Going to a drug rehab center for marijuana? The topic of marijuana use and the legality of it has become an issue of global debate the last several years. Many countries have made the use of marijuana illegal, including the United States, until several years ago, when it loosened up its grip on marijuana laws in some states. With the legalizing of medical marijuana in various states, there are many concerned that more people will become addicted to it.
Is marijuana addictive?
Researchers have always said marijuana addiction, called cannabis dependence in medical terms, can certainly occur, but it’s not typically the norm. Many marijuana users never get close to addiction, losing control of use. They simply use the amount they desire and do not feel the need to keep using over and over. Some use it sporadically, like once a month, and others may smoke marijuana a few times a year.
However, the reality is that about 9 to 12 percent of people who use marijuana become addicted to it. They may use it every day, as it’s more of a psychological addiction. They may become dependent upon how it makes them feel and even go through some withdrawals when they try to stop.
For a lot of people, marijuana gives a very pleasurable, relaxing feeling. This feeling lasts for as long as the active agent, THC, is strong in the body. Some people can get to a point where they want to feel this feeling much of the time, so they smoke marijuana throughout the day and evening. There really isn’t any rhyme or reason why some get addicted and others don’t. Some of it may depend on where they are emotionally in life or if they have an addictive personality in general. Those with social anxiety may be more prone to become addicted, as they would be using marijuana to ease their anxiety.
Mental health and marijuana addiction
Therefore, an individual with a mental health history, a family history of addiction, and alcoholics are more prone to addiction. Experts state that mental health is the main reason for 50 to 60 percent marijuana addiction cases, which makes it harder to treat without handling the underlying issue.
It is very easy to build up a tolerance for marijuana, as the brain can easily resist the effect of the drug. Whereas two hits from marijuana used to make one feel very relaxed, two months down the road that amount won’t do much for them. Therefore, they gradually take higher doses or concentrated forms of marijuana, possibly leading to addiction.
Researchers have confirmed that new marijuana strains have been cloned and have a higher THC content, making it very easy to get addicted. In the 1990s, the average THC content was about 3.5 percent. In 2014, the average THC content was about 10 percent- an increase of about 6.5 percent.
According to Google, as many as 5,400 people search for information on marijuana addiction in the United States each year. There is a lot of conflicting information on the subject online. You’ll find as many people saying that marijuana is highly addictive as you will those who say that it isn’t. With the current push for legalization in the United States, this question is likely to become more important as time goes on.
Could I be addicted to marijuana?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, around 9 percent of marijuana users become addicted. This number increases to around 17 percent for those who begin using in their teenage years, and to between 25 and 50 percent for those who use daily. This is because as with other drugs, heavy use leads to increased tolerance and greater withdrawal. Currently, it’s estimated that as many as 4.2 million Americans are addicted to marijuana.
Signs of marijuana addiction
Answer the following questions:
- Has your tolerance increased? Do you need to smoke more and more marijuana to get the desired effect? Have you seen a steady increase over time?
- Do you experience withdrawal symptoms when you cut down or try to stop smoking?
- Do you indulge in smoking? Do you make the intention to just have one or two hits or just smoke once in a while, but you find yourself smoking more than that?
- Have you lost interest in other activities or friends due to just wanting to be alone and smoke?
- Have you gotten in trouble due to smoking, yet still continue?
- Do you want to quit, but just can’t?
- Do you use marijuana to cope with life? Do you feel as if you can only do “good” in life when you’re high? Or you can only be yourself when high?
If you’ve answered yes to several of these questions, you may very well be addicted to marijuana.
Is drug rehab necessary for marijuana?
There are some that do not believe that someone struggling with marijuana addiction needs to attend a drug rehab center. While this may be true for some people, there are others who may benefit greatly from attending drug rehab. Recovery is not a one-size-fits-all approach. If someone cannot stop smoking marijuana on their own, attending a drug rehab center is a viable and wise decision.
Marijuana addiction is treated like other addictions, though depending on your frequency of use, your detox process may be shorter. Drug rehab treatment may include:
- One-on-one counseling
- Group therapy
- Dual diagnosis with treatment, as needed
In addition to a drug rehab center, some find it helpful to attend 12 step meetings, such as Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous. Others might find it helpful to receive substance abuse counseling for a period of time.
Regardless of what rehab approach one decides to use, the reality is that there is drug rehab available for marijuana addiction.
Marijuana can certainly be addictive, so it’s best to stay away from using it. If you are addicted to marijuana or any other drug, know that help is available in the form of a drug rehab center or substance abuse counselors. Reach out for help today and break free from such addiction.