease can cause or worsen the symptoms of the other. Bipolar disorder can influence a person’s decision to abuse marijuana, and an individual’s marijuana use can result in the development of bipolar disorder.

When the two disorders occur simultaneously, they require a special form of integrated treatment because each disorder can perpetuate the other’s existence. This specialized treatment is called integrated or Dual Diagnosis treatment. Only Dual Diagnosis professionals understand the complexities of co-occurring disorders and can provide the best treatment to ensure a successful recovery. Without professional treatment help, marijuana abuse can significantly worsen the symptoms of bipolar, and bipolar disorder can worsen the consequences of marijuana abuse.

Why Does Bipolar Disorder Instigate Marijuana Abuse?

Bipolar disorder is a serious mental health illness. Its symptoms consist of intense mood swings varying between depression and mania. Those who suffer from bipolar disorder will often go from extreme emotional highs, accompanied by restlessness and irritability, to extreme emotional lows, accompanied by hopelessness, emptiness, fatigue and suicidal thoughts. Living with bipolar disorder can be taxing physically and emotionally, and many individuals unfortunately attempt to self-mediate these symptoms.

Marijuana is a drug that is relatively easy to find and inexpensive compared to other drugs. Marijuana works by activating the brain’s reward center and increasing the release of the chemical dopamine. As a result, the user experiences a euphoric high. Individuals with bipolar may be attracted to the mood elevating effects produced by marijuana. The drug can minimize symptoms of restlessness and irritability and replace these feelings with a sense of calm and relaxation. Individuals who have not been diagnosed as bipolar are likely to turn to drugs or alcohol because they are often searching for something to ease their pain. Marijuana can seem like a quick fix for alleviating the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Unfortunately, the therapeutic effects of marijuana are only temporary, and the consequences of continued use are detrimental to an individual with bipolar disorder.

Dangers of Co-Occurring Marijuana Abuse and Bipolar Disorder

The symptoms of bipolar disorder can worsen when marijuana abuse is also present. Drug use may intensify mood swings as well as trigger depressive or manic episodes. One’s physical and psychological health will be affected, and problems can begin to develop in social and financial aspects of the user’s life. Untreated Dual Diagnosis conditions, such as bipolar disorder and marijuana addiction, can cause issues that interfere with an individual’s quality of life and pose a high risk of danger.

Find Integrated Treatment for Marijuana Abuse and Bipolar Disorder

If you or a loved one is struggling with marijuana abuse and may have an underlying issue such as bipolar disorder, please call our toll-free helpline now. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to help you find the treatment solutions that are right for you. We can assist you with all your questions, concerns and needs regarding integrated treatment and recovery solutions for co-occurring disorders like marijuana addiction and bipolar disorder. We can help you find your way on the path toward recovery. Please call now.