Drug Addiction :How to help your loved one fight Marijuana addiction?


In recent years, use of marijuana as a recreational drug has gone up multifolds. With legalization within some parts of the US and other areas around the world, marijuana has shown its potency to invoke dependency in people. Although it is sometimes treated as a pain management drug, its recreational use is more popular that induces addiction in most cases.

In this blog, we’ll discover what marijuana is, how it builds addiction, its symptoms and how one can approach a psychiatrist for drug addiction.

What is marijuana?

A psychoactive drug, marijuana is also known as weed or cannabis. Composed of 480 compounds, its main active component is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It is due to THC that the users experience the unusual ‘high’ or elated mood that interrupts their normal functioning. There are several ways of consuming marijuana that include- smoking, vaporizing, eating (through edibles) and extracts. The effects can vary severely depending upon the method of consumption, the strain and the person’s tolerance level.

Is Marijuana Addictive?

Many users are able to consume marijuana without ever developing dependence on it, but a significant portion is highly prone to addictive issues. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, about 30% of people suffer from varying degrees of marijuana misuse disorder. This disorder can escalate to addiction if there is a continuous use without any prescription or medical intervention in place. It is definitely potent in reducing the psychological, social, physiological, emotional and financial resources of an individual.

Symptoms of Marijuna addiction- when to consult a psychiatrist for drug addiction

Some signs and symptoms are clear indicators of substance abuse. For marijuana, they are listed as follows-

  • Increased tolerance
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms in case of unavailability of substance
  • Using more than planned for a longer duration
  • Continuous efforts to remove substance from the system fail
  • Spending a better proportion of time in obtaining, consuming and procuring more
  • Neglecting all social, occupational and familial duty to consume marijuana
  • Continuing use despite knowing the damage it has caused on physical and psychological fronts

If you feel that you or your loved ones are trapped in this cycle of substance abuse, it is time to consult a professional who can be your guiding light. Dr. Gorav Gupta, who is one of the best psychiatrist in south delhi, can be your advisor and treatment guide.

Effects of Marijuana consumption

When Marijuana is smoked, it is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and takes effect within 15-30 seconds. Its full effect shows up within 30-90 minutes, when ingested through edibles.

Some short term effects of the use include-

  • Altered perception of time and senses
  • Changes in mood and behavior (extremely happy/sad/aggressive)
  • Lethargy and drowsiness
  • Disgruntled motor coordination
  • Disrupted cognitive procedures  (thinking, memory, problem solving)
  • Increased appetite
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Psychosis

Some long term effects which can lead to addiction include-

  • Slows brain development (in case of young adults)
  • Lung damage (problems in breathing and chronic cough)
  • Psychological dependence

Dangers of Marijuana use

Marijuana is composed of THC, and the body has naturally occurring THC like chemicals that produce pleasure. THC usually triggers the parts where most of these receptors are present, and produces impairment in cognitive functions like memory, attention, decision making, coordination, perception etc.

  • Chronic use of marijuana has been linked to increased risk of pulmonary and cardiovascular disease
  • It can lead to cognitive impairments, decreased motivation and mental health disorders like anxiety and depression

Overcoming Marijuana Misuse

Therapeutic interventions for marijuana rehabilitation involve a blend of support mechanisms and personalized treatment plans. Some of the best therapeutic plans for dealing with marijuana addiction as per one of the best psychiatrist in Delhi are-

  • Behavioral therapies- CBT, contingency management or motivation enhancement therapy are very effective modalities for people who want to start their addiction journey.

CBT helps in identifying negative thought patterns and changing behavior through thought transformation. Contingency management provides stability of pursuing rewards on maintaining sobriety and motivation enhancement therapy raises motivation levels to maintain their sobriety.

  • Support groups and counseling– Support groups and counseling are an effective way of providing emotional catharsis to the drug addicted patients. The process of rehabilitation can be quite taxing, and it takes an emotional toll on the clients. Due to the uncertainty of what to expect on their rehabilitation, support groups, individual and family counseling provide a great way of expressing emotions and resolving them.
  • Healthy coping and lifestyle changes– Holistic coping strategies and lifestyle changes can help reduce reliance on marijuana. The use of such substances is seldom due to maladaptive lifestyle and coping mechanisms. These can include activities like exercising, doing yoga, meditating, practicing mindfulness, pursuing hobbies etc. Making dietary changes and taking adequate measures to build a healthy lifestyle is necessary to eradicate substance abuse from its core.
  • Medical intervention– When the symptoms and intensity are quite severe, medical intervention is a necessity. Some people may experience physical and psychological distress while detoxifying and rehabilitating in the starting stages. Medications help in managing withdrawal symptoms more effectively. Additionally, treating any comorbidly occurring disorders with medication is quite easy. This can reduce the likelihood of relapse and maintain a long term recovery.

Helping your loved ones with a rehabilitation procedure

Recovering from marijuana addiction can be a challenging but achievable milestone. Acknowledging the problem and seeking assistance can be the first step towards your recovery. It is important to know that you are not alone and you can get all the help you need under the guidance of one of the best psychiatrist for drug addiction, Dr. Gorav Gupta.

There are ample resources available at our facility that can be of assistance to you and your loved ones. It is a journey that is not only of the person suffering from it, but also of their loved ones.

With our psychoeducational personnel and family guidance and counseling, you can be sure of stepping into a facility that provides an all-round support for your rehabilitation.

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