Marijuana Addiction

What is Marijuana

Marijuana is a depressant psychoactive drug from the Cannabis plant and is used for medical or recreational purposes. It can be used by smoking, vaporizing, within food, or as an extract and has the effect of creating a feeling of being “high” or “stoned”. It’s effects when smoked are almost immediate. When cooked or eaten it can take between 30-60 minutes to feel the effect and can last for several hours.

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Short & Long Term Effects

The short-term side effects can include

  • a dry mouth
  • bloodshot eyes
  • reduced motor skills
  • increased appetite
  • sleepiness
  • loss of inhibition
  • short-term memory deficiencies and
  • anxiety

The long-term side effects can include

  • a risk of developing psychosis
  • impaired mental ability and
  • addiction

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Detoxing from Marijuana

The most common method of detoxing from marijuana is tapering down or gradually reducing the amount and frequency of marijuana being used on a regular basis. With a gradual reduction in usage, the brain is allowed to slowly adjust to the lower levels of THC and this assists in reducing the level of withdrawal symptoms.

It is always best to see a doctor and get professional advice and assistance. In particular, doctors can prescribe medicine to deal with nausea, vomiting, headaches and muscle pains

When it comes to detoxing the Addiction Centers provide some sound advice.

At 21Renew we work with the client’s doctor to ensure any detox is overseen by qualified professionals and their residential program is recalibrated daily to align with what stage they have reached in their detox program.

The following timetable is helpful in understanding the withdrawal process

Day 1 Feeling irritable anxious and insomnia
Day 2-3 Sweating, chills and stomach pains and the second day is generally the peak.
Day 4-10 The symptoms generally improve and cravings reduce.
Day 10 on By the end of week three most, if not all, symptoms should be gone. With severe psychological addictions feelings of depression and anxiety can last for several months.

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The Cycle of Change for the Marijuana User

1. Pre-Contemplation

People who are using marijuana and are in pre-contemplation do not recognise or believe it is causing them a problem.

Trying to help someone recognise they have an issue can be difficult and if not handled correctly cause the person to retreat into a defence of their current usage of cannabis. It’s best to seek professional advice on how to deal with the situation.

2. Contemplation

When someone moves from pre-contemplation into contemplation it means they are starting to recognise they have a problem and they are thinking they want to do something about it.

The best way to assist someone who is contemplating taking some action is to encourage them to seek help and do some research into the options they might have such as contacting alcoholics anonymous or narcotics anonymous.

3. Planning

In this stage of the cycle of change the person has made the decision they want to change and is putting together a plan on how they intend to achieve this.

The best help you can give someone in this stage is to be supportive and positive. It also helps if you get them to explain to you what their plan is and how they are going to implement it.

4. Action

The fourth stage of the cycle is when the person starts to put their plan into action.

Depending on how long they had been using cannabis the person may suffer from significant mood swings for several months after they stopped using.

5. Maintenance

Once the plan has been put into action the person then enters the maintenance stage.

In the early days of this stage there may be changes in routine in the persons home and family life and if not handled correctly can cause disruption and hostility. It’s important to communicate with the person and get them to create a living plan at the start of each week so as everyone in the household is aware of what is happening. For example what nights will you be home for dinner.

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