Table of Contents
Marijuana addiction treatment, sometimes overlooked or not given enough attention, is vital, given the increasing understanding of Marijuana Use Disorder. Contrary to the perception of marijuana being non-addictive, recent findings indicate a different scenario. It’s estimated that around 30% of marijuana consumers might develop Marijuana Use Disorder. This represents approximately four million individuals in the U.S. alone.
When someone suffers from Marijuana Use Disorder, their brain becomes accustomed to the drug’s effects and ceases to produce its natural endocannabinoid neurotransmitters. Consequently, the person might develop an incessant craving for marijuana, even when its use negatively impacts their life. The likelihood of developing this disorder increases to nearly 18% for those who started consuming marijuana during their teenage years.
Iris Wellness Group is equipped to address this. Our team specializes in substance abuse recovery, and we understand the intricacies of treating Marijuana Use Disorder. Our approach involves collaborating with individuals to develop tailored treatment plans to curb their dependence on marijuana.
Derived from the dried flowers of the Cannabis sativa plant, marijuana contains over 500 chemical compounds. The primary psychoactive ingredient responsible for the sought-after intoxicating effects is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. While many enjoy the sensation of euphoria and relaxation post-consumption, the effects can drastically differ, with some experiencing anxiety, panic, or fear. Chronic usage can elevate the risk of a cannabis use disorder. Thankfully, effective treatments for Marijuana Use Disorder are available, providing hope and assistance to those grappling with its misuse.
What is Marijuana
Marijuana, widely known by various names like weed, pot, herb, ganja, and many others, is available in a diverse array of forms and can be consumed in several ways. Some individuals prefer to smoke it using hand-rolled cigarettes, commonly termed as joints, or use devices like pipes, bongs, or blunts (cannabis wrapped in cigar sheets). Another method of consumption involves brewing marijuana in tea or incorporating it into baked goods like cookies and brownies, known as edibles. The trend of using vaporizers, including vape pens, to inhale cannabis vapor, is on the rise. Furthermore, concentrated resins, known for their potent nature, are another method where they’re heated and inhaled.
Cannabinoids represent a category of compounds indigenous to the cannabis plant. The primary ones being THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), though the plant houses over a hundred different cannabinoids. CBD, often found in products like oils, foods, and capsules, doesn’t produce a “high.” It’s derived either from hemp or non-hemp plants, with hemp defined as any cannabis part containing 0.3% or lesser THC. On the other hand, THC stands out as the psychoactive compound in marijuana, responsible for its euphoric effects.
Currently, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug, indicating it lacks accepted medicinal uses and holds a high potential for misuse. Yet, the classification remains debated, with some questioning if marijuana rightly belongs in the same category as other Schedule I substances like heroin and LSD.
Is Marijuana Addictive?
Marijuana, scientifically known as cannabis, has long been the subject of debate regarding its addictive potential. Historically viewed as a relatively harmless recreational drug, emerging research suggests a more complex narrative. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive component in marijuana, interacts with the brain’s reward system. When consumed, THC stimulates the brain to release dopamine, a neurotransmitter linked to pleasure and reward. Over time and with regular use, the brain comes to rely on marijuana to release these elevated dopamine levels, leading to increased consumption to achieve the same euphoric effects. This pattern can be indicative of a developing dependency, a foundational aspect of addiction.
While not everyone who uses marijuana becomes addicted, a significant portion does develop what is known as a marijuana use disorder. Studies reveal that about 9% of those who use marijuana will develop a dependence on it. This number jumps to about 17% for those who start using in their teens. Marijuana use disorder, while not synonymous with addiction, can lead to it when the behavioral symptoms start impairing daily life functions. Withdrawal symptoms, such as irritability, mood changes, sleep difficulties, decreased appetite, and physical discomfort, further emphasize the drug’s addictive potential. The increasing potency of modern cannabis strains also plays a role in escalating the risk of addiction. As the debate continues, it’s essential to approach marijuana use with a nuanced understanding of its potential risks and effects on the brain and behavior.
Has Marijuana Gotten Stronger?
The short answer is yes, marijuana has definitely gotten more powerful in recent years. In the 1990s, the average THC level of marijuana was 4%. In 2018, that number nearly quadrupled to 15%. While the long-term effects of this higher potency are still being researched, many researchers suspect that the risks of dependence and brain damage are now higher as a result.
What are the Symptoms of Marijuana Use Disorder?
The method by which marijuana is introduced to the system dictates the rapidity of its effects. Smoking marijuana allows THC and other active compounds to move directly from the lungs to the bloodstream, spreading swiftly to the body and brain. This results in immediate sensations.
Conversely, consuming marijuana in edible forms, such as foods or drinks, means the active compounds need to be processed by the digestive system. This typically results in a delay, with effects being felt after 30–60 minutes.
If you’re trying to identify whether someone requires marijuana addiction treatment, there are specific signs and symptoms to watch for that suggest potential marijuana abuse or marijuana dependency. Common indicators include:
- A relaxed feeling.
- Sudden bouts of laughter.
- A euphoric state.
- Enhanced sensory awareness.
- Distorted sense of time passage.
- Heightened hunger.
- Feelings of anxiety.
- Fearful sensations.
- Episodes of panic.
- Feelings of suspicion or paranoia.
- Bloodshot or red eyes.
In cases of larger doses, the impacts of marijuana can escalate to:
- Experiencing hallucinations.
- Falling into delusional thoughts.
- Losing touch with one’s self-awareness.
What are the Long-Term Effects of Marijuana Abuse?
The CDC has done studies on the long term effects of marijuana. Marijuana use disorder may have a number of long-term negative impacts on a user’s brain. Multiple studies suggest this to be the case, though we will note that there are conflicting reports.
Animal studies suggest that the most commonly suspected effect of marijuana – memory loss – has a lot of basis in reality. The hippocampus, the part of the brain that forms memories, has high level of cannabinoid receptors. The THC in marijuana changes how the hippocampus processes information, which can affect memory and cause functional changes to the hippocampus after prolonged usage, especially when marijuana use occurs during adolescence.
There is also evidence of the debated “gateway drug” effect from marijuana use disorder. Other studies have suggested that marijuana use disorder can permanently impair learning, impulse control, and cognitive abilities, as well as lead to a decline in IQ.
A marijuana use disorder may also have serious effects on the lungs and throat. Some suspected problems include risk of cancer and lung disease similar to smoking tobacco, including lung hyperinflation, large airway inflammation, chronic bronchitis, and higher likelihood of respiratory infections.
Start Your Marijuana Addiction Treatment Today!
Can You Overdose on Marijuana?
Although fatal overdoses from marijuana are rare, it’s possible to experience harmful effects from excessive consumption. Overindulgence in THC, marijuana’s main psychoactive ingredient, can amplify its effects, particularly if consumed in the form of edibles or drinks. The delayed onset of these forms can lead people to consume more than intended before the initial dose takes effect.
Moreover, the effects of marijuana can increase the risk of accidental harm, such as vehicular accidents, falls, or even instances of poisoning.
It’s also important to note that marijuana could be mixed with other substances or products. Combining marijuana with other drugs can lead to heightened impairment compared to using it by itself. In extreme cases, if the marijuana is mixed with certain dangerous substances, it could lead to severe intoxication or even life-threatening consequences.
Consistent and heavy use of Marijuana can lead to withdrawal symptoms if a person suddenly reduces or ceases consumption. Research involving over 23,000 participants revealed that almost half of regular marijuana users experienced cannabis withdrawal syndrome. While this syndrome isn’t typically associated with severe side effects, it can deter individuals from abstaining fully. Reintroducing marijuana can swiftly alleviate these symptoms, increasing the risk of relapse.
Common marijuana withdrawal symptoms include:
- Reduced appetite
- Mood swings
- Physical discomforts such as headaches and stomach pains.
Marijuana Addiction Treatment Options
We offer multifaceted outpatient services in Chattanooga, TN tailored for individuals seeking assistance in overcoming drug dependencies, including marijuana. This allows the patient to receive top-tier care and supervision without the commitment of a residential setup, ensuring they are supported yet can continue with their daily routines. The journey through our marijuana addiction treatment is structured in stages. Initially, we have a detox program where individuals undergo supervised detoxification, ensuring they navigate the early days of sobriety with optimum support.
Following the detox, they transition to a level of care best suited to their requirements. The levels of care we provide are:
- Outpatient Drug Rehabilitation
- Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
- Adolescents IOP
- TeleHealth Services
- Partial Hospitalization Program
How We Treat Marijuana Addiction and Abuse
At Iris Wellness Group, our marijuana addiction treatment uses a combination of several types of addiction-related therapies. We believe that every patient is unique and will benefit from following a customized approach to recovery. We will work to understand the personal context of your marijuana use disorder and then implement some of the following:
- Cognitive behavior therapy: Do you know all of the reasons for using marijuana—the triggers, the situations? We can help you identify them and understand how to address them.
- Contingency management: We create a reward system in which the patient receives tangible positive rewards for avoiding marijuana and has them taken away when usage occurs.
- Group therapy: It can make a huge difference to discuss your marijuana use disorder with others having the same experience.
- Family therapy: Many patients who are addicted to marijuana have let it affect their family life and relationships. Iris Wellness Group can help bring you back closer together.
Does Insurance Cover Marijuana Rehab?
Yes, plenty of marijuana rehab centers accept various forms of in-state and out-of-state insurance plans. To find out whether or not your insurance will cover the full or partial cost of your treatment, simply provide your insurance information on our verify insurance form and an Iris Wellness Group admissions representative will inquire on your benefits or call us now at 423-564-6114.
Start Your Marijuana Addiction Treatment in Chattanooga, TN
Is frequent marijuana use taking a toll on your life and well-being? At our marijuana rehab in Chattanooga at Iris Wellness Group, we stand by your side as you confront and triumph over your dependency. Through our comprehensive addiction therapies, we empower you with strategies to steer clear of relapses. Additionally, we prescribe medications tailored to mitigate marijuana withdrawal symptoms. Our adaptable outpatient programs enable you to engage in various care levels without uprooting from your daily life.
Ready to discuss you or your loved ones journey to recovery? Call us at 423-564-6114 to being your marijuana addiction treatment journey.