With the legalization of marijuana in some states, marijuana addiction could become a more widespread problem. Easier access and relaxed rules can contribute to a dependence on the drug before you understand what’s happening.

In 2018, at least 11.8 million young adults admitted marijuana use within the past year. With the rise of vaping among younger demographics, cannabis can seem like a harmless thing to inhale. However, even though the casual nature of marijuana could change its perception as a “dangerous” drug, it can be highly addictive.

Realizing you have an addiction to marijuana is the first step toward recovery. Here’s what to know about marijuana and how to seek treatment.

Is Marijuana Truly Addictive?

You can find plenty of people enjoying weed as a social drug at parties or with friends—but can people really become addicted to marijuana? Yes! Frequent use can lead to addiction.

Some studies show that 30% of marijuana users could be overusing the drug. Kids who begin using weed before the age of eighteen are more likely to develop dependence than adults who start using marijuana.

What Makes It Addictive?

The presence of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) from the cannabis plant gives marijuana it’s addictive quality. When comparing CBD to marijuana, users can benefit from CBD without worrying about becoming addicted to the substance. During CBD production, the process extracts THC from the cannabis plant. This eliminates the psychoactive compound that causes the sensation of being “high.”

However, recreational and prescription marijuana contains THC which binds to receptors in the brain. This produces a sense of euphoria. As your brain builds up a tolerance to the substance, you’ll need more frequent or prolonged marijuana use to achieve the same high.

If you engage in daily or heavy marijuana use, you could have an addiction that requires treatment.

Recognize the Signs of Addiction

How can you recognize the signs of marijuana abuse? Addiction doesn’t happen overnight. If you or your loved ones notice these behaviors, it’s time to seek marijuana treatment:

  • Frequent cravings for marijuana, followed by using several times a day
  • Spending money to buy marijuana instead of paying bills
  • Increased tolerance for marijuana that requires more frequent use to avoid withdrawal
  • Inability to stop using
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased appetite
  • Inability to sleep or sleeping too much
  • Avoiding friends, family, or responsibilities to get high
  • Taking uncharacteristic risks while high

You might also feel more depressed or anxious than usual, especially if you’re unable to use marijuana for a period of time. A combination of two or more these behaviors can indicate that you or a loved one has become addicted to marijuana. Without treatment, addiction can lead to job and income loss and significant health issues.

How Does Treatment Work?

Taking the first step toward recovery means finding help from a reputable treatment center. During in-patient treatment, addicts remain under observation and receive round-the-clock care from trained professionals. Addiction recovery with the help of inpatient rehab or outpatient assistance can be safer and more successful than attempting to manage addiction alone.

When entering a recovery center, you’ll no longer have access to marijuana. Many people in recovery experience withdrawal as their bodies eliminate traces of the drug and begin to function without marijuana in their systems.

What Are Marijuana Withdrawl Symptoms?

In a recovery center, specialists watch over the detox and withdrawal process. Marijuana withdrawal symptoms can be severe. Without help to continue through the withdrawal process, addicts are at risk of returning to marijuana use to ease their symptoms.

Symptoms can include:

  • Severe mood changes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Irritability and headaches
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Craving marijuana
  • Difficulty focusing on treatment, routine tasks, or conversations
  • Cold sweats or chills
  • Stomach problems
  • Depression

While these withdrawal symptoms can be overwhelming, they don’t last forever. Our skilled staff will help you safely through withdrawal and on to the next phases of your addiction recovery.

Recovery Is a Full-Time Job

Committing to marijuana addiction recovery is a full-time effort. While you benefit from professional help during an inpatient or outpatient rehab program at a recovery center, your ongoing drug-free status becomes a way of life after your treatment program ends.

During treatment, counselors and addiction recovery specialists help you work through the causes of your addiction. Patients learn how to cope in the world without turning to marijuana to get through the day. Most treatment programs involve a combination of one-on-one counseling, group therapy, family therapy, and job counseling.

Addiction treatment helps recovering addicts re-enter society, drug-free, with new skills to manage anxiety, challenges, and resume a productive life. Aftercare programs help provide accountability and ongoing treatment options to continue your recovery when you re-enter life outside of a residential facility.

The sooner you begin treatment, the faster you can leave the confines of marijuana addiction behind and rebuild a life you can love.

What About Relapse?

The fear of relapse or an unsuccessful recovery can keep many people from seeking treatment. While relapse can happen, the benefits of breaking the cycle of heavy marijuana use far outweigh the fear of using the drug again.

Aftercare programs help recovering addicts avoid a relapse. Knowing you are not alone as you continue your recovery journey can help you stay focused on life without using marijuana. However, if you experience a relapse into marijuana use, your treatment program prepares you to deal with it and seek the continued help you need.

Marijuana Addiction Deserves the Right Recovery Help

Struggling with marijuana addiction doesn’t make you a bad person or beyond help. Finding the right recovery center can help you change behaviors, deal with trauma, and continue an improved life without the burden of marijuana abuse.

Long Island Recovery Center is here for you or a loved one struggling with a drug addiction. If you recognize the signs of abuse in your habits or from a loved one, contact us today. Our professionals are ready to help you start your recovery journey.