Marijuana addiction may not look like people think it will. There are negative side effects that can take place for some people, depending on what they use, how it is used, and how often.
Forming an addiction to the drug can happen more easily than people realize. Even faster than people may realize is possible. Managing addiction might mean learning how to deal with symptoms and seeking treatment if they are willing to get past denial and seek help.
How it Happens
Marijuana comes from the cannabis Sativa plant, referring to the stems, flowers, and seeds of the plant. People use the drug because THC, a chemical compound produced from it, creates feelings of euphoria, among others.
The cannabis plant ranges in color from dark green to a white-ish green. It may be rolled into cigarettes, baked into goods or used in other ways.
Brownies look like regular ones but they taste and smell differently. Much of marijuana in the United States is locally grown.
When imported into the United States, marijuana can come from many different countries with lots of variations in it. People are not always getting pure marijuana when purchased this way because it is manufactured with other things in it, like Fentanyl, which are causing harm to people.
Users of marijuana may combine it with other drugs, which is dangerous and risky. Some common marijuana drug interactions may include anti-inflammatory drugs, which can cause impaired motor skills where the person is likely to hurt themselves while on the drug.
They may have impacted blood sugar levels, which is risky for diabetics. If a person has a prescription, they should be under the supervision of a doctor so they monitor blood sugar levels and adjust the doses according to these guidelines.
People who combine use with benzos, opioids, or alcohol may experience drowsiness and should not be driving or operating machinery. They may put themselves and others at risk of dangerous situations.
While people can use marijuana casually and not become addicted, some have experienced addiction, even at a young age, and are more likely to increase addiction issues into adulthood if started young. The mind-altering substance, THC, gets into the bloodstream and then hits receptors in the brain and, over time, tolerance may build to the effects of this drug.
When the chemical is removed from the body, withdrawal may occur. When this happens, a person is experiencing addiction and may need help quitting the drug.
Physical and Mental Health Risks
A common thing people think about marijuana is whether or not it causes physical or mental harm to people. Just because addiction does not happen as much as with other drugs does not mean risks are not as dangerous.
Different consequences can occur, including the risk of lung cancer, decreased energy, increased heart rate, anxiety, and other challenges.
Mentally, a person may experience other symptoms, as well. They may feel sluggish or tired from using it too much as it slows them down. Depending on whether they combine drugs, it may cause other effects.
Signs and Symptoms
When looking at a loved one who seems to be struggling with something, it may be that they are wrestling with addiction. If that concern pops up, look at their environment and see what is around.
Notice any paraphernalia or things they may be using. If they use too much of it, they may experience some signs like lack of motivation, weight gain, impaired coordination, dizziness, anxiety, sleepiness or slowed reaction.
The risks of using marijuana are lower for medical use but it is not risk-free for people who experience side effects. The consequences of prolonged use are not completely understood.
If someone has mental health conditions, they should be seeing a doctor regularly to talk about any side effects. This includes anyone with bipolar illness, depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia.
Short-term side effects may not seem dangerous but other effects may include paranoia, overeating, and impaired cognitive function.
When someone experiences side effects long-term, they may not realize it. There may not be concrete evidence that chronic marijuana use has damaging effects on adults.
Some possible side effects of long-term use like lung infections, reduced ability to learn, and mood swings may occur when someone uses it too long, too much, and for prolonged periods of time. These may also impact them if they start using them at a younger age. Teens who use it can suffer ill effects on their brains over time.
Treatment for marijuana addiction is possible for people who are struggling with it. It is likely they are suffering from other types of issues, too, including mental health disorders. The conditions they experience need support from treatment programs that provide dual-diagnosis therapy.
When they are struggling with their use of drugs, they may not know how to quit on their own. Loved ones are crucial to help them get the support they need so they can join people who have recovered from substance use.
It is not an easy road, especially with lingering mental health conditions, but it is possible to find support for these issues and begin to make the journey of healing.
July 4, 2020
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