Marijuana Dependence in Coral Springs FL (954) 775-2925
Marijuana dependence in Coral Springs is becoming more prevalent as access to the drug improves. Marijuana dependence is also becoming more prevalent because the potency of the drug is increasing. By some accounts, marijuana dependence is at its highest levels ever.
Treatment is available for this and other kinds of substance abuse problems. Call Alcohol Treatment Centers Coral Springs at (954) 775-2925 for help finding a treatment facility for marijuana addiction.
What Is Marijuana?
Marijuana is a drug made from the leaves and flowers of a plant called Cannabis sativa. This is why marijuana is sometimes called cannabis. The plant is also referred to as "the hemp plant" and is even used in the manufacture of certain fibers for clothing.
The "drug" component of the cannabis plant is delta-9-tetrahydro-cannabinol (THC). THC is referred to as a psychoactive chemical because it can alter perceptions of time, produce hallucinations, alter sensory perception, create feelings of euphoria, and even stimulate appetite (one of the drug's medical uses).
On the street, marijuana may be referred to by any number of names including the popular nicknames weed, pot, and grass. It is less commonly referred to as herb, bud, ganja, and Mary Jane. The form of marijuana that is rolled in paper to look like a cigarette is referred to as a blunt or joint. Marijuana is commonly smoked, but it can also be eaten.
What Is Marijuana Dependence?
Marijuana dependence is a condition in which the body becomes physically reliant on marijuana to function. In particular, the central nervous system (CNS) will adapt to the presence of marijuana, becoming dependent on the drug to maintain "normal" levels of happiness.
The development of dependence results from persistent, heavy use of marijuana and does not result from intermittent, light use. Once dependence has occurred, individuals will experience withdrawal symptoms any time they attempt to stop using marijuana. Examples of such symptoms include depression, agitation, cravings for the drug, and restlessness.
Common Signs and Symptoms of THC Abuse
The most reliable sign of dependence on any drug is increasing tolerance to its effects. The result of increasing tolerance is the need to take more and more of the drug to achieve the same effects. Other signs of dependence include the development of withdrawal symptoms anytime the drug is not used, changes in behavior, cravings for the drug, changes in sleep patterns, and changes in appetite.
Abuse rises to a new level and involves use of a substance when it is physically or personally dangerous to do so. Signs of marijuana abuse include use while driving, use at work, use around children, and use when operating machinery. Any use of marijuana when there are foreseeable and obvious negative consequences is considered abuse.
Though THC is often cited as being "no more dangerous that alcohol," such an endorsement is hardly positive. In truth, alcohol can have devastating physical and mental effects and so can THC. Prolonged use of THC can lead to permanent changes in brain structure and chemistry.
These changes can result in memory problems, difficulty learning, problems with impulse control, and increased risk of mental illness. The effects are worse when the drug is abused by younger individual. Adolescents, for example, lose an average of 8 IQ points that they never regain in later life.
Treatment of Cannabis Addiction
As with any substance abuse disorder, marijuana addiction is treated through a combination of medical and behavioral health measures. Medical intervention is used to reduce cravings, support mood, and manage withdrawal symptoms to help ensure early success in abstinence. Behavioral measures are used to provide long-term support to addicts by giving them the tools they need to address addictive behavior.
Behavioral measures include counseling, group therapy, family therapy, motivational interviewing, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and many other forms of talk therapy. Relapse prevention serves as the final step of treatment, providing recovered addicts with the tools and resources they need to maintain sobriety over the long term.