Marijuana is one of the most popular drugs in the United States. Some people use it recreationally for its relaxing effects. In addition, others use it to elevate their mood or cope with painful emotions. It may temporarily help with symptoms of anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder or other mental illnesses, but it can have a boomerang effect. Also, marijuana drug abusers may end up more anxious and depressed. In the\u00a02015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 22.2 million people admitted to using marijuana. More than 11 million young adults ages 18 to 25 were among them. In addition, social acceptance of marijuana use has spiked dramatically in recent years. Also, researchers believe this made the drug so readily available that younger people, especially, may not realize the consequences of chronic marijuana abuse. Despite the legalization of marijuana in many states, it is still considered a dangerous drug with potential for abuse. In addition, some of the people who are most vulnerable to substance abuse are those who: \tBegin using drugs at an early age \tAbuse marijuana on a daily basis \tHave an undiagnosed or underlying mental health condition Is It Time for Marijuana Abuse and Addiction Treatment? If you or a loved one is struggling with marijuana use, it may be helpful to learn the signs of marijuana abuse and to understand how addiction takes root. How Marijuana Addiction Begins in the Brain THC is the psychoactive substance in marijuana responsible for the \u201chigh\u201d feeling. Also, it remains in the body for a long time. In addition, this is how it gives someone the feeling of being high: \tTHC boosts the brain\u2019s levels of a pleasure-producing chemical called dopamine. \tIn part, this dopamine boost explains marijuana users\u2019 desire to keep taking more of the drug. \tThe brain reacts to recurring changes in its dopamine levels by altering its production of that chemical and adapting to the presence of THC. \tThis adaptation can turn into a physical dependence on marijuana. Signs and Symptoms of Marijuana Addiction People with a marijuana use disorder show signs of addiction similar to other substance use disorders. In addition, dependence transitions into marijuana addiction when users of the drug develop problems such as: \tStrong urges to consume more marijuana (or any other cannabis product) \tPreoccupation with obtaining and using marijuana \tDifficulty limiting marijuana consumption \tTolerance and the need to consume higher amounts of the drug in order to get \u201chigh\u201d \tFailed attempts at quitting marijuana \tMarijuana withdrawal symptoms without the drug \tRelationships and financial problems \tNeglecting work, school or personal responsibilities \tSevere lack of motivation and productivity \tContinued marijuana use even after experiencing negative consequences Continuing drug use \u2015 even though the drug is destroying your life \u2015 is a sure sign that marijuana use disorder has risen to the level of addiction. Also, if you\u2019re experiencing any signs of marijuana addiction and have not been able to break out of the pattern on your own, it may be time to seek help at an inpatient treatment center. Short-Term Mental and Physical Effects of Marijuana Abuse Marijuana is taken in usually by smoking it or ingesting it in food. In addition, the way a person uses the drug will impact the short-term effects. Also, in general, THC has the ability to pass through the lungs to the bloodstream very fast. The chemical is carried through the brain and organs through blood. In addition, when a person eats or drinks cannabis, it is absorbed more slowly than when it is smoked. The short-term effects of marijuana include an altered state of consciousness and time. In addition, the drug also can cause: \tMood changes \tBlocked thinking \tInability to problem solve \tMemory problems \tHallucinations, delusions and psychosis (when consumed in large doses) Long-Term Mental and Physical Effects of Marijuana Abuse Marijuana abuse takes a physical toll. Also, it takes only a few minutes for the heart to speed up and blood vessels in the eyes to expand after smoking marijuana. In addition, expanded blood vessels cause the red eyes and use of eye drops frequently associated with smoking pot. Also, marijuana abuse can increase the risk of: \tHeart palpitations \tArrhythmias \tHeart attack \tRespiratory problems from marijuana smoke: \tChronic cough \tChest illness \tLung infections There\u2019s\u00a0a link\u00a0between mental illness and chronic marijuana use. Marijuana abuse is known to cause problems in the brain, such as: \tSignificant impact on learning and memory \tImpaired judgement and sensory perception \tLack of physical coordination \tAnxiety and depression \tDevelopment of psychosis later in life (especially prevalent in teen pot smokers) The long-term impact can be especially severe for those who begin using the drug at an early age. In addition, ongoing research shows multiple life consequences for those with a history of chronic marijuana use, including: \tLess satisfaction with life \tPoor mental and physical health \tInterpersonal conflict \tLess academic and career success \tDropping out of school \tMoving from job to job and never settling in \tChronic lateness or absence from work Researchers say these effects can last for years after stopping marijuana use. Causes and Risk Factors No one knows exactly why people become addicted to marijuana, but some of the following may play a role: \tEarly trauma \tExposure to the drug at an early age \tEase of attaining the drug \tGenetics, or having addicted family members Marijuana addiction can also be related to co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders, such as: \tAlcohol addiction \tPrescription drug addiction \tAnxiety disorders, including panic attacks and obsessive compulsive disorder \tPersonality disorders and other mental health disorders A dual diagnosis will require special treatment options to make sure that all mental health issues and substance use disorders are addressed at the same time. Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms Withdrawal symptoms are one of the key features of substance use disorders. In addition, marijuana withdrawal may set in as late as seven to 10 days after quitting use. For this reason, many marijuana abusers believe they can quit any time they want to. However, within four to six days they may begin to feel marijuana withdrawal symptoms set in. Symptoms may include: \tAnxiety \tDrug cravings \tIrritability \tInsomnia \tChanges in appetite \tHeadaches \tMood swings \tMarijuana cravings \tChills Start Your Recovery Today You may need professional substance abuse treatment to recover from marijuana addiction. Also, at Lucida Treatment Center, you will get compassionate care and develop healthy coping skills. In addition, we offer a non-12-step drug rehab option. Also, some of our addiction treatment options include: \tCognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) \tDialectical behavior therapy skills \tEye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) \tPsychodrama therapy program \tYoga therapy program We can minimize marijuana withdrawal symptoms and help you get to the heart of your drug problem. Speak confidentially with a Lucida recovery advisor at .