What Does a Marijuana Use Disorder Look Like?

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The legalization of marijuana across the country is changing the way people view this drug. While the general public is becoming more accepting of marijuana, the medical community still doesn’t know enough about the effects of this drug. Pro-cannabis people say that cannabis is harmless, but studies show that the drug can lead to cognitive problems, lowered IQ scores and worsening depression and anxiety.

If you are concerned about marijuana use in yourself or someone else, it’s important to separate fact from fiction. Here is everything you need to know about cannabis abuse, what it looks like and what types of treatments are most helpful.

What is Marijuana Misuse?

Changes in state laws have made marijuana available to more people, both medically and recreationally. No matter how you use cannabis, there is the potential to get addicted to it, something called marijuana use disorder.

Marijuana contains THC, a chemical that’s similar to what your brain makes when sending messages between nerve cells in the body. If you use marijuana regularly, your brain can stop making its own version and come to rely on THC instead. Roughly 30 percent of people who use marijuana regularly may have some level of marijuana use disorder.

The signs of marijuana misuse and addiction are:

  • Anxiety and restlessness
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Lack of motivation
  • Craving marijuana
  • Trying to quit but can’t
  • Spending a lot of time using pot
  • Using marijuana even when it causes problems

How Addictive is Cannabis?

Cannabis is less addictive than alcohol and opioids, but that doesn’t mean it’s not addictive. Almost 10 percent of people who use marijuana regularly will become addicted at some point. Your body can also grow tolerant to the drug, meaning that you need a higher dose to get the same effects.

It’s also important to point out that it’s not always the drug that’s the problem per se, but rather the motivations for using the drug and the effect it’s having on your life. Someone who misuses marijuana may not have the same risk for overdose as other drugs, but it can still cause problems at work and in relationships.

What is the Best Way to Treat a Marijuana Use Disorder?

Most treatment centers will accept clients who are struggling with marijuana addiction, but this level of care may not be necessary. It’s possible to recover from a marijuana use disorder with evidence-based therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational enhancement therapy or a twelve step program.

If you are struggling with more than a marijuana use disorder, such as an addiction to alcohol or an untreated mental health disorder, a treatment center may be a better fit. With this type of daily treatment, you can address both conditions simultaneously and work towards building more resilience.

Live Freely and End Cannabis Use

Spearhead Health is the perfect place to start when you or someone you love is struggling with a marijuana addiction. We are a private case management and consulting company that provides tailored recovery plans for our clients.

We will take your unique factors into account when determining the best level of care for your needs. Fortunately, there are many effective ways to treat a marijuana use disorder, including evidence-based therapies, holistic therapies and mentoring. To learn more about our services, contact Spearhead Health today.