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Marijuana Abuse Is Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation Is Necessary

August 31st, 2012

According to the American Psychological Association, marijuana use is becoming more prevalent as society becomes more accepting of the drug. Many states have legalized marijuana use for medical reasons or decriminalized it to ease the burden on law enforcement. These trends mean more and more teens and young adults are viewing marijuana as a safe way to get high.

Many people think that marijuana is not addicting, or at least not as addicting as other drugs such as alcohol or heroin. But like all addictive drugs, marijuana affects the part of the brain that releases dopamine. And while marijuana may not be physically addicting like alcohol and heroin, pot use causes a powerful psychological addiction that can have a huge negative impact on the lives of users.

Marijuana’s Powerful Effects on the Brain Lead to Powerful Psychological Addiction

Dopamine is the body’s natural reward system and produces feelings of euphoria or a “high.” Certain drugs cause the body to release more dopamine, and with prolonged drug use or addiction, the body needs more of the substance to produce the same effects. Eventually, the brain’s natural responses become inhibited. That’s why those addicted to marijuana report feeling dysphoric or “off” when they have not recently used the drug. Marijuana’s relationship to dopamine production is the reason marijuana has such a powerful psychological addiction.

But marijuana abuse has physical side effects as well. Prolonged marijuana use interferes with muscle coordination, memory, and emotional control. Although more people today may not see marijuana as a dangerous drug, those who use marijuana regularly and are susceptible to addictive behaviors are more likely to try stronger substances like cocaine or prescription drugs. People who are addicted to marijuana need rehab to help them rid their bodies of the drug in a safe way and learn how to live happy lives without drugs of any kind.

Treatment Programs for Substance Abuse and Marijuana Addiction Are Effective

Professionally supervised medical detox as part of a rehab program is important for successful treatment of prolonged marijuana use. Because the body is dependent on the drug to feel normal, dealing with withdrawal in a safe, medically-supervised environment can help ease any pain or discomfort.

Once the body has a chance to rid itself of the toxins of the drug, rehab can begin. Doctors and psychotherapists put together a treatment plan that includes diagnosis of any underlying mental illness, psychotherapy, individual counseling, and group counseling.

Substance abuse rehab for marijuana addiction will help the patient learn to live a life without drugs. Group and individual therapy will also reinforce the new life skills. Ongoing, after-rehab support groups help complete recovery.

Find Addiction Drug Rehab Centers for Marijuana Addiction

Although marijuana may seem like a safe drug, it is much more dangerous than a mere weed. Finding the right treatment program can help you or a loved one learn to live life free from addiction. Call our toll-free number 24 hours a day to speak to a helpline counselor.

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