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Marijuana Addiction: When Is Too Much Weed a Problem?

By on Sep 2, 2021 in Addiction, Blog

young adult man in green sweater and sunglasses smoking a marijuana joint - marijuana addiction

In many states, marijuana is now legal for medical purposes. In some, recreational use is allowed. Regardless of whether marijuana use is legal or illegal, it can put your health and safety at risk. Just like alcohol or cigarettes, a person who uses too much of this drug or develops an addiction to it is putting their health on the line.

Is Marijuana Addictive?

Despite the controversy surrounding this question, a few key facts make clear the risk of addiction and dependence associated with marijuana use. The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that:

  • 30% of those who use marijuana have some level of marijuana use disorder. Four million people suffered from marijuana use disorder in 2015.
  • Those who start using the drug before the age of 18 are 4 to 7 times more likely to develop an addiction to it.
  • About 9% of people who use marijuana become dependent on it. This jumps to 17% if the person started using it as a teenager.

Marijuana use disorder has its foundation in dependence. The term dependence indicates that the brain has adapted to the drug to the extent that it will manifest withdrawal symptoms when the person stops taking the drug. Withdrawal from marijuana may involve:

  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Decreased appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Lack of appetite

Most often, a person will experience these types of symptoms for about two weeks, with the worst of them occurring within the first week of no longer using the drug. A person with dependence may be unable to stop using this drug on their own.

How Much Marijuana Is Too Much?

For those who are using the drug with a medical marijuana prescription, following the doctor’s recommended use provides you with the best overall control over your use. For others, there is no way to know how much is safe to use or not.

That’s due to a number of key risks. First, every dose of marijuana may create a different high. One reason for this is the increase in potency of marijuana sold openly today. The amount of THC, or the psychoactive compound within the drug, in processed marijuana has grown in recent years. As a result of this, a person may need a smaller dose than they actually take to get high or to feel some relief.

A secondary factor is genetics. There’s no way to know how your body will respond to the presence of marijuana or how much your brain can tolerate. This is dependent on genetic makeup and overall health. That means that you may form a dependence on the drug even when using a small amount.

How to Know You Need Help for Marijuana Use Disorder

Misuse of marijuana, like any other drug, puts you at risk for reckless behavior, illness, disease, and mental health disorder. Some common signs of marijuana abuse include:

  • Lack of motivation or engagement in things you used to enjoy doing
  • Bloodshot eyes and feeling unwell
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Nervous or paranoid behavior
  • Increase in weight
  • Changes to memory or forgetting important skills or tasks
  • Impaired judgment or engaging in reckless behavior
  • Increasing anxiety

Continued use of the drug may result in the development of dependence. When this occurs, professional treatment may become necessary for a person to stop using. Over time, the risks for health complications increase. These may include:

  • Impaired cognition with no improvement
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Impaired motor function
  • Paranoia
  • Mood swings
  • Panic attacks
  • Memory loss

In addition, a person may suffer from the development of lung disease, impaired mental development, and heart disease. With so many risk factors to health and well-being, it is best for a person to stop using marijuana as soon as they spot any signs of dependence or addiction.

Victory Can Help

Reaching out to Victory Recovery Center for marijuana addiction treatment in Lafayette, LA, is an option for you. Don’t wait to get the support you need to stop using.

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Looking for a New Orleans drug treatment program? To learn more about our programs at Victory Addiction Recovery Center, please contact us anytime at (337) 379.7700.

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