is marijuana addictive

Is Marijuana Addictive?

Marijuana is a safe drug because it isn’t ever addictive, right?

Wrong. This is a commonly held belief about marijuana, totally unsupported by research. As many as 30% of marijuana users have a marijuana use disorder.

If you think someone you love might be addicted to marijuana, it’s important they seek help. To learn why the answer to “is marijuana addictive?” is yes, and the options for recovering, read on. 

Is Marijuana Addictive?

Using marijuana can lead to a marijuana use disorder. In severe cases, that can result in addiction. If you know someone who started using before the age of 18, they’re up to seven times more likely to develop a marijuana use disorder.

What Is a Marijuana Use Disorder?

Think of marijuana use disorder as a dependence on the drug.

If you have a marijuana use disorder and stop taking the drug, you’re likely to experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can include irritability, sleep difficulties, mood alteration, low appetite and a general sense of restlessness.

These symptoms are at their strongest in the first week after stopping marijuana use. They’ll continue for up to 2 weeks

What Causes Marijuana Dependence?

The withdrawal symptoms of marijuana dependence are a result of the ways taking the drug has reduced the production of your body’s own endocannabinoid neurotransmitters. Marijuana not only introduces cannabinoids into the system, but it also triggers your body’s increased production of them.

When you stop using, your body has to reset its endocannabinoid system. 

What Are the Signs?

Like with other addictions, marijuana use disorder becomes an addiction when you see someone choosing to take marijuana even when they are aware of the negative consequences it will have.

Users will seek out the marijuana high even if they know it will cause problems at work, in their friendships, their relationships, or to their financial health.

Some of the signs of marijuana addiction include:

1. Tolerance

This means that each time you’re needing to take more and more of the drug to get the same ‘high’ you used to with a relatively small quantity. Tolerance and withdrawal are both signs of your body’s increasing dependence on the drug.

2. No Limits

Ever find that you take way more pot than you meant to? Perhaps you start out thinking you’ll just have a puff or two, and before you know it you’ve smoked the whole joint.

Now you can’t concentrate at work or study and miss the party your friends are waiting for you at.

3. It’s Hard to Cut Down

You’ve already seen your drug use is a problem. You decide to cut down. But when the moment comes to actually do it, you lose your determination and keep taking as much as you were before.

4. No Other Activities

You used to go to the gym a few times a week. Your partner used to love Sunday evenings at the cinema. These just don’t seem to happen anymore.

It even seems your dog has given up on the idea of a daily walk. He used to run for his leash and wait by the door in the mornings, but he’s learning you’re not leaving the house anytime soon.

This is another indicator of addiction. Increasingly, you’re choosing marijuana over daily activities, and it’s impacting on your life and your relationships.

5. Using It as an Escape

If you’ve had a tough day at work or an argument with your partner, is marijuana your first thought? Many addicts start to use marijuana as their escape from the world.

This is a key way that the problem gets worse quickly. Marijuana use has negative consequences, which you dull by using more. This leads to a downward spiral of marijuana abuse. 

Why It’s Not Taken Seriously

Many don’t take marijuana use as seriously as other drugs as they’re not aware that the marijuana people use today is very different from what was around in the previous decades.

Marijuana potency is steadily increasing. Marijuana confiscated in the 1990s had a THC potency of 3.7%. Five years ago, it was 12.2 percent, and can now be between 50 and 80 percent. 

This is particularly concerning in adolescents since their brains are still developing.

Not much is known about how much more of an effect ‘new’ marijuana might have. High concentrations of THC affect the body much more strongly in the short-term, but we need more research on the long-term consequences of its use.

What Help Is Available?

If you’re hearing your own experience in some of these examples, or that of a loved one, the good news is that you’re not alone. Help for marijuana addiction exists and is easier to connect with than you think.

Detoxing from marijuana can be unpleasant at first. With the right support, you’ll transition from detox to rehab and onto recovery, smoothly.

The power of the rehabilitation process is it equips you with insights into why you developed a marijuana use disorder. Armed with the knowledge of why it happened, you’ll have a recovery toolkit to employ healthier coping mechanisms in the future.

It’s Time to Get Help

Now you know if someone asks “is marijuana addictive?” the answer is yes.

With the right support, you can get clean and on the path to recovery. By stopping marijuana abuse, you can get your life, health, and your relationships back on track. Or that of your loved one.

The good news is you don’t need to do it alone, you can connect to experienced professionals for support. For advice on the next steps toward recovery, get in contact with 1st Step Behavioral Health today.

Actual footage of teen drug abuse

The Prevalence of Teen Drug Abuse

Drug abuse and addiction affect every demographic. Whether you’re 16 or 60, you’re not immune to the risk of substance abuse. However, for teens the problem is especially damaging. See the scope of the epidemic with the following statistics revealing the prevalence of teen drug abuse.

More Teens Use Marijuana Than Smoke Cigarettes

Many parents are shocked to learn that, among high school students in the United States, teens use marijuana more than tobacco. While a small percentage of high school students smoke cigarettes, a much larger portion use marijuana in some form. This is surprising, because tobacco use is generally more common than drug use. However, this information shows that most teens use marijuana regularly.

60 Percent of High School Seniors See Marijuana as Harmless

Over the past few decades, the attitude toward marijuana has shifted significantly. Today, a full 60 percent of high school seniors think marijuana is harmless. Even those teens who don’t use marijuana still assume the substance is safe.

This mindset is likely because of lax marijuana consumption laws in many states. A lot of states allow medicinal marijuana consumption, and some states even allow recreational use. Unfortunately, this attitude increases use among impressionable teens. It can also be to blame for the rising numbers of teens struggling with marijuana addiction.

Drug Education and Awareness from Parents Can Help

Talking about substance abuse with teens isn’t easy. However, it can make a tremendous impact. By some estimates, drug awareness and education talks from parental figures reduce drug use significantly. That’s a great reason to talk with teens and adolescents about the risks and dangers of addiction.

Experimentation Is Seen as Normal Among Teens

One of the biggest motivators behind increased teen drug use is the idea that dangerous substances aren’t problematic. In reality, this mindset couldn’t be further from the truth. For example, half of all teenagers believe that using crack cocaine just once or twice is harmless. Nearly forty percent feel the same way about heroin.

Experimenting just once or twice with a drug like heroin, however, could mean a lifelong addiction. A staggering 23 percent of people who try heroin just once can develop an addiction. Thus, more awareness about the risks of drug abuse is a necessity for teens.

Fighting Back Against Teen Drug Abuse

Parents should recognize the signs of drug abuse. If they don’t identify substance abuse early, an addiction is more likely to develop. At 1st Step Behavioral Health, resources are available to help people achieve optimal health and sobriety. Treatments include:

Detox support
Dual diagnosis treatment
Talk therapy
Family therapy

Teen drug abuse is a growing epidemic. However, help is always available. At 1st Step Behavioral Health in Pompano Beach, Florida, teens and their parents can find ideal recovery support. Call (866) 319-6126 to learn more about embracing sobriety with teenage drug addiction treatment.

an infographic showing teen drug abuse statistics

Teen Drug Abuse Statistics [Infographic]

Teen Drug Abuse Statistics

While drug abuse is a problem for people of all ages, teen drug use is especially disturbing for several reasons. The adolescent years are often when people first experiment with drugs and, in some cases, become addicted to them. Teenagers have always been at the forefront of societal trends. If you’re a parent, of course, you have a very personal reason to care about teen drug abuse statistics.

Drug Use Among Teens is Slowly Declining

Drug use among teens is always changing. It fluctuates for a variety of reasons and varies from region to region. Different drugs also go through phases of popularity. According to a 2016 survey conducted by Monitoring the Future, drug use among teens is declining.

Teens and Marijuana Use

Teen drug use includes substances such as alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, heroin, as well as prescription drugs. No matter the substance of choice, drug abuse remains a serious problem for many teens. While it’s useful to look at large-scale and long-term trends, it’s also important to keep this information in perspective. While overall drug use is currently declining among teens, marijuana is an exception. With one study revealing that 23 percent of high school seniors smoked marijuana in the past month, marijuana is now more popular than tobacco or electronic cigarettes.

Marijuana Legalization

Many states are legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana. Unfortunately, this leads to the widespread perception that marijuana isn’t dangerous. Often, despite this perception, marijuana acts as a gateway drug. For example, a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health found that teens who regularly use marijuana were more likely to develop heavy drinking behavior and 26 times more likely to use other illicit drugs by the time they were 21. Additionally, the study found that teens who regularly use marijuana are 37 times more likely to be addicted to tobacco and have a heavy drinking pattern. Thus, marijuana use among teens isn’t always as harmless as some people believe.

Teens and Opioid Misuse

Fortunately, in the last 5 years, teen opioid use has steadily declined. Despite the rise of misuse among adults, teens continue to show disinterest in harder drugs such as heroin and prescription opioids. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, since 2012, the percentage of teen opioid use from grade eight to 12 has dropped by 45%, from 8.4% to 4.8%. Overall, heroin use continues to remain low, at 0.3% in all grade levels.

Helping Teens With Drug Problems

Reading these teen drug abuse statistics can be concerning. Whether they’re using alcohol, marijuana, opioids, or other substances, it’s important to identify an effective treatment. Often, the best approach is finding a reputable rehab program that gives the user a chance to get out of a problematic environment and recover. 1st Step Behavioral, an alcohol and drug rehab facility in Pompano Beach, Florida, helps clients of all ages overcome addiction. The methods that make this comprehensive treatment facility so effective include:

If you or a teenager in your life has an alcohol or drug problem, addiction doesn’t have to control you. 1st Step Behavioral helps you take control. For more information, call (866) 319-6126.

a woman sits and wonders about residential drug rehab

Understanding Residential Drug Rehab

Lifes becomes unmanageable. You might find these words comforting and saddening at the same time. Overall, the truth will allow you to see substance abuse for what it is. You have a choice in recovery, but you won’t walk alone through this process. Residential drug rehab will help you grow and heal into a better, sober you. Let’s explore how.

Residential Drug Rehab

You’re probably most familiar with commercials about secluded country clubs rehab centers. Unfortunately, these send the message that recovery is relaxing and easy. The truth is, it’s a firm expectation that you put in the necessary work to reach sobriety. Recovery is always possible.

Above all, even if you’ve been unsuccessful in the past, there’s always hope. However, you must be willing to do the work. It took a long time to develop your addiction, meaning recovery takes time as well. You could be looking at between 6 months and a year of long-term care. After this, you can expect to attend regular meetings. It’s important to be prepared for the reality of what lies ahead.

In a residential drug rehabilitation environment, you’ll have a recovery coach assigned to you during your “Phase II” living. Additionally, you’ll have a primary care therapist and a nurse practitioner on staff for your safety. Above all, the presence of qualified staff is extremely important to your recovery.

Your Individual Needs

Your drug addiction recovery is not one-size-fits-all. Based on your needs, physical health, and personal evaluation, you’ll have your own individual recovery plan. This involves personal, compassionate care.

Your Involvement

Overall, you’ll have the opportunity to take part in various therapeutic methods including:

  • Art therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Massage therapy
  • Acupuncture

However, you’ll primarily focus on talk therapy. This involves one-on-one time with a professional therapist who will allow you to open up about your addiction. Overall, the more you open up, the more accurate diagnosis you’ll receive.

Additionally, family therapy is an important aspect of your recovery process. A good support system is crucial to successful recovery. In family therapy, you have the opportunity to strengthen relationships with people closest to you. Your family will learn the dangers of enabling and understand addiction as a disease.

In some cases, patients who struggle with addiction also have co occurring disorders. This could be any mental illness from anxiety and depression, to bipolar disorder etc. Fortunately, dual diagnosis treatment addresses these needs.

Your Future

Your recovery process will teach you a new, healthier lifestyle. In addition, when rehabilitation is over, you’ll learn basic life skills. These include grocery shopping, time management, and the importance of attending meetings.

Don’t let addiction control your life. Whether you have a heroin or marijuana addiction, you have a choice. 1st Step Behavioral Health can help you to overcome any addiction with residential drug rehab. Call us today at (866) 319-6126 to begin your road to recovery.