Marijuana – a mind altering, psychoactive drug – is one of the most used drugs in the United States. Though some people do not believe that marijuana is addictive, the American Psychological Association considers marijuana addiction to be a real condition, and a percentage of people who use marijuana do become addicted to the drug. People who use the drug heavily for an extended period of time, or individuals who use marijuana and find themselves having to take more of the drug in order to achieve the same effects, are potentially addicted. Additionally, some people use other drugs in order to intensify the side effects of marijuana or produce a longer lasting “high.” This combination of drugs can amplify an individual’s addiction.
Though marijuana is not known for its addictive qualities, people who are dependent on the drug find that they need to continue taking it in order to function normally. This is partially due to the major chemical components in marijuana, which produce relaxed sensations that some users find addicting. Also, users can experience various withdrawal symptoms after they suddenly stop taking the drug. These symptoms include (but are not limited to) insomnia, anxiety, nausea, and irritability. Though the withdrawal symptoms of marijuana are less extreme than the symptoms of other types of drugs, they can be uncomfortable and last up to a week.
Treatment for marijuana addiction is important, and the causes of the addiction should be treated as seriously as those of other addictions. Treatment for marijuana addiction is usually performed in an outpatient program, and users can successfully undergo the detoxification process without medical supervision. However, if the addict is using other substances in addition to marijuana, inpatient treatment or physician assistance is usually more beneficial. In each type of treatment program, the main goal is to address the underlying causes of the addiction. After treatment has completed, it is important that the recovering addict remain consistent with the program and avoid people that may encourage drug use.