Although marijuana may not have the same fatal effects as cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamines, this drug can be highly psychologically addictive. The effects that this mental dependence has can range from complete loss of motivation to the aggravation of existing mental conditions like depression or anxiety.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a dependence on marijuana, call Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers, Salem at (503) 339-1421 to discuss treatment opportunities.
Cannabis, commonly known as marijuana, is the dried and refined form of the flower buds, leaves, seeds, and stems produced by the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. In its more familiar form as a drug, the dried buds are used as a psychoactive stimulant. It can also be found in a resinous form called hashish or black, sticky liquid called hash oil.
The plant’s effects differ based on various strands and can be bred for different properties. The psychoactive chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is responsible for the drug’s mind-altering effects on users. It is not generally considered to be physically addictive, but can become highly psychologically addictive.
Other common names for this drug include Mary Jane, flowers, bud, weed, ganja, pot, trees, and others.
Marijuana dependence is the routine abuse or psychological addiction to cannabis. A person who has become dependent on cannabis will continue to use it frequently even if they realize that the drug is impairing their performance at work or school, damaging relationships with friends and family, causing them legal and/or financial trouble, or making them physically inept or harmed in some way.
Essentially, marijuana dependence presents itself much like any other drug addiction or substance abuse problem. It is often perceived as somehow being acceptable or less severe by society. However, when a person is unable to control their use, they must recognize that they have a substance abuse problem and take steps to seek help.
In order to identify if a person has developed a dependence on marijuana, you must be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of abuse. Signs that a person has been using cannabis include:
Symptoms of cannabis abuse and withdrawal include:
The primary dangers of cannabis addiction and abuse involve learning and memory. Frequent marijuana use has been linked to impaired memory and cognitive function, especially in heavy or daily users. These effects can last for days or weeks even after a person stops using.
Long-term use has been linked to decreased lung function caused by the carbon created from burning plant matter. It can also aggravate depression, sleeping problems, and anxiety. For some users, smoking marijuana can lead to curiosity and use of other more serious illicit substances like ecstasy, hallucinogens, or cocaine.
Drug convictions for a person is caught using or carrying marijuana or smoking paraphernalia can have serious consequences, including prolonged periods in jail.
If you or someone you know has a marijuana dependence, get a fresh start by calling Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers, Salem at (503) 339-1421.
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