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Extensive marijuana use can lead to addiction. Learn the long-term effects of marijuana use.

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana is one of the most abused drugs — second only to tobacco. Its popularity is due to the ease of availability and the wide range of ingestion methods, including smoking as a blunt or a joint and eating in the form of an edible.

Consistent intake can lead individuals to become addicted to marijuana; the THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) produces euphoria creating a sense of relaxation for users altering time, motor skills, and memory. Now that recreational marijuana has become legalized in some U.S. cities, it’s vital that we monitor marijuana addiction and abuse.

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Addiction & Statistics of Marijuana Use

Is marijuana addictive? Despite remaining controversial to some, the National Institute on Drug Abuse claims that 30% of those using marijuana will experience some degree of addiction. Other researchers through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration report that approximately 1 in 10 marijuana users will become addicted and of those who start before the age of 18 the rate of addiction rises to 1 in 6 (2). Marijuana and addiction are typically tied to an underlying health problem such as anxiety or depression. There are several addictive qualities of marijuana but one of the most common is its ability to help the user relax, especially those who suffer from an underlying health problem such as depression or anxiety.

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    Below are other Marijuana addiction facts.

    • Ages 18-25 have the highest rate of use. (3)
    • 1-in-6 people who start using the drug before the age of 18 can become addicted.
    • 1-in-10 adults who use the drug can become addicted.
    • 22% of American adults use marijuana and of this group, 63% say they use it regularly. (4)

    Casual Use vs. Addiction

    Marijuana addiction often starts in the form of casual use (1). The simplest way to know if you have crossed over from a casual user to addiction is to ask yourself if your body can function the same without it. If you are unsure then there are several marijuana addiction symptoms and signs to pay attention to.

    Signs of marijuana addiction include:

    • Experiencing cravings or tolerance to marijuana
    • Lack of motivation
    • Memory impairment
    • Increased anxiety
    • Ongoing use of marijuana despite causing physical or physiological problems with your relationships
    • Using marijuana to the extent you do less of the activities you previously enjoyed

    If you or someone you know believes they have crossed over from a casual user to addiction and want help please reach out now to learn more about how we can help you!

    Long-Term Effects of Marijuana Use

    As of now, there is little to no evidence of long-term effects in adults; however, there is evidence of long-term effects in adolescents. Because your brain is still developing at a young age it is at a higher risk of long-term damage. Those who become addicted to marijuana from a young age run the risk of permanent brain damage in the form of lost IQ points. Other long-term effects may include panic attacks, memory loss, inhibited mental development, lung infections, mood swings, and reduced ability to learn.

    Don’t wait for the long-term effects of marijuana use to set in. Consider getting help for marijuana addiction by calling or contacting us through our website now.

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    Treatment and Resources for Marijuana Use

    Since 1992 those seeking treatment for marijuana dependence and abuse have increased 142% (5). Arista Recovery is among the marijuana addiction treatment centers that are actively working to help those negatively affected by marijuana use. Marijuana addiction help can come in the form of therapy and or intentional lifestyle changes.

    What are the different types of marijuana addiction treatments?

    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) aims to identify and replace automatic, negative thoughts with objective, constructive thoughts to eliminate destructive behavior. CBT works to address underlying mental health challenges that fuel addiction (6).
    • Contingency Management Therapy (CMT) works by using incentives and rewards to motivate individuals to overcome their addiction.
    • Motivational Therapy (MT) works to identify your reason for stopping and then using that reason to motivate you through a joint action plan to stop using marijuana.
    • Lifestyle change treatment can come in the form of changing your social environment and or engaging in a new hobby.

    Our Marijuana addiction and treatment center offers a combination of therapy, lifestyle changes, and continuous support for those experiencing addiction who are motivated to make a change.

    Commonly Asked Questions

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