With the legalization of marijuana in most states, many people ask, “Is marijuana addictive?” Often proposed as an alternative to opioids or other painkillers and applicable to various illnesses, it’s essential to examine its adverse effects and the possibility of marijuana abuse.
Marijuana addiction is a real phenomenon and one that’s on the rise as more and more states legalize the drug. A small percentage of people who use marijuana have reported struggling with a substance use disorder surrounding the drug. If you resonate with this disorder, call us today for substance abuse treatment in California.
Marijuana Addiction and Risks of Use
While it is possible to become addicted to marijuana, most people who use it don’t develop an addiction. If you’re asking, “is marijuana addictive” the answer is “sometimes.” Those who are addicted can suffer from various adverse effects, including withdrawal symptoms, difficulty concentrating, and problems with memory and learning.
People addicted to marijuana may also risk developing mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression. Some risks when using marijuana are:
- Dependence – You may build up a tolerance to marijuana, meaning you need more of the drug to get the same effects. This use can lead to dependence, meaning your body needs marijuana to function normally.
- Withdrawal symptoms – If you try to quit using marijuana, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, sleeping problems, and anxiety.
- Mental health problems – Some research suggests that using marijuana may increase your risk of developing mental health problems such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, especially if you have a family history of the condition.
- Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome – Some people who use marijuana regularly may experience cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, which is a condition that causes vomiting and nausea.
While the risk of addiction and dependence is lesser than when using other drugs, such as heroin, marijuana abuse is a real possibility.
Treatment Options for Marijuana Abuse
If you or someone you know is struggling with marijuana addiction, it’s vital to seek professional help. There are treatment options available to help you quit. Treatment typically involves a combination of therapy, medication, and support groups. You may also want to consider an inpatient treatment program if you need more structure and support to quit.
Treatment for marijuana abuse often includes behavioral therapy and counseling. Healthcare professionals may also prescribe medications to help manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings. It’s imperative to treat the underlying cause of the addiction as well, be it trauma, depression, or chronic pain. Only by addressing the root of the problem can true healing begin. Some options for clients dealing with marijuana use disorder include:
- CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy)
- CRAFT (community reinforcement and family training)
- DBT (dialectical behavior therapy)
- MET (motivational enhancement therapy)
- EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing)
With the help of a team of specialized professionals, it’s possible to overcome substance use disorders like marijuana addiction.