Regularly abusing cannabis can cause biopsychosocial problems, withdrawal, and heavy intoxication. Before you can manage the disorder, you need to know how to recognize it. When under the influence, users experience psychological and behavioral changes.
The typical symptoms of marijuana addiction can vary, based on the scale and severity of the addiction. Here are some of the most common signs that can help you identify the problem.
- Continued marijuana use regardless of the health impact. When a person is addicted to a substance, they don’t show interest in what their addiction is doing to their health, surroundings, and relationships. The only thing that matters is how to take the next dose. The urge and strong need to take a dose tend to overshadow everything else in their life. So, the drug becomes their number one priority.
- Cravings. Cravings are a subjective experience of wanting to take another dose. This is a powerful desire that’s difficult to control. It creates abnormal, urgent, and intense feelings of need. This motivational state is the main reason people relapse.
- Withdrawals the moment the user runs out on marijuana. When the user has no access to cannabis, they go through withdrawal. They become irritable, restless, have trouble sleeping, and eating. They also experience stomach pain and nausea.
- Quitting other activities to use cannabis. An addicted individual tends to lose motivation to do anything else besides taking the drug. So, they can give up their activities to free up more time to use marijuana.
- Using huge quantities of marijuana for a long time. Some people start taking marijuana to treat certain health problems. But, when their usage increases and extends well over the intended period, that’s when they become vulnerable to addiction.
- Smoking the drug in a dangerous situation. Users who keep taking drugs in hazardous situations, like driving, are addicted. This exposes them and those around them to risky and potentially life-threatening behavior.
- Needing a lot of time to recover from the drug’s effects. The more often the user takes the drug, the more time the body needs to flush it out. Those with severe addiction need plenty of time for the drug to leave the system.
- Constantly thinking about stopping or cutting back on cannabis use, without actual success. Wanting to stop drug abuse is much easier said than done. The cravings and withdrawal create a huge pressure, which makes it incredibly difficult for people to quit successfully.
How to Tell if Your My Son Addicted to Marijuana?
Finding out if a child uses this substance can be incredibly difficult. Especially if the user doesn’t talk much. Luckily, many of the symptoms and signs of addiction are relatively easy to spot. They are quite similar to the symptoms of an adult.
The tell-tale signs are often linked to mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression. If you suspect the child to be using drugs, then you have to take extra caution. You need to be ready to take action and communicate with the child about their habits. Here are a couple of signs you should look out for.
1. Drastic Shift in Personality and Mood Changes
Prolonged cannabis abuse can change the user’s personality. Especially when they have to keep their drug use a secret. It creates a rift between the child and the parent, which alters their mood, damages their relationships, and academic achievements.
According to experts, understanding their personality allows you to plan a comprehensive method for treating these patients. It gives you an opportunity to develop an efficient and preventive program that will help them get sober.
To recognize these shifts, look for:
- Depressed, withdrawn, or sullen behavior
- Lack of communication
- Inability to remain focused
- Anger, hostility, and uncooperativeness
- Lack of motivation
The mood and personality changes can easily be recognized by the way the child acts. For example, they change their relationship with their parents, friends, or other family members. They are more secretive, avoid eye contact, disappear from home for a very long time, constantly make excuses, and have regular cash problems.
Most importantly, they become absent and lose interest in school and practical activities. Actions such as these are often linked to addiction.
If you recognize any of these symptoms, you might want to contact the inpatient rehab center for cannabis abuse in Texas. Here, you can ask for advice on how to deal with patients that struggle with marijuana abuse.
2. Appearance and Hygiene
Sometimes the easiest signs to spot are the most obvious ones. The smell of marijuana smoke sticks to clothing, breath, hair, and skin. Smokers describe the scent as woody, herbal, and earthy. Although it is completely different from tobacco, it can be equally overbearing.
Experts believe cannabis smells a lot stronger than other dried plants. It carries a scent of plum, diesel, apple, and lemon notes. However, the smell amplifies when mixed with sweat. As a result, it tends to leave a note of mustiness. People call it the “skunk-like” smell.
Plus, those who are addicted to a substance often have poor hygiene. Their appearance is messier and they don’t take good care of their teeth as much as they used to. According to reports, poor oral health behavior was found among patients in drug withdrawal treatment.
Scientists evaluated 685 volunteers in drug treatment. Based on the results, a staggering 48% brushed their teeth less than once a day, while 81% rarely or never flossed. The problem is, 57% of the volunteers ate sugary products two times a day. This increased their likelihood of dental problems.
The same thing can be said for showers. It seems that when a person develops an addiction, they don’t pay that much attention to their hygiene. Even though drug use can affect everyone differently, these are simple signs that should be taken into account.
3. Recent Physical Changes
It is not uncommon for a person who is high on cannabis to go unnoticed. But, if you take a closer look, you can recognize some of the physical signs. Physical symptoms of recent cannabis use include:
- Poor muscle coordination
- Delayed reaction
- Red eyes
- Increased appetite
Smoking cannabis can impair the user’s motor and coordination skills. Even if they are not high, they can still experience these effects. A review showed that individuals who took cannabis experienced differences in the corticostriatal networks of the brain, compared to those who didn’t take the drug.
These networks are closely linked to control and motor learning. But, they also affect memory, reactions, and the capability to switch between various tasks. There are motor and cognitive impairments among cannabis users, explains Prashad Shikha, the lead author of the review and scientists at the University of Texas, Dallas.
In heavy smokers, poor balance, motor control, and coordination are relatively easy to recognize. Then, you have red eyes. Clinical trials show that smoking cannabis induced corneal vasodilation, also known as red-eye. The endocannabinoids have a direct impact on ocular tissues.
Basically, cannabis can dilate the blood vessels in the eye. It will relax them, which, in turn, makes them larger. The dilatation is what’s causing the redness and it’s most noticeable on the whites of the eye.
THC can also interact with the receptors and increase the user’s appetite. It can boost ghrelin release. This hormone stimulates hunger. That’s why you can feel very hungry after using marijuana. If you recognize these signs, contact the substance abuse treatment center for men in Dallas-Fort Worth. With expert help, you can get your condition under control.
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What Are the Adverse Effects of Cannabis Use?
Among cannabis users 15 years or older, around 90% reported having problems due to their substance use. Even though occasional smokers are less likely to experience these adverse effects, regular smokers are at a much higher risk.
People can experience:
- Reduced academic performance
- Impaired thinking
- Breathing problems
- Inability to drive
- Impaired social functioning
- Reproductive problems
Here is how each of these adverse effects influences the human body.
Reduced Academic Performance
According to recent research, when students start taking cannabis, drug use can affect their academic performance. Experts analyzed students who started taking the drug at least once a month. Here is what they found.
The volunteers were 4 times more likely to skip class, 2 to 4 times less likely to finish their assignments, homework, and put in the effort to get proper grades. They were also half as likely to obtain higher grades compared to what they could achieve before taking cannabis.
Scientists also analyzed student’s expectations. They asked users what they thought their highest educational achievements would look like in the future. Based on the data found, students who started smoking cannabis on a daily basis were 50% less inclined to go to university. They just lacked the ambition they used to have prior to taking the drug.
That’s why it’s important for adolescents to avoid the drug or delay the use of marijuana until their body and brain are fully developed. If you don’t think you can handle it alone, the inpatient rehab center for cannabis abuse in Texas can help. With professional help, you or anyone in your family can overcome their addiction and lead a healthier and fuller life.
Cognitive impairment is a common problem among cannabis users. But, impaired cognition with lasting effects is a serious issue for users who start taking the drug very young. It can affect their brain development later in adulthood.
Research estimates that subjects who took marijuana at different time points between 18 to 38 years of age, and those with persistent cannabis use had an average of 8 IQ point declines.
The most impactful cognitive impairment was found in areas of processing speed and executive functioning. More subjects who started taking marijuana at an earlier age became persistent smokers and experienced the highest cognitive impairment.
Marijuana abuse can trigger psychological effects. Controlled studies found a clear link between marijuana use and psychosis development. The odds of developing this health issue for those who had ever used marijuana has a 1.41 ratio. While for frequent smokers, the odds ratio is 2.09. Although this kind of substance abuse won’t cause psychotic symptoms, it could increase the likelihood of developing them. Especially in users who are already susceptible to psychosis.
Long-term marijuana smoking leads to a rapid decline in lung function. It can also make users vulnerable to developing chronic bronchitis. What most smokers don’t realize is that marijuana smoke has countless toxins.
Many of the chemicals in cannabis can also be found in tobacco smoke. In fact, marijuana smoke has more than 450 different chemicals. Cannabis smoke can damage the cell lining of the large airways, which is why it can cause some level of lung damage, wheezing, phlegm, and coughing.
The more a person abuses the product, the bigger the risk for asthma or allergic illnesses. With chronic smoking, people expose their bodies to potential respiratory disease, airway inflammation, and poor lung function.
Do have in mind that the lungs are the first line of defense of the human body. They protect the system from infections and invading pathogens. When they are damaged, the immune system suffers. As a result, heavy smokers can become susceptible to lower respiratory tract infections.
Inability to Drive
Some users claim taking cannabis makes them better drivers. It helps them concentrate better. But, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Weed is a psychoactive drug. So, even if you feel a million times more capable in the first couple of minutes of driving, these effects will subside and you will soon feel weary, distracted, and bored. Your thoughts can go adrift.
- In fact, marijuana intoxication increases the risk for car crash mortality and morbidity by 1.5 to 3-fold. The higher the THC concentration, the bigger the risk for collison.
These outcomes significantly increase in people with a high frequency of cannabis use. Using the product for medicinal properties can help the body. Especially when taken in controlled amounts. But, when you intentionally smoke marijuana before or during driving, it could put your health in danger.
In some cases, people pair marijuana with alcohol to amplify its effect. When that happens, they can drastically lose their ability to drive safely. Overall, women under the influence report more emotional instability, less energy, and psychological issues compared to men.
Impaired Social Functioning
Marijuana addiction can have a profound impact on the user’s social life. It can reduce their motivation, work, school, and overall performance. But, one of its most significant social problems is the way the drug affects their judgment and perception.
When someone is addicted to cannabis, they can display aggression, rebellion, irritability, and restlessness. Their delinquent behavior can ruin their family and romantic relationships. The daily and persistent cannabis use can intoxicate their system and can cause numerous problems at school, work, or home.
To sustain a healthy social relationship, you will need all the help you can get. That’s where the long-term marijuana addiction treatment center for men can come in handy. You get the opportunity to turn things around and enjoy a drug-free life.
Marijuana use in pregnancy can cause subtle neurodevelopmental damage in unborn babies. For instance attention deficit disorder. Smoking the drug on a daily basis increases the odds of potential damage.
Although this research is limited, it seems that women need to take extra precautions to deliver a healthy baby. Exposing the child to cannabis before birth can lead to premature delivery and lower birth weights.
Marijuana is a highly used substance all around the world. Despite its numerous medicinal properties, people can still abuse the product. Unfortunately, not everyone is aware of what cannabis abuse can do to their bodies. So, they end up developing a dependence or addiction.
The truth is, abusing cannabis can lead to cognitive impairment, social dysfunction, and other ailments. Recognizing addiction and dependence is the first step to recovery. All the signs and symptoms listed here can help you spot the problem.
You can take a look at the user’s behavioral, physical, and psychological changes. That way, you will have a much easier time knowing whether or not your child has an addiction. With proper treatment, it’s possible to overcome the addiction and let the body rejuvenate.
In case of addiction or dependence, don’t forget to consult a specialist. The inpatient rehab center for cannabis abuse in Texas can provide you with all the information you need. Regardless of how complex the health issue might be.
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