Promises Marijuana Addiction Treatment
Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug in the U.S. Typically smoked in joints (cigarettes), blunts (cigars) or pipes, or mixed with food, marijuana’s active chemical – THC – activates areas of the brain responsible for pleasure. In addition to producing relaxation and euphoria, users may experience distorted perceptions, impaired coordination, and difficulties with thinking, learning and memory.
Marijuana Rehab at Promises
At Promises, marijuana rehab treatment is tailored to each client’s needs. Many therapies are available, including equine therapy, acupuncture, yoga, massage, cognitive behavioral therapy, and more. Throughout your time at Promises you will have access to psychiatrists, therapists, massage therapists, acupuncturists, nutritionists and other practitioners who will guide your care and treatment. To promote long-term recovery, alumni services and support are also available.
Consequences of Marijuana Use
After smoking marijuana, it takes only a few minutes for the heart to speed up and blood vessels in the eyes to expand (hence the red eyes and use of eye drops frequently associated with smoking pot). Like other drugs, marijuana affects users’ physical health, increasing the risk of heart palpitations, arrhythmias and heart attack as well as respiratory problems such as chronic cough, chest illness and lung infections.
Ongoing research is shedding new light on the consequences of regular marijuana use. Learning and memory are significantly impacted, which at least partially explains the “pothead” image of someone who is easily distracted, forgetful, unmotivated and slow to react. These effects can last for years after stopping marijuana use, especially for those who begin using the drug at an early age.
Far from harmless, heavy marijuana users report a number of problems including:
- Less satisfaction with life
- Poor mental and physical health
- Interpersonal conflict
- Less academic and career success
Studies show that chronic marijuana users are more likely to drop out of school, be late or absent from work and jump from job to job.
Impaired judgment and coordination make driving under the influence of marijuana extremely dangerous. Studies show that marijuana use more than doubles the risk of being in a car accident. The risk is even higher when marijuana is mixed with alcohol.
Mental illness, such as depression, anxiety and psychosis, is also associated with chronic marijuana use. High doses can cause severe paranoia and hallucinations. Especially among teen pot smokers, studies show a link between marijuana use and the development of psychosis later in life.
Heightened Risks of Marijuana Use in Adolescence
Marijuana use in adolescence is particularly problematic. Studies show the drug can cause lasting changes in the brain’s reward system as well as the hippocampus, where learning and memory take place. Marijuana not only affects teens’ performance at school but it may also lower IQ and result in mental decline that persists after they stop using drugs. Since about one in 15 high school seniors uses marijuana, the impact on future generations could be significant.
Perhaps influenced by legalization efforts, the number of teens who think marijuana is harmful has declined in recent years. Not surprisingly, these perceptions have correlated with increasing rates of use among teens since 2007. Now more teens smoke pot than cigarettes.
Marijuana Is Addictive
Few drugs are more misunderstood than marijuana. Widespread misconceptions abound, including the belief that marijuana is harmless and non-addictive. Like all drugs, marijuana poses clear risks.
Research shows that about 9 percent of users become addicted, and the risk is higher among those who start young, use on a daily basis or have an underlying mental health disorder. Withdrawal – one of the key features of addiction – occurs when long-term users try to quit. Symptoms can include anxiety, drug cravings, irritability, insomnia and changes in appetite.
With the potency of marijuana reaching a historical high in recent years, marijuana addiction is an even greater concern. More people are showing up in emergency departments and addiction treatment programs with problems related to marijuana use. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, family therapy, motivational enhancement therapy and other approaches have proven effective in the treatment of marijuana addiction.