Is Marijuana Addiction Chronic?

Is Marijuana Addiction Chronic?

With the growing acceptance of marijuana for medical and leisure use, more and more people are starting to use the drug. As greater numbers of people start using marijuana, take the time to research how the drug works and affects the body, because only then can you truly understand the associated risks, like developing a chronic addiction.

How Marijuana Affects the Body

When marijuana is in the body, whether via inhalation of smoke or capsule, a chemical called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is absorbed into the bloodstream and then transported throughout the body. Once this chemical reaches the brain, it plugs into a specific set of receptors that initiate physical and psychological changes that are both positive and negative. One benefit of THC is reduced nausea, which may help those experiencing nausea from chemotherapy. Marijuana can also medically treat chronic migraines, but the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that the drug can impair the brain’s ability to form new memories. The NIDA also attests to the irritating effects of inhaled marijuana on the lungs. As the popularity of marijuana continues to grow in the US and around the world, continued research will further increase the medical community’s knowledge of how this drug affects the body.

Characteristics of Marijuana Addiction

Along with the health risks of marijuana abuse, addiction is a possible effect of using this drug, but this kind of addiction differs greatly from addictions to substances like alcohol, opiates or cocaine. The abuse of most substances results in chemical shifts that create physical addiction, but marijuana abuse may not necessarily have this effect. Addiction to marijuana tends to be psychological, so its addicts may think they simply cannot function without the drug, and they will focus on getting the next dose.

Another characteristic of marijuana addiction is that it is a chronic illness, so it occurs long-term and cannot simply be cured. Instead, marijuana addiction must be controlled through continued treatment and maintenance.

Treating Chronic Marijuana Addiction

The treatment of marijuana addiction is similar to most addictions, although there are a few slight differences. The first difference is that marijuana addicts do not usually need to complete a formalized detox program. While it is possible to experience withdrawal symptoms like insomnia or depression while quitting use of this drug, most marijuana addicts can move right into addiction treatment.

The essential components of marijuana addiction treatment are similar to those of other addictions. For example, therapy and support groups are offered at most treatment facilities, particularly because marijuana addiction is a chronic illness. In regard to recovery, marijuana addiction being chronic means that treatment must continue throughout the addict’s life.

Help for Marijuana Addiction

Many people believe that marijuana use cannot lead to addiction, but psychological addiction is a real concern that affects many people. If you or a loved one has become addicted to marijuana, then please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about treatment for marijuana addiction.