Marijuana Use Disorder: Understanding Signs and Myths

Millions of Americans smoke marijuana regularly because they don’t believe it’s a dangerous drug. In fact, many may believe marijuana is not addictive and they can stop smoking anytime they want without being affected. Although it’s true that it’s possible to quit smoking marijuana, individuals who smoke on a daily basis often develop a physiological dependence on it and experience a distinct withdrawal syndrome when quitting. Therefore, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has deemed marijuana addictive.

What is Marijuana Use Disorder?

When individuals smoke marijuana regularly, they risk developing a marijuana use disorder. People struggling with this disorder may experience similar symptoms and exhibit similar problematic behaviors that are common with other forms of substance abuse disorder.

People struggling with marijuana use disorder have developed a strong physical dependence on the drug and are unable to properly function without smoking. This results from the brain adjusting to large doses of the drug by decreasing the production of and sensitivity to its own endocannabinoid neurotransmitters. When users do stop, they often experience withdrawal systems that include irritability, inability to sleep, cravings, decreased appetite, and restlessness. The more often users smoke marijuana, the more they have to increase their dose to experience the ‘high’ sensation they desire. Smoking the same dose every day does not produce the same effect because the body builds a tolerance to the drug.

What are the Signs of Marijuana Use Disorder?

A clear indicator that someone may be struggling with marijuana use disorder is if they find it difficult to stop smoking even though it negatively impacts other areas of their life, such as personal and professional relationships, work, school, and/or the law.

Myths About Smoking Marijuana

One of the most common myths regarding marijuana use is that the drug is not addictive. Studies show that 1 out of every 11 people develop an addiction to marijuana after initial use. Further studies conclude that individuals under the age of 18 are four to seven times more likely to become addicted to marijuana after initial use. Lastly, in 2015, more than 200,000 sought treatment for their addiction to marijuana.

Believing that only certain types of people suffer from addiction is another myth. Nobody is exempt from becoming addicted to marijuana regardless of family history, current financial status, or physiological makeup. In 2017, about four million people struggled with marijuana addiction.

If you believe your loved one may be struggling with marijuana use disorder, its best to have an intervention with them and discuss treatment options, which may include enrolling them in an alternative treatment center in your area.

Alternative Treatment Centers in Tennessee

Marijuana Use Disorder: Understanding Signs and MythsIf you are located near Burns, Tennessee, and are interested in alternative treatment centers, Discovery Place is an excellent nontraditional treatment facility created to help individuals overcome their substance abuse disorder. We offer different programs designed to meet the needs of our patients no matter what phase of recovery they’re in. Some of our treatment programs include a 30-Day Alternative Residential Recovery Program and a Long-Term Alternative Addiction Recovery Program. If you would like more information regarding our services, call us at (800) 725-0922.

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