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Marijuana Addiction And The Best Rehab Centers For Treatment

Jennifer Cousineau MSCP, LPCI, NCC

Medically reviewed by

Jennifer Cousineau MSCP, LPCI, NCC

February 18, 2019

Commonly referred to as the gateway drug, marijuana is popular among the teenage crowd. Many individuals believe that marijuana is harmless because it is not known to be overly addictive. Studies show, however, that marijuana is addictive and can even lead individuals to begin abusing other drugs.

Known as the “gateway drug,” many people are surprised to find that marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance due to its falsely perceived harmlessness. But the fact is that marijuana does often lead to other drug use and abuse, which is worrisome because it is the most commonly used illicit drug in America. Marijuana is commonly popular with teenagers due to its fairly easy availability and acceptability in comparison to other drugs. Unfortunately, most of the population is misinformed about marijuana’s effects.

Starting January 1st, 2014, Colorado was the first state in America to legalize recreational pot. Starting at age 21, residents of Colorado can buy one ounce of marijuana per transaction, while tourists can purchase 1/4 ounce. So what does this mean? If marijuana is indeed the “gateway drug” that it’s made out to be, then will other drug legalization’s be made next? Also called pot, weed, cannabis, dope, grass, and Mary Jane, marijuana is typically smoked, but can also be added into food and consumed. No matter how it is taken, it is the THC in the marijuana that gives the user a hallucinogenic high.

Short-Term Effects

Those who smoke weed often may find themselves aptly labeled as a “pot-head”. Those who are habitual in their smoking habit are more likely to get bad grades and consistently function at lower intelligence levels than those who aren’t. Even if only taken once, THC stays in the smoker’s system for weeks past last use. Here are other side effects that come from marijuana:

  • disorientation
  • anxiety
  • increased heart rate
  • drowsiness
  • loss of inhibition
  • increased appetite

Also, driving while under the influence of marijuana is just as dangerous as alcohol, as it can slow reaction times and coordination.

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Long-Term Effects

Those who abuse pot should be aware that smoking while pregnant can impair brain functioning in their child, causing lasting damage. It can also cause premature birth or low-weight infants. Because marijuana is often laced with over 400 dangerous chemicals and other additives, long-term use can cause serve health problems such as:

  • Memory Impairment
  • Learning Impairment
  • Lowered Immune System
  • Cancer
  • Lung Damage
  • Sterility of Sperm

Because the high that marijuana gives often gets weaker with continual use, abusers will then begin to look to the next drug to get their high.

Marijuana Addiction Treatment

Many users scoff at experts when they call marijuana addictive, but the proof is there. Similar to the same effect as nicotine, it can cause irritability, anxiety, and sleep difficulties when attempting to quit. Addicts can either consider inpatient or outpatient treatment when it comes to marijuana, as there are no medical drugs to regulate to reduce cravings and all cognitive-behavioral therapy can be done outside of rehab.

Because marijuana dependence typically co-occurs with other drug abuse, treatment should be sought from a program that can treat all addictions that the addict might have. Also, since adolescences are the primary users of marijuana, many addiction treatment centers for pot will specialize in teen rehabilitation.

If you or a loved one are addicted to marijuana and want to get clean, contact us today. We can help you find a rehab that best meets your personal needs.

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