The discussion about the effects of marijuana has been one riddled with debate and conflicting information. It is true that marijuana does not cause a physical addiction and dependence the way other drugs do; however, that does not mean it is impossible to become addicted. Much like someone can become addicted to gambling or sex, marijuana can cause a psychological dependence. When this happens, it is very difficult to quit without immersing oneself in a comprehensive recovery program.
Marijuana addiction can affect people of any age. At Silver Ridge, our programs are designed specifically for midlife adults. Our facility is located in a quiet, secluded location near the Blue Ridge Mountains where you can receive discreet treatment.
Identifying Marijuana Addiction
The general consensus about marijuana is changing. More states are legalizing the drug every year, which has resulted in more social acceptance than ever before. But like alcohol, just because something is legal does not mean it can’t be addictive.
Marijuana addiction doesn’t cause physical symptoms the way other drugs do, and people abusing the drug can often still function at a high level that makes it easy to disguise the addiction. There are some signs you can look out for to determine if you or someone you love has become addicted to marijuana.
Symptoms of marijuana addiction include:
- Inability to stop using the drug, even when you want to quit
- Spending a significant amount of time thinking about getting high
- Using more than intended in one session
- Continually upping your dosage because your growing tolerance is lessening the effects
- Neglecting other activities or hobbies in favor of getting high
- Prioritizing time with others who get high and avoiding friends who don’t
- Using marijuana to stop thinking about difficult situations
- Neglecting responsibilities because you are more focused on getting high
- Continuously getting high even when it has caused you problems, such as trouble at work or in relationships
- Hoarding marijuana and spending excessive amounts of money to obtain it
Cutting Out Marijuana
Stopping marijuana use can cause withdrawal symptoms, but thankfully they are not severe like other drug dependencies. Similar to nicotine withdrawal, people going through marijuana withdrawal may experience irritability, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping. Cravings can occur too, which makes it difficult to quit the drug once and for all, especially if a person does not pursue treatment in a rehabilitation center.
If marijuana addiction has become a consistent problem in someone’s life and they have tried, unsuccessfully, to quit several times, then it is recommended they check into inpatient rehabilitation. Because marijuana creates more of a psychological dependence than physical, addressing these issues in therapy is of the utmost importance. Learning the triggers that cause marijuana addiction and cravings can help a person figure out what they need to do to maintain sobriety even when tempting factors present themselves.