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  • Energy Drinks And Alcohol A Deadly Combination

    Energy Drinks And Alcohol A Deadly Combination

    It seems every month there is a new type of drink coming out in the bars across the country. They are usually some new combination or hybrid of something mixed with alcohol for better taste or more potency.

  • The Stages Of Recovery From Heroin

    The Stages Of Recovery From Heroin

    Heroin is one of the most addictive illicit substances known today. Some may argue that it is the most addictive substance known to man, period. People can become addicted to heroin upon the first usage, it is that powerful. Other opiates have been known to be this way as well.

  • 5 Signs of Cocaine Addiction

    5 Signs of Cocaine Addiction

    Cocaine addiction is a serious disease that affects millions of Americans. When a person is addicted to cocaine, they will often find that their life is spiraling out of control. They are also likely causing serious and maybe even fatal or permanent damage to their bodies and minds. 

  • 10 Facts About Heroin Addiction

    10 Facts About Heroin Addiction

    Heroin is one of the most dangerous and addictive drugs that a person can use. Being addicted to heroin is in many ways a life threatening disease, and use of this potentially lethal drug has been rising dramatically over the last several years. 

  • 5 Side-Effects Of Prolonged Cocaine Addiction

    5 Side-Effects Of Prolonged Cocaine Addiction

    Cocaine is one of the most addictive and destructive illicit substances known today. Of all illicit substances out there in our world, cocaine causes the most emergency room visits across the United States.

  • Brain Circuitry Changes From Social Drinking

    Brain Circuitry Changes From Social Drinking

    When someone develops an addiction, they run the risk of not only seeing their personality and behavior change but also the way their brain functions. Scientists have seen a noticeable difference between an addicted brain and a non-addicted brain especially in terms of control mechanisms.

  • Is Alcohol Really Being Sold On Instagram?

    Is Alcohol Really Being Sold On Instagram?

    Unfortunately, recent advances in both alcohol sales and social media have proven to be a new way that teens may be at risk for finding and abusing dangerous alcoholic drinks.

  • How The Body Reacts To Long Term Heroin Addiction

    How The Body Reacts To Long Term Heroin Addiction

    Heroin is a very addictive drug that can be extremely challenging to withdraw from because of the fact that a person who is withdrawing from heroin addiction may experience extremely uncomfortable and unpleasant sensations.

  • Insurance Difficulties Heroin Addicts Have When Seeking Help

    Insurance Difficulties Heroin Addicts Have When Seeking Help

    Heroin addiction is one of the most difficult forms of substance abuse to quit and addicts need extensive treatment to experience a successful recovery. Unfortunately, many heroin addicts seeking help for their problem are finding it hard to get approval for their treatment from insurance companies.

  • The Sad Story Of Peaches Geldof Problems With Addiction

    The Sad Story Of Peaches Geldof Problems With Addiction

    Peaches Geldof, daughter of musician Bob Geldof and his late ex-wife Paula, was a beautiful young woman, a television presenter, a journalist, a model and a mother, who died at the age of only 25. What killed her was her addiction to heroin, the same thing that took her mothers life when Peaches was only 11 years old.

  • ‘Epipen For Addicts’ Prophylactic Naloxone Used To Counter Drug Overdoses

    ‘Epipen For Addicts’ Prophylactic Naloxone Used To Counter Drug Overdoses

    Heroin and opiate addiction is a deadly disease that continues to plague millions of Americans. Heroin is one of the most addictive and dangerous drugs and it carries with it a very high risk for death by overdose. As heroin and opiate addiction continues to become an increasingly large public health problem, many professionals in the medical and pharmaceutical industries have clamored to find ways in which the number of deaths related to heroin use may be minimized.

  • Dual-Diagnosis Was The Case For Demi Lovato

    Dual-Diagnosis Was The Case For Demi Lovato

    Demi Lovato is known by millions of Americans as a young and successful singer, actress, and television host. The twenty one year old celebrity has enjoyed quite a bit of public attention as both a recording artist and one of the hosts of the popular television show The X Factor.

  • How to Build a Strong Support Group in Recovery

    How to Build a Strong Support Group in Recovery

    Recovery is more than just abstaining from drug use or going through detox; it is a long process that can be filled with many ups and downs. There are a myriad of issues that a recovering addict must face even long after they have completed a rehab program.

  • 5 Tips To Avoid The Pitfalls Of Dating In Recovery

    5 Tips To Avoid The Pitfalls Of Dating In Recovery

    When someone gets sober, the "good feelings" that were produced from using drugs or alcohol seem like they are no longer available due to the fact that using drugs and alcohol is no longer an option.

  • Understanding The Process Of Heroin Withdrawal

    Understanding The Process Of Heroin Withdrawal

    One of the hardest parts of recovering from an addiction is going through the steps of detoxification. For a serious addiction like heroin abuse, the process can be especially painful and difficult to get through. It is crucial for anyone looking to quit their heroin addiction to find a safe and comfortable detoxification center or rehab facility that will help them through the process of withdrawal.

  • 'Take Back’ Programs For Unused Prescription Drugs Are On The Rise

    'Take Back’ Programs For Unused Prescription Drugs Are On The Rise

    The growing dangers of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. have prompted the creation of a number of programs designed to reduce the instances of abuse and addiction. These kinds of programs that are active across the country are known as "Take Back" programs which offer a way for communities to properly dispose of any unused prescription medications so that they do not end up in the wrong hands.

  • The Most Addictive Prescription Drugs Currently Available

    The Most Addictive Prescription Drugs Currently Available

    The abuse of prescription medications has become a problem in the U.S. with more than 2.4 million Americans using them non-medically on a regular basis. Although prescription drugs are provided by doctors and pharmacies to treat specific ailments, they are not always safe and in many cases can become highly addictive.

  • The Contagious Nature Of Drinking Alcohol

    The Contagious Nature Of Drinking Alcohol

    Many recovering alcoholics know that one of the biggest triggers for drinking can be the company of others who are drinking. Many alcoholics may have, for some time, been unaware of the severity of their problem because of the fact that they considered themselves "social drinkers." Many people may incorrectly assume that those who drink primarily in the company of others cannot be alcoholics. The reality is, however, that it is highly possible for alcoholism to be contagious and for a group of people who are addicted to alcohol to, in effect, enable one another.

  • Zohydro Abuse Concerns Go Nation-Wide As A Gateway To Heroin

    Zohydro Abuse Concerns Go Nation-Wide As A Gateway To Heroin

    Doctors. law enforcement agencies, and addiction treatment specialists have been disappointed with the recent approval by the FDA of a new drug call Zohydro, which many medical experts believe is the most dangerous opiate to hit the market to date. Many other experts believe that the drug, in addition to being highly addictive and dangerous in and of itself, may be a gateway to heroin use.

  • Russia's Recalcitrance to Recovery Movements

    Russia's Recalcitrance to Recovery Movements

    Alcoholism has been a significant problem in Russia for many years but citizens seem resistant to change and have not fully embraced the kind of recovery efforts that are common in the U.S. Russian leaders have made efforts to fight against the growing numbers of people suffering and even dying from alcoholism in the country but historically many of their attempts haven't worked.

  • Short And Long Term Effects Of Alcoholism On The Human Body

    Short And Long Term Effects Of Alcoholism On The Human Body

    There is no doubt that alcoholism can have devastating effects on a person's emotional life but it can also cause serious physical health problems and harm to the body. Alcohol is a drug that affects the body dramatically over a period of time.

  • Suboxone Carries A Heavy Price For Recovering Addicts

    Suboxone Carries A Heavy Price For Recovering Addicts

    Heroin and opiate addiction are two of the fastest growing health problems currently facing America. Heroin has long been viewed as one of the most dangerous and addictive drugs, and every year, the number of deaths related to opiate use and abuse sky rockets. Detoxing from opiates can be an extremely painful, uncomfortable, and even dangerous process. 

  • Scott Storch Recovers From Cocaine Addiction

    Scott Storch Recovers From Cocaine Addiction

    Famed music producer Scott Stortch has been reported to be in jail and, at times, even dead over the last several years. After publicly battling cocaine addiction and then relapsing after spending time in rehab, the producer has come out of his private life and announced that he is keeping a lower profile after struggling with a serious cocaine addiction that led him to lose virtually everything he owned, including almost all of a thirty million dollar fortune. 

Marijuana

Each year, 8.9%, or 22.6 million Americans, aged 12 and over, use marijuana and nearly half of all high school seniors have at least tried the drug before graduation.

Marijuana is the most widely-abused illicit drug in the United States. Marijuana is usually smoked; rolled up like a cigarette (called a joint), in a pipe, or from a water pipe (called a bong), which all effectively deliver smoke straight to the lungs. The drug can also be eaten or drunk as a tea to gain equal effects.

The active ingredient in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which gets into the bloodstream and is carried to the brain quickly. The effects are felt right away and can last up to four hours. The brain’s reward system is stimulated, the neurotransmitter, dopamine is released, and the user feels euphoric pleasure. The drug is also impairing thought, concentration, and perception of time while inducing the high.

The desire to escape from reality, to numb painful emotions, and to experience an altered perception, with less damaging effects that come with alcohol, cocaine, or heroin abuse, for example, make marijuana an attractive drug to many people. The problem is, frequent users are not aware of the drug’s true damage and potential dangers.

History

Marijuana was originally used as food and then as medicine before becoming popular for recreational use during the 1960's. Throughout the following decades, marijuana use continued, and is still widely used and abused today.

References to marijuana use, and its subculture, are found frequently in current pop culture through music and film, and celebrities often make headlines when arrested for possession of marijuana

Rates of Marijuana Use

According to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, nearly 40% of the U.S. population over the age of 12 has tried marijuana at least once in their lives. With a population of 313.9 million, 125.5 million people have smoked this illegal drug.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that, each year, 8.9%, or 22.6 million Americans, aged 12 and over, use marijuana, and nearly half of all high school seniors have at least tried marijuana before graduation.

Since the drug is so frequently used by teenagers and young adults without an understanding for how marijuana stunts the emotional, physical, and mental development of adolescents, the problem needs to be addressed.

For more information, call Recovery Now TV at 800-281-4731.

The Effects of Marijuana

Marijuana impacts the organic functioning of the mind, body, and soul, therefore, the drug is a danger to the physical, mental, emotional, and psychological health of any user.

While a marijuana smoker appears lethargic and lazy, the drug actually stimulates the respiratory and circulatory systems, making the lungs and heart work harder. Consequently, the drug can create depressant or stimulatory effects in its users.

Effects on the brain include:

  • Memory problems
  • Learning difficulties
  • Lack of concentration
  • Loss of coordination
  • Increased paranoia
  • Increased fear
  • Emotional isolation
  • Impaired judgment

The physical effects of marijuana are:

  • Sedation
  • Pain reduction
  • Coughing (from lung irritation)
  • Increased appetite
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Faster heartbeat
  • Intensified sensations
  • Increased hunger
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of bodily control and muscular coordination
  • Loss of coordination
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Addiction

Psychological effects of marijuana are:

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • A loss of self-identification
  • Paranoia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Isolation
  • Diagnosable psychosis
  • Addiction

Chronic marijuana use makes the user very susceptible to health problems like heart attack, stroke, respiratory problems, and cancer of the lungs or throat. Further, since THC affects the same part of the brain that controls memory and focus, some people can become paranoid and anxious when high.

Studies show that 6% to 11% of all fatal accidents are attributed to the effects of marijuana. Other external marijuana side effects include legal problems, work and financial problems, and trouble sustaining healthy relationships.

Like any drug that affects the mind and body, marijuana can become addicting as the mind becomes dependent upon its presence. The brain adapts to the stimulation of its pleasure center and begins to rewire itself after repeated reinforcement in the form of marijuana use.

To find out more, call Recovery Now TV at 800-281-4731.

Medical Marijuana

While some people truly need the medicinal effects of marijuana, the legalization of the drug’s use in many states has lead to abuse of the system.

The drug is used to treat the following medical conditions:

  • Chronic pain
  • Muscle tension or spasms
  • Loss of appetite during cancer treatment or from HIV/AIDS
  • Pain from cancer treatment
  • Convulsions
  • Anxiety
  • Asthma
  • Jaundice, beriberi, and ague
  • Delayed childbirth
  • Cough relief
  • Opiate withdrawal
  • Alcohol withdrawal
  • Infection (as an antibiotic)
  • Eye issues, like glaucoma

The average medical marijuana user is male (70%) in his 40s (70%), and does not have a true need for the drug. In the states where marijuana is legal, through a prescription, many people have figured out how to abuse the system and obtain the drug without proper doctor’s orders.

For further information on medical marijuana, call Recovery Now TV at 800-281-4731.

Addressing the Dangers of Marijuana

Psychological and emotional dependence on marijuana are common, but physical dependence can also happen when the drug’s use has become regular. Marijuana then has a hold on the user’s mind, body, and soul.

Based on SAMHSA’s annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health, data from 2002 to 2007 helps explain the trend of marijuana use among the youngest members of our population. The survey found that the use of marijuana decreased among adolescents between each survey year. For all U.S. citizens between the age of 12 and 17, marijuana use went from 8.2% in 2002 down to 6.8% in 2005, which then remained constant through 2007.

The decrease in those smoking marijuana is attributed to the increase in knowledge and awareness of the drug’s true impact. When higher risk and long-term effects were better understood by the adolescent age group, fewer decided to try, or to continue using, marijuana.

SAMHSA reports that, in 2002, 32.4% of those between the ages of 12 and 17 understood the risk of smoking marijuana once a month and chose not to use the drug. One year later, 34.9% of that same age bracket accurately perceived marijuana’s risks, and even fewer teenagers used the drug. When the potential dangers are understood, less kids smoke marijuana.

Adverse Life Consequences

With all of the mental, physical, and psychological effects outlined above, additional dangers of marijuana include the impact on one’s daily life. While marijuana is often not seen as a highly-dangerous drug, the truth is that the repeated use of any mind-altering substance will create adverse life consequences.

Many pot smokers did not fully understand marijuana dangers as they began to smoke the drug early in life, and more frequently. Consequently, many marijuana users find that the drug is interfering with school or work performance, in relationships with family and friends, in the ability to stay financially stable, and in their physical and mental health.

Over time, individuals who have become physically and emotionally dependent on marijuana, find themselves falling behind on basic fundamental life skills that peers have appropriately developed. Self-esteem problems arise, self-reinforcement abilities deteriorate, and confidence is diminished.

Why Doesn’t Use Stop After Adverse Life Consequences?

The use of mind-altering drugs is progressive in nature, meaning use will continue when not properly intervened on and treated.

Psychological and emotional dependence on marijuana are common, but physical dependence can also happen when pot use has become regular. The drug then has a hold on the user’s mind, body, and soul.

Physical dependence is marked by withdrawal symptoms that occur when the use of the drug is stopped. The body and brain have adapted to the pain-reducing effects of marijuana, for example, and when stopped, all emotional pain seems overwhelming and impossible to face. The ability to sleep is disrupted when physical dependence has developed, and anxiety may greatly increase when marijuana is not being used to self-medicate.

If you see the dangers of marijuana use impacting your life, or the life of someone you love, call Recovery Now TV at 800-281-4731.

Dependence on Marijuana

A desire to use marijuana more often, and the need for a higher dose to experience the same effects indicates tolerance and dependence on the drug.

While marijuana does not have the same physical dependence as other drugs do (alcohol, cocaine, heroin), the substance is still highly addictive. A user becomes more psychologically than physically dependent on the high, yet the repeated use of marijuana can create the same adverse life consequences as any other substance.

When continued marijuana use creates a need for higher dosages to achieve the drug’s effects (the euphoria, the high, and the escape), dependence has developed. A desire to use more often, and the need for more marijuana in a single session to achieve the same effects (called tolerance), are the major symptoms of dependence.

Tolerance is yet another one of the marijuana dangers because it leads to smoking more often, and in larger doses, which causes more mental, physical, and psychological damage.

Are you dependent on marijuana, or do you know someone who fits the criteria? Call Recovery Now TV at 800-281-4731 to seek appropriate information and help!

Withdrawal from Marijuana

Withdrawal symptoms from marijuana are delayed sometimes for several weeks to a month after a person stops using the drug.

Darryl S. Inaba, director of the Genesis Recovery Center and co-author of the book Uppers, Downers, All Arounders explains his take on marijuana dependence and withdrawal by saying,

Sometimes people who’ve been smoking for five years decide to quit. They stop 1, 2, 3 days, even a week, and they (especially those who think marijuana is benign), say, ‘Wow, I feel great. Marijuana’s no problem. I have no withdrawal. It’s nothing at all.’ Then they start up again. They never experience withdrawal. We see that withdrawal symptoms to marijuana are delayed sometimes for several weeks to a month after a person stops.

A sure sign of dependence on a drug is the presence of withdrawal symptoms when use of that drug stops. With marijuana, withdrawal does not happen immediately after cessation, as it does with other drugs, like heroin and alcohol. Instead, the symptoms present themselves more slowly, but for a longer period of time.

Withdrawal from marijuana includes the following symptoms:

  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Aggression
  • Aches, pains, and chills
  • Depression
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Slight tremors
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Decreased appetite
  • Stomach pain
  • Sweating
  • Cravings for more marijuana use

A 38-year-old recovering marijuana-dependent man shares his experience with withdrawal:

I would break into a sweat in the shower. I could not maintain my concentration for the first month or two. To really treasure my sobriety, it took me about three or four months before I really came out of the fog and really started getting a grasp of what was going on around me.

If you see the signs of withdrawal in yourself or someone else, call Recovery Now TV at 800-281-4731 to find out the next step!

Treatment for Marijuana Abuse & Addiction

“I thought I could control it because when I woke up in the morning, I didn’t get high for the first hour and half. I figured an hour and a half, that proves that I’m not hooked on this stuff because I don’t really need it.” - quote from a recovering marijuana addict at a Marijuana Anonymous meeting

When any form of dependence on marijuana has occurred (physical, mental, emotional, psychological), treatment is necessary to stop the progression of use to abuse or addiction.

Recreational use of marijuana has progressed to abuse when one or more life consequences, directly connected to the drug’s use, have occurred and the person has still not changed marijuana-using behaviors. For example, if a college kid is smoking marijuana very often and starts missing classes and noticing his grades drop, yet he does not cut back on the amount of marijuana he is smoking, then he is abusing the drug.

The indicators used to determine when abuse has progressed further to diagnosable addiction are the presence of dependence in one form or another, the presence of withdrawal symptoms when marijuana use fully stops, and the following five criteria:

  1. Loss of control over marijuana use
  2. Obsession with using marijuana
  3. Continued use despite adverse life consequences
  4. Denial of a problem with marijuana use
  5. A high likelihood of a relapse, or a return to marijuana, after a period of quitting.

When marijuana use can be defined as abuse or addiction, treatment is needed. The first step in the process toward recovery with any mind-altering substance is detoxification.

Marijuana Detox

The body and brain must first rid itself of all traces of marijuana before formal treatment, true healing, and official recovery can begin.

With a trained staff of physicians, substance abuse counselors, and other medical personnel, marijuana detox is successful. Appropriate medications and therapeutic techniques make the detoxification process more pleasant.

Once the body has cleared out the remaining THC, formal treatment can begin.

Formal Treatment

The greatest problem with marijuana is the way it impacts its users’ lives. When the mind, body, and soul are all affected by a substance, that drug is dangerous. Treatment for marijuana dependence, abuse, or addiction helps those who are suffering from the consequences of marijuana.

To heal from the disease of addiction, people from all generational, economic, and racial backgrounds need formal treatment. Addiction is an ailment of the mind and body. In addition to dependence on the drug, the brain’s natural system of chemicals is disrupted. Continuous marijuana use has created new neurological pathways that affect the pleasure centers. When attempts to quit using marijuana are made, the chemical imbalances can cause major depression or anxiety. When not properly treated, users can return to marijuana abuse, or may also turn to other drugs, for relief. Treatment must address the many mind and body changes that occurred during active addiction in order to be effective.

After the completion of a medically-monitored detox program, entry into an inpatient, residential program is recommended. With twenty-four-hour care and accountability, recovering marijuana abusers and addicts live and participate in treatment in one location. An inability to leave the facility, paired with constant care, peer support, and individual counseling works well to begin a life without mind-altering substances.

After 30, 60, 90, or 180 days in inpatient treatment, most recovering addicts participate in an outpatient program. At this level of care, the same principals of recovery, and the same therapeutic approaches are utilized, but now the client has more autonomy. The commitment to stay clean and sober is needed because there is no longer around-the-clock accountability and monitorization. Clients typically do not live on-site as they did in residential treatment, so daily choices to stay clean are up to each individual.

A commitment to not using is all that is needed to begin detox, treatment, and recovery. Choosing a life without substances is not easy, but the staff at Recovery Now TV is here to help. Our team has been consistently matching marijuana users, abusers, and addicts with appropriate treatment successfully.

The daily life of someone dependent on marijuana can change. Call Recovery Now TV to find out how: 800-281-4731.

Sources:
National Household Survey on Drug Abuse
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Uppers, Downers, All Arounders by Darryl S. Inaba & William E. Cohen
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services