Recovery Now News
  • Why Resentments Damage your chance for Recovery

    Why Resentments Damage your chance for Recovery

    Resentment is a negative emotion that comes out of an experience of being wronged. Whether the perceived wrong is truly coming from being hurt by another person, or simply something you imagine, resentment can gnaw at you, making relapse more likely or the recovery process less enjoyable.

  • 5 Things you need to know about effects of Opioid Withdrawals

    5 Things you need to know about effects of Opioid Withdrawals

    Abuse of prescription opioid painkillers can be a very dangerous addictive habit. Even if you avoid a life-threatening overdose, it can greatly harm your body, and develop a sense of tolerance and dependence that will leave you unable to function without it.

  • Identifying the Difference between Alcoholism and Problem Drinking

    Identifying the Difference between Alcoholism and Problem Drinking

    People may assume that anyone who drinks heavily is an alcoholic, but there are specific symptoms that can identify someone as an alcoholic rather than simply a problem drinker. Even though it may seem like problem drinking and alcoholism are really the same, there are distinct differences between the two and it is important know whether someone is an addict or just developing an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.

  • Canada Takes Unique approach to Combat Drug Addiction

    Canada Takes Unique approach to Combat Drug Addiction

    Traditional understandings of drug use and prevention have centered around discouraging use by punishing drug users, and educating people in ways that stigmatize users so experimentation would be discouraged. However, many of these efforts have been ineffective levels of drug use down.

  • Helping Those Who are Struggling in Early Recovery

    Helping Those Who are Struggling in Early Recovery

    Whether you are a long-time recovery veteran or you are still involved in your journey to sobriety, it can be beneficial to support and help others who are getting treatment for addiction. There are many resources available for people who are struggling with quitting their drug or alcohol use but some of the most helpful and lasting assistance can come from those who have been through it themselves.

  • Alcoholic Stigma Still is Deterrent for Professionals Who Need Treatment

    Alcoholic Stigma Still is Deterrent for Professionals Who Need Treatment

    Although there is plenty of help and support for alcoholics from all walks of life, there are still many individuals who might delay or avoid treatment because they worry about the stigma of addiction. This is especially the case for people in high profile careers or professional jobs that require them to maintain a certain image or reputation.

  • Handling Surgery and Pain Management in Recovery

    Handling Surgery and Pain Management in Recovery

    For a recovering addict, any type of substance can prove addictive because they have already shown an inability to exhibit self-control. People who are recovering from all types of addiction, whether it is alcohol, opiates or illegal drugs are told by specialists to stay away from all drugs in order to experience successful sobriety.

  • Know Your Rights: Taking Medical Leave for Opiate Recovery

    Know Your Rights: Taking Medical Leave for Opiate Recovery

    Recovery from opiate addiction can be a very painful process, and involve a lot of hard work. Addiction is an all-consuming condition that makes it impossible to live a full life, and so the recovery process is also going to be an all-consuming commitment to do whatever it takes to take care of yourself, weather out the storms of withdraw, and learn how to live a more healthy life.

  • Why Alcoholics Like to Isolate

    Why Alcoholics Like to Isolate

    For someone who likes to drink occasionally, it is usually when they are around friends or a crowd of people at a party. When it comes to alcoholics, however, they often like to drink in seclusion.

  • Why Anxiety and Depression are Prevalent in Opiate Use and Abuse

    Why Anxiety and Depression are Prevalent in Opiate Use and Abuse

    According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9 million people both have a mental health issue and abuse drugs. Anxiety and depression are thus very strongly linked with abuse of drugs, presenting people in recovery with the challenge of treating two very different, overpowering conditions that both have to be dealt with in the recovery process.

  • ‘Downtown Divas’ is a NSFW look into the Eyes of Drug Addiction World Wide

    ‘Downtown Divas’ is a NSFW look into the Eyes of Drug Addiction World Wide

    In Downtown Divas, two artists, Loral Amir and Gigi Ben Artzi have strived to dispel this illusion of a seemingly glitzy life as a heroin addict. The artists have taken a series of striking and disturbing photos of heroin addicts who are also Russian prostitutes in very expensive designer clothes, and the results are thought provoking and gut wrenching.

  • 5 Tips on How to Stay Sober During the Holidays

    5 Tips on How to Stay Sober During the Holidays

    Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years can be challenging time when you are a recovering alcoholic. The holidays themselves and the many parties and get-togethers in between are sure to be filled with plenty of tempting kinds of wine, champagne and cocktails.

  • Use Contrary Action to Participate in Your Recovery

    Use Contrary Action to Participate in Your Recovery

    A concept that is used often in recovery circles is the idea of "contrary action" in fighting addictive impulses. Addicts can have overwhelming urges and thoughts that are self-destructive and lead down the path of dependency.

  • Positives and Negatives of Clonidine’s Use for Withdrawal Relief

    Positives and Negatives of Clonidine’s Use for Withdrawal Relief

    The high from drug use can often seem attractive in the moment, but can also cause less pleasant effects as you come down. Especially if they are used habitually over a long period of time, trying to stop substance abuse can often be a very painful process, as your body tried to adapt to going without something it had become dependent upon.

  • The Physical Consequences of DXM

    The Physical Consequences of DXM

    DXM is a drug that has grown in popularity among young people for a number of reasons. The chief reason for it popularity may be that it is found in a substance that many parents may be keeping in their home: cough syrup. Indeed, DXM is a psychoactive and highly dangerous drug that is contained in many formulas of common cough syrup.

  • 5 Ways Admitting You Have a Problem Can Change Your Life

    5 Ways Admitting You Have a Problem Can Change Your Life

    Recovering from an addiction is a long journey and the first step is admitting to yourself and others that you have a problem. Even this first step can be one of the hardest to accomplish because it means you are finally breaking through the deception and denial that could have gone on for years.

  • 5 Ways You May Be Self-Medicating

    5 Ways You May Be Self-Medicating

    When people suffer from anxiety or depression and are not getting proper treatment from psychotherapy or medication they often develop their own ways of dealing with the symptoms. Because treatment can be costly and time-consuming, those suffering from depression may take matters into their own hands without understanding the consequences of delaying professional help.

  • Elton John Helps Lady Gaga Kick Drug Addiction

    Elton John Helps Lady Gaga Kick Drug Addiction

    The singer has been open about her drug use during past interviews, saying that smoking pot is her way of dealing with stress, pain, and emotions. In 2013, Lady Gaga suffered from a hip injury that required surgery and left her wheelchair bound to recover.

  • Kendra Wilkinson Battled Drug Addiction Before Achieving Fame

    Kendra Wilkinson Battled Drug Addiction Before Achieving Fame

    The reality tv star and former Hugh Hefner girlfriend is known for being quite candid about the details of her life. In her 2011 memoir Sliding Home, Wilkinson opened up about life at the Playboy mansion, as well as her struggles with drugs and sex as a teenager in Southern California.

  • Claudia Gadelha Credits Sports To Helping Her Beat Drug Addiction

    Claudia Gadelha Credits Sports To Helping Her Beat Drug Addiction

    MMA fighter Claudia Gadelha is on the brink of winning the title if she can defeat Joanna Jedrzejczyk on December 13. Gadelha has her work cut out for her going up against the undefeated Jedrzejczyk. Winning the title is something of a dream for Gadelha, who 10 years ago led a very different life.

  • 5 Signs You Might Have Hit Your Bottom

    5 Signs You Might Have Hit Your Bottom

    For many people, it can be difficult to tell the difference between acceptable or heavy use and addiction. Here are a few indicators that can help you determine whether you have, in fact, hit your own rock bottom.

  • U2 Makes Mistake by Sending Slash a Case of Guinness

    U2 Makes Mistake by Sending Slash a Case of Guinness

    The Irish natives of U2 sent a welcoming gift to Slash upon his arrival in Dublin that unfortunately missed the mark. Slash, the renowned guitarist for Guns and Roses, has been sober for eight years and yet received a case of Guinness as a "Welcome to Dublin" package from Bono and his bandmates.

  • Brooke Shields Talks about her Mother’s Alcoholism

    Brooke Shields Talks about her Mother’s Alcoholism

    Former model and actress Brooke Shields is releasing an upcoming memoir called "There was a Little Girl" which will detail her rise to fame as well as her troubled childhood before she was launched into stardom in the 70s and 80s. Shields opens up in the book about a painful past dominated by her alcoholic mother, Teri Shields who recently passed away at the age of 79.

  • James Kottak returns to Scorpions line-up after Rehab Stint

    James Kottak returns to Scorpions line-up after Rehab Stint

    After battling some controversy with the band and finally coming to terms with his alcoholism, drummer James Kottak will finally rejoin the Scorpions for their upcoming album and next year's tour. This summer Kottak made the announcement that he would be working with Bob Forrest, an addiction specialist known for working with musicians and "Celebrity Rehab".

  • California Taking Steps To Change Drug Incarceration Laws

    California Taking Steps To Change Drug Incarceration Laws

    After recently passing proposition 47 in the November elections, California voters took a significant step toward ending mass incarceration and the war on drugs. The state already made steps toward changing drug law in 2012 when it reformed the 'three strikes law'.

  • Methadone Turns 50

    Methadone Turns 50

    Although the drug methadone was first developed during World War II in Germany, it wasn't until the mid-sixties that it began to be used as a treatment for heroin addiction. In the 40s and 50s the drug was not broadly used at first because of reported side effects such as nausea and possible overdose.

  • Florida Judge Seeks Pay While In Alcohol Treatment Program

    Florida Judge Seeks Pay While In Alcohol Treatment Program

    A judge for Broward County that was recently suspended by the Supreme Court because of her alcohol problem and is currently undergoing treatment has been looking for continued pay. Judge Gisele Pollack was accused of being intoxicated twice in court and driving under the influence around local streets in the area.

  • Alcoholic Genetics And The Role They Play In Getting Sober

    Alcoholic Genetics And The Role They Play In Getting Sober

    Genetics plays a large part in determining whether a person is susceptible to addiction. Experts have determined that genetics are responsible for about half of addictive behavior and that environmental factors are responsible for the other half.

  • Bunavail Is Approved By FDA To Treat Opioid Addiction

    Bunavail Is Approved By FDA To Treat Opioid Addiction

    Vicodin, morphine, OxyContin, methadone, heroin, and codeine are commonly abused opioid drugs. There are more than two million people with opioid dependence who require some type of treatment to overcome their addiction.

  • Treatment Options for those Struggling with Alcoholism

    Treatment Options for those Struggling with Alcoholism

    Alcoholism is a serious disease affecting 6.8 percent of Americans. Alcohol addiction occurs when the body becomes chemically dependent upon the substance, and a person may also have an emotional dependence as well.

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