Can You Be Addicted to Marijuana?

Many people use marijuana thinking they can’t get addicted. But, as with any other brain-altering chemical, it’s actually possible to become addicted to marijuana.

In fact, nearly 30% of people who use the drug develop a marijuana use disorder, including addiction, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. And the younger you start, the more likely you are to become addicted. Even people who use marijuana for medicinal purposes may find themselves using more of the drug than prescribed. 

Whether you become addicted to marijuana from recreational use or medicinal use, 2nd Chance Treatment Center in Phoenix, Glendale, and Gilbert, Arizona, offers outpatient treatment and behavioral therapy to help you overcome your addiction. The first step in your recovery journey is recognizing that an addiction even exists.

Signs of a marijuana addiction

The signs of marijuana addiction are similar to those of any drug or alcohol addiction. When you become addicted, you can’t stop using the drug no matter how many negative consequences it has on your life. You may try to quit with no success or avoid making plans with friends or family in order to use it.

You may also experience withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop using, which can lead to physical symptoms like:

Marijuana use disorders can lead to a whole host of emotional, physical, and social problems. They can make it hard to focus, learn, or interact with others, and worsen existing mental health disorders. 

What makes marijuana addictive? 

Just because marijuana is legal in many states, including Arizona, it doesn’t mean it’s not addictive. 

Marijuana contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which can alter the circuits in your brain. When you use marijuana regularly, you may become less sensitive to the THC and need more of the drug to feel “normal” or to avoid uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Instead of just smoking marijuana, you may need high-dosage edibles to get the same effects.

The amount of THC in confiscated marijuana has increased in the last few decades — from less than 4% in the early 1990s to more than 15% in 2018 — making the drug even more potent and potentially addictive than before. Confiscated marijuana, though, is usually the non-regulated street drug. Potency is carefully controlled in state-licensed dispensaries, though the drug can still be addictive.

Genetics, environment, and abusing other drugs may also make it more likely for you to develop an addiction to marijuana.

Treating a marijuana addiction 

If you use marijuana every day and have tried to quit but can’t, we can help. We develop a personalized treatment plan to help you break your addiction so that it no longer negatively impacts your life. 

At our outpatient addiction and recovery center, we offer behavioral therapy that can help you learn to recognize the triggers for your marijuana use and effective ways to change your behaviors. While it may feel like you’ll never be able to end your addiction, with the right education and support you can.

To get started with marijuana addiction treatment, call 2nd Chance Treatment Center at any of our locations, or book an appointment online today. 

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