Marijuana Dependence after Surgery

Marijuana Dependence after Surgery

Many sufferers of chronic pain turn to marijuana when other pain relievers are not as effective as expected or cause detrimental side effects. Marijuana affects the central nervous system (CNS), changing the way the body perceives pain, which makes it useful as an analgesic.

Individuals who have undergone surgery and are looking for temporary relief from pain may turn to marijuana. It relaxes them and produces sensations of wellbeing. But repeated use of marijuana for pain relief can cause users to develop unintentional dependence on the drug and suffer other negative consequences.

What Are the Dangers of Smoking Marijuana after Surgery?

One of the foremost dangers of smoking marijuana – or even cigarettes – after surgery is the potential to cause problems with healing. Many physicians recommend that patients undergoing surgery stop smoking a few weeks before their surgery and continue to abstain for two or three weeks following the surgery.

While the chemicals found in marijuana may not present obstacles during recovery, the smoke enters the bloodstream and diminishes the oxygen in healing tissues, resulting in a decreased blood supply going to the wound. It can also cause coughing, which may result in bleeding and tearing, and sometimes can even make scars larger once the wound has healed.

Users also risk becoming dependent on marijuana. While the negative effects of marijuana are controversial, long-term marijuana use has been known to cause these health problems:

  • Weakened immune system
  • Stress on the heart
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Reproductive system complications, primarily among males

While a physical dependence on marijuana does not always occur, individuals can easily develop a psychological dependence on marijuana, feeling as though they need it to function at their best. This can cause a disregard for negative consequences, a loss of interest in hobbies, neglect of responsibilities and drug-seeking behavior.

Treatment for Marijuana Dependence

Marijuana dependence is a treatable condition. Because dependence on marijuana is largely psychological, professional treatment does not involve much medical assistance aside from the detoxification phase unless there are other co-occurring conditions that require pharmacological treatment. Counseling and other forms of therapy help patients address the underlying causes of their dependencies. Support groups are a valuable resource that can help patients during and after rehab.

Help for Marijuana Dependence

If you are dependent on marijuana and are looking for a professional treatment program that can help you put a stop to your dependence, call our toll-free helpline. Our trained counselors are available 24 hours a day to help you find the treatment plan that will suit your individual needs and help you live a life free of marijuana dependence. Please call today.