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Marijuana Addiction

If you or someone you know is addicted to marijuana, Synergy Recovery Services offers the best marijuana addiction treatment in Bakersfield, CA. Our intensive outpatient program provides the kind of caring, therapeutic help needed to overcome a marijuana addiction without removing you from your work or home. Synergy Recovery Services also provides personalized treatment plans that address the psychological and physiological difficulties surrounding a marijuana addiction. Call us today at 661-878-9100.

Next to tobacco, caffeine and alcohol, marijuana is the most popular recreational drug in the world. It’s estimated that more than 150 million Americans have tried marijuana at least once, with another 25 million smoking marijuana more than once a week.

Although the current focus on the heroin epidemic is eclipsing other drug addictions, marijuana addiction – now called marijuana abuse disorder, or MAD – continues to ruin lives and devastate families dealing with a loved one who is addicted to marijuana.

Common slang terms referring to marijuana include weed, pot, bud, grass, ganja, wacky weed, hemp and cannabis. Different strains of marijuana containing varying amounts of THC are also known by particular names, such as Thai stick, Creeperweed, Oaxaca, Alcapulco gold and Skunkweed. Marijuana rolled into cigarettes are called joints, blunts, doobies and roaches – what’s left after a joint has been smoked.

Psychoactive Effects of Marijuana

Most marijuana smokers start feeling the psychoactive effects of pot after two or three tokes, or the act of deeply inhaling smoke and holding it in their lungs for as long as possible. These effects include:

  • Feeling relaxed and euphoric – caused by marijuana’s primary psychoactive ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC
  • A sense of time standing still or moving very slowly
  • Difficulty thinking clearly/solving problems/making rational decisions
  • Memory issues – may not be able to remember what happened 30 minutes ago
  • Slowed or delayed reactions similar to how alcohol reduces response and reflex actions
  • Sensory distortions – seeing auras, feeling numb to tactile sensations, hearing sounds that don’t exist

Paranoia, anxiety and panic are also possible side effects of using marijuana, especially if the user smokes a particularly strong strain of pot or it has been sprayed with pesticides. Increases in heart and respiratory rate and hunger occur when the liver manufactures a metabolite of tetrahydrocannabinol called 11-OH-THC, which stimulates the central nervous system and olfactory bulb, an organelle responsible for how you perceive smells.

Signs that someone is under the influence of marijuana include:

  • Red, bloodshot, glassy eyes
  • Drooping upper eyelids
  • Mumbling when they speak
  • Laughing for no particular reason
  • Lack of balance when walking
  • Coated tongue/complaining of dry mouth – called cottonmouth by pot smokers

Effects of marijuana typically last about two to three hours, depending on how much was initially smoked and THC levels in the pot smoked. Coming down from a pot high may induce drowsiness and cause the user to fall asleep. Other smokers do not feel sleepy and will smoke another joint to maintain their high.

Is Marijuana Addictive?

Just like nicotine, caffeine and harder street drugs, marijuana is an addictive drug that leads to increased tolerance and withdrawal symptoms. In fact, chronic marijuana users experience significant changes with how THC is absorbed and metabolized by the body and how the chemical interacts with receptors and cells in the body. These modifications force pot addicts to smoke more and more marijuana to achieve desirable effects and appease their craving for a marijuana high.

Pharmacokinetics and Marijuana Addiction

People present widely different reactions to the affects of marijuana due to variables such as age, weight, current health status, genetics and even ethnic differences. In fact, genetics may account for up to 90 percent of variability regarding a person’s physiological and psychological reaction to marijuana. Studying how THC binds to brain receptors has also led scientists to understand the unusual way THC mimics the activity and influence of neurotransmitters on mood, emotion and physical responses. Most addictive substances, including marijuana, are agonists, meaning they bind to receptors to promote attachment of neurotransmitters that flood the brain's reward/pleasure pathway. This action provides the addict with the euphoria they crave when not under the influence.

Your decision get help for your marijuana addiction may be the most life-changing decision you will ever make. Completing a marijuana addiction recovery program and avoiding relapse will probably be the hardest thing you will ever experience in your life. Knowing what to expect from each phase of treatment can help relieve the anxiety and apprehension patients feel upon entering our marijuana addiction program. Call us today at 661-878-9100 to speak to a caring staff member who will talk to you about the program.

Teenagers and Marijuana

Adolescents experience a variety of vulnerabilities associated with the transition from childhood to adulthood. Impulse control issues, bad decision-making and the fear of ostracization by their peers makes them psychologically and emotionally frail. While having parents who smoke pot or use other drugs is a powerful indicator that a child will develop a marijuana addiction as a teenager, research has shown that teens surrounded by positive role models are more likely to resist the false sense of self-assurance provided by marijuana and peers who use marijuana.
Other risk factors contributing to teenagers smoking pot include:

  • Suffering undiagnosed mental disorders – Personality disorders such as oppositional defiant disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or impulse control issues will create deep-seated psychological problems in teenagers.
  • Peer pressure – Teenagers affected by social or developmental difficulties often try to fit in by smoking pot to relieve their severe anxiety and feelings of low self-esteem.
  • Adolescents suffering childhood trauma – Risk of teens developing an addiction to marijuana increases dramatically if they experience sexual, physical or emotional abuse as children.
  • Overly authoritarian or uninvolved parenting skills – Teenagers who are constantly monitored and given no freedom to engage in decision-making often have low self-esteem and anger issues, leading them to use pot as an escape. Alternately, teenagers with parents who work long hours or are absent from their child’s life due to their own personal or psychological problems may force their teenager to seek companionship from peers or adults who drink, smoke pot and participate in criminal activities.

Signs of a Marijuana Addiction

You or someone you know may need outpatient marijuana addiction treatment in Bakersfield, CA, depending on your answers to these six questions:

  1. Do you smoke pot several times a week?

The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as "the inability to consistently abstain" from an addictive substance.

  1. Do you find yourself thinking about smoking pot throughout the day or anticipating the time when you can get high?

Frequent thoughts about a particular addictive substance – where you plan to obtain it, how you are going to use it and anticipating the sensations provided by the substance – is indicative of a potential substance abuse problem.

  1. Have you been arrested for marijuana possession/paraphernalia in the past few months?

If you've been involved with law enforcement due to being high, chances are you are engaging in addictive behaviors regularly. Think about how many times you have been behind the wheel when you shouldn't have been driving but weren’t caught. If you find it hard to deal with the truth, it may be time to seek marijuana addiction treatment in Bakersfield, CA.

  1. Have you lost jobs due to missing work or being chronically late because of smoking marijuana?

One of the classic signs of addiction is the inability to keep a job due to drug-related incarcerations, working while high or getting caught with pot and paraphernalia at work.

  1. Has a friend or relative confronted you about your pot addiction?

You may think you are hiding your addiction successfully, but people in the grip of a substance addiction are unaware they are suffering from denial and distorted thinking. Repeatedly saturating your brain with THC causes disruptions in the frontal cortex, an area of the brain responsible for memory, planning, decision-making and emotional control.

  1. Are you falling behind in paying bills? Were you more financially stable a year ago? Six months ago?

Blaming financial problems on lack of employment due to an addiction is one way substance abusers justify their money issues. It is a form of denial that the addict uses in an attempt to convince everyone he is not an addict but a victim of unfortunate circumstances.

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you should seriously consider calling Synergy Recovery Services to learn more about our marijuana addiction program in Bakersfield, CA. Recovery programs led by experienced and caring addiction counselors are available right now to assist you in overcoming your addiction.

Marijuana Addiction Treatment

In addition to medically supervised detoxification and dual diagnosis evaluation, therapeutic approaches used by Synergy Recovery Services to address and treat marijuana abuse disorder include:

  • 12-step programs
  • Involvement in therapeutic communities
  • Individual and group counseling
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Outpatient treatment
  • Holistic and spiritual therapy

Call Our Marijuana Addiction Treatment Center in Bakersfield, CA Today

Maintaining lifelong sobriety outside a structured addiction treatment program is possible. Realizing that your current circumstances cannot decide your fate but can help you understand how to make positive changes to your future is the first step toward defeating your marijuana addiction. Call Synergy Recovery Services today and start treatment tomorrow: 661-878-9100.

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