How Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Affects Marijuana Addiction

How Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Affects Marijuana Addiction

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health issue characterized by intrusive thoughts and compulsive behaviors that interfere with daily life and cause great distress. According to the National Institute for Mental Health, OCD typically develops in childhood or adolescence and affects as many as 2.2 million adults in the US. There is a strong connection between OCD and substance abuse, particularly marijuana, so seek help to address both issues simultaneously.

OCD and Marijuana Addiction

There are many connections between OCD and marijuana abuse. Often, those who suffer from OCD abuse drugs to self-medicate the distress caused by their disorder. They may experience great anxiety due to the need to satisfy their compulsions. Performing a task temporarily relieves anxiety, but the relief is temporary, which creates a frustrating cycle of abuse and resurgent symptoms. Marijuana is a common drug of choice for people with OCD, as it causes relaxation. Unfortunately, when people self-medicate their symptoms with marijuana, a psychological addiction may develop.

The social anxiety associated with OCD is another contributor to marijuana abuse. Sometimes, social anxiety might occur in people with OCD because they fear that others will notice their disorder. Other times, the social anxiety is directly related to a person’s obsession; for example, people who fear germs may avoid social situations to prevent contamination. As a result of this anxiety, OCD patients may abuse marijuana to calm their nerves in social settings. Marijuana is a social drug, because it encourages interpersonal interaction. Those using marijuana may feel more comfortable opening up in a group and initiating conversations with others. Unfortunately, this can also lead to a psychological addiction to marijuana where users feel as though they need the substance to function normally.

OCD and Marijuana Addiction Recovery

Unfortunately, those who suffer from both OCD and marijuana addiction may have difficulty recovering from either condition. These individuals often respond best to treatment that aims to treat each condition at the same time. This is known as integrated treatment, a holistic method of treatment for addictions and psychological problems. In integrated treatment, recovering addicts work with a team of healthcare professionals to develop a plan of recovery for both the addiction and the mental health disorder concurrently. Often, integrated treatment programs provide several mental health therapies, including individual counseling, support groups and psychoeducational groups. Each of these treatment methods provide a different method of addressing both the marijuana addiction and the OCD.

Get Help for Marijuana Addiction and OCD

If you or someone you know has become addicted to marijuana, it is important to seek appropriate treatment. Therefore, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you have about marijuana addiction and psychological addiction treatment.