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In recent years, marijuana has been legalized and touted for its medicinal purposes. But how do you know when use becomes abuse? Millions of Americans can pick up, and put down, marijuana relatively easily. For some, marijuana use poses a substantial likelihood of developing an addiction. They add that people who use marijuana before age 18 are 4 to 7 times more likely to develop this use disorder than adults.
Researchers estimated that 4 million people in the United States met the criteria for marijuana use disorder in Of them,voluntarily sought treatment. The Canyon, a treatment center in Malibu, California, lists 10 s that someone might have an addiction to marijuana. Genes are one strong predictor of developing an addiction, said Dr. Studies of identical twins raised in different families support this theory. They have higher rates of an addiction co-occurring, which means that if one of them develops an addiction, the other is at greater risk for developing one, than fraternal twins raised apart.
But then, the tolerance sets in. We conceptualize it as a biological trap. It works at first, it turns on you, it stops working, and then you still have a problem.
Stalcup estimates that 50 to 60 percent of the people with an addiction to marijuana whom his clinic treats have some sort of underlying mental health condition. The majority of his clients have:. At first, marijuana offers a benefit. It makes the world more interesting to counteract the loss of pleasure in depression.
It soothes anxiety. For those with PTSD who experience nightmares, it shuts down the process by which dreams form in the brain. The discussion surrounding addiction — and addressing addiction concerns — has become more complex. Currently, 31 states and the District of Columbia have laws legalizing marijuana in some form.
In fact, 10 states and the District of Columbia allow marijuana for recreational use. In recent years, there have been a of studies that have highlighted the use marijuana in treating certain medical conditions. One study stated that medical marijuana can help children with seizures and chemotherapy-induced nausea.
A study reported that adult cancer patients are using marijuana to ease nausea and other symptoms. A review looked at the available research regarding people with epilepsy using marijuana to ease their seizures. There are also the studies that indicate legalizing marijuana can reduce the misuse of opioids, alcohol, and other substances. On the other hand, there are studies that have issued warnings on marijuana and heart health as well as using marijuana for morning sickness.
Plus, pediatricians and others have long said that marijuana can impair brain functions in people under the age of According to a research by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the average THC content in confiscated marijuana samples in was just under 4 percent. Init had risen to 12 percent. This classification is something that really grates people who support legalization of marijuana.
But it should not be a criminal justice matter. Instates that had legalized medical marijuana reported a 25 percent drop in deaths resulting from an overdose of pain medication. In healthy people, marijuana is sometimes used as a substitute for other, stronger substances. A study she conducted on medical marijuana users revealed that:. Dependence on marijuana happens when users build up a tolerance for the substance and need more and more of it to experience the same effect. In order to feel the same high, the person has to take larger and larger doses. Over time, users may graduate from smoking marijuana to using it in high-dosage edible forms or propane-extracted concentrates called dabs.
This is why when someone takes a drug, it is pleasurable. Volkow also conducted a study that found that the brains of people who misuse marijuana have a decreased response to dopamine. And the more blunted their response to the methylphenidate, the more negative emotions they felt, including irritability, anxiety, depression, and aggressiveness.
The dopamine al is not being heard, not communicating properly downstream. Volkow thinks that this decreased response to dopamine is likely caused by marijuana use. It does benefit them. Their grades often will go up for a period of time. Volkow explained that the patterns of activity in the brain shift from the drug activating reward centers to activating other, nearby regions related to the formation of habits.
Once tolerance sets in, dependence can form. If someone uses a drug often enough, the brain will become accustomed to it. In an attempt to return to baseline, it will compensate for the difference, raising a function that the drug lowered, like heart rate, or reducing a function that the drug boosted, like mood.
So, a drug can cause dependence but not abuse, as is the case for some people prescribed opiate pain medication. Or a drug can cause no withdrawal at all, as in the case of cocaine, but still pose a high likelihood that a person will develop an addiction when using it. Although not nearly as extreme as heroin or alcohol withdrawal, quitting marijuana does appear to cause withdrawal symptoms in heavy, frequent users. In a article for Salonwriter M. Welch described his first week without marijuana after about a decade of daily use as one filled with sleepless nights and irritable days.
Loss of appetite and nausea replace the munchies. Some are even dependent on the drug, using it daily and going through withdrawal if they try to quit, but they still remain functional. Disruptions in your occupational functioning. Your personal interactions and relationships. Your educational functioning. A study examined people who use drugs and who came to the emergency room with drug-related problems, which is a strong indicator that something is not manageable. Of the marijuana users, the 47 percent who met the criteria for abuse were also more likely to smoke tobacco and binge drink than the non-abusers — potential warning s that those people may naturally run a greater risk of substance abuse in general.
Forget what we call it. Unlike opiate misuse, which can set in fairly quickly with heavy use, marijuana misuse can take months or even years to develop. So, they get stuck in the cycle of use and adverse consequences. In the experiment, we ask you for a defined period of time not to use. Can you not smoke pot? Its current publication date reflects an update, which includes a medical review by Alan Carter, PharmD.
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s Someone Is Addicted to Marijuana