person smoking a joint marijuana addiction

Marijuana is a hot topic these days because many states are making its use in controlled amounts legal as a recreational drug, much like alcohol. As you may know, alcohol, despite being legal for adults, is addictive. What about marijuana? Is it addictive as well? Marijuana addiction is a behavioral disorder that San Antonio Recovery Center can help treat.

Marijuana Use Disorder

Marijuana use disorder, or cannabis use disorder (CUD), is defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) as a recognized addiction. By definition, an addiction is the compulsive use of a substance despite its potentially harmful consequences. Marijuana use can certainly impact people's lives.

Data suggests that about 30 percent of people that use marijuana either recreationally or for medical purposes do develop an addiction. So, although it is possibly addictive, not everyone who uses it becomes addicted.

Marijuana's Potency

Part of the addictive nature of this drug depends on the strength, or potency, of one chemical — tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It is what makes marijuana a psychoactive drug. CBD, with no or low levels of THC, does not produce the same effect.

In the 1990s, batches of marijuana, which was illegal at the time in all states, had an average THC potency level of four percent. That number continues to rise. Increasing the THC in a marijuana product increases the risk of dependency and might mean long-term use has more serious consequences.

Long-Term Use of Marijuana

It’s not clear what the long-term consequences of using marijuana are because there hasn’t been enough research. As this drug does become legal in more states, studies are expanding. New studies do provide some evidence that long-term use of marijuana can have an impact on the cognitive functions of the brain like memory and learning, especially among teens whose brains are still developing.

Symptoms of Marijuana Use Disorder

The signs of marijuana addiction are subtle. The biggest telltale sign is if you try to stop using it and fail. That would seem to indicate that you have a dependence on the drug. Some other potential symptoms include:

  • Use of large quantities over a short time frame
  • Spending money you don’t have on marijuana
  • Cravings
  • Letting its use interfere with aspects of your life like work or school
  • Withdrawal when you don’t have it available

What to Do If You Have a Marijuana Addiction

Having a marijuana addiction means you can benefit from drug rehab. The goal of any drug or alcohol treatment is to allow your body to withdraw from the substance and then change the behaviors that lead to drug use.

Ideally, you get treatment from a recovery center experienced in handling marijuana addiction. Look for a drug rehab program that offers evidence-based treatments like cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Contact San Antonio Recovery Center

At San Antonio Recovery Center, we provide a wide variety of drug addiction programs. Our goal is not only to help you find recovery but to provide education and raise awareness about the dangers of drug use.

San Antonio Recovery Center offers:

We have programs for many different substance use disorders, including prescription drugs, opioids like heroin, and alcohol. If you think you have a marijuana addiction, we have an individualized treatment plan for you, as well.

At San Antonio Recovery Center, we feel that healing requires a full spectrum of services. We focus our efforts not just on improving physical health, but mental and spiritual, as well. We follow the 12-step philosophy of recovery, which helps you understand what addictive behavior patterns look like and how you can change them.

If you are worried about your marijuana use, let us help. Give San Antonio Recovery Center a call today at 866.957.7885 for more information.

Now is the time to focus on your recovery.


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