Understanding Marijuana Abuse

What is Marijuana Abuse?

Marijuana is a drug acquired from the cannabis plant. The plant is typically dried out, ground up and smoked (in paper like a cigarette or in a pipe like tobacco). Marijuana also comes in the form of “edibles.” Edibles are foods, such as baked goods and candies, that contain the drug and produce the same effects as smoking it.

Some people consume a resin-like substance concentrated from the plant that produces a far more intense high. This substance, often referred to as “dabs,” may be a viscous liquid, a wax-like substance or a hard, crystallized material similar to hard candy that is typically vaporized and inhaled. Other names for dabs include wax, budder and shatter.

Marijuana Effects and Abuse

The effects of marijuana include:

  • Feelings of happiness
  • Mild hallucinations
  • Increased appetite
  • Reduced anxiety

Marijuana is a psychoactive drug that alters perception. Marijuana contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the chemical compound that causes the drug’s effects.

The effects of marijuana may be different for everyone and depend on how it is consumed. Smoking marijuana produces a faster, shorter-lived high than taking it orally. The effects of dabs can be immediate and last for hours due to their concentrated amounts of THC.

While there is virtually no risk of overdosing, marijuana comprises the second highest rates (after cocaine) of emergency room visits caused by abusing an illicit substance. These hospital visits are mostly attributed to accidents that occurred when individuals were intoxicated.

Addiction to Marijuana

Marijuana addiction can be clinically diagnosed and has a negative impact on the person’s life. People can develop a mental dependence on marijuana in the same way other addictions develop.

There are also risks of using marijuana that can affect someone’s personal life. These risks can manifest into more immediate consequences such as:

  • Legal complications
  • Falling behind in school
  • Having problems at work
  • An impaired ability to learn and remember things
What Does a Marijuana Addiction Program Look Like?

Therapy is the cornerstone of treatment for marijuana addiction. An analysis in the journal Addiction Science and Clinical Practice suggests that the goal of marijuana therapy is to provide people with the ability to avoid or cope with drug use triggers, so they won’t relapse when put in sticky situations. Therapy can also provide problem-solving skills and lifestyle management, so people can learn how to build a satisfying life that doesn’t need augmentation with drugs. As a relapse skill, therapists might also provide lessons on drug refusal, so people know just what to say and how to react when they’re offered a hit of weed.

Exercise sessions, massage sessions, art-therapy sessions, and other alternative therapies can help people learn how to cope with life gracefully, without the use of drugs.

  • 8:30 a.m-9:30 a.m.: Breakfast
  • 9:30 a.m-10:30 a.m.: Morning meditation
  • 10:30 a.m-11:30 a.m.: Morning group session
  • 11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.: Morning journal time
  • 12:00 p.m-1:00 p.m.: Lunch
  • 1:00 p.m-2:30 p.m.: Individual counseling sessions
  • 2:30 p.m-4 p.m.: Exercise and/or art therapy
  • 4:00 p.m-5:30 p.m.: Support group work
  • 5:30 p.m-6:00 p.m.: Afternoon journal time
  • 6:00 p.m-7:00 p.m.: Dinner
  • 7:00 p.m-8:00 p.m.: Therapy homework time
  • 8-8:30 p.m.: Social time (letters or phone calls)
  • 8:30-9:30 p.m.: Closing group
  • 9:30-11:30 p.m.: Quiet time for reading or crafting
  • 11:30 p.m.: Lights out