Marijuana is the most popular illicit, recreational drug in the U.S. and the only recreational drug grown in the country. The 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) showed that daily or nearly daily marijuana use increased from 5.1 million users in 2005-2007 to 8.1 million users in 2013.
What Is Marijuana?
It refers to the leaves, flowers, and extracts derived from Cannabis sativa and other related species that together are known as hemp. Other names given to this drug are:
THC is the agent responsible for the effects of this drug. Once the component reaches the brain, it binds to cannabinoid receptors, which influence movement, pleasure, memory, thinking, sensory and time perception. These receptors play an essential role in brain development and function and THC stimulates them artificially. In time, this can disrupt their normal function and cause withdrawal symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms:
- A state of unusual relaxation
- An altered sense of time
- Dry mouth
- Higher heart rate
- Cognitive impairments
- Compromised memory
- Slowed reflexes and impaired motor skills
- Red-looking, irritated eyes
- Increased appetite
Marijuana Abuse treatment
Marijuana withdrawal symptoms last for about a week or two. After this, the person can usually return to their normal life. However, there are some psychological symptoms that can be long-lasting and will require treatment –usually therapy or counseling- to be beaten.
Am I addicted?
The first step for a person to get on the path to recovery is admitting that they have a problem they can’t solve on their own. If you have been abusing Marijuana but are not sure if you are addicted, here are some signs that can help you identify whether you have a marijuana use disorder:
- Increased Tolerance. You need to smoke more pot to get the same effects.
- Withdrawal. You experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, depression or an upset stomach.
- Over-consumption. You smoke more than you originally intended.
- Inability to quit or slow down. You have repeatedly tried to decrease the amount or frequency of your smoking but have been unsuccessful.
- Most of your time is spent getting high. You prioritize smoking over other activities in your life.
- You don’t care about the consequences. You have experienced the negative consequences of smoking pot –such as being arrested- but continue to do it regardless.
- It’s the only way you feel relaxed. If you can only feel at ease after smoking pot, then you probably have become dependent on it.
- You choose your friends based on drug consumption. You tend to surround yourself with people that smoke marijuana and the amount of friends you have that don’t do it has decreased.
If you or a loved one believe they are experiencing marijuana use disorder, contact us now. At Elev8 we have a team of caring professionals that can help you get back on your feet and stay on the path to recovery.