Marijuana Abuse & Addiction in Ohio
The topic of marijuana is controversial in America. With many states legalizing the drug, for many Americans, marijuana is not seen as being a harmful substance. In Ohio – though recreational use is not yet legal – the possession of up to 100 grams has been decriminalized.
Proponents of legalization feel that marijuana is a relatively harmless drug with some medical benefits. Those who oppose legalization look at states like Colorado that have legalized the drug and look at increased traffic deaths and ER visits and argue against legalization.
Regardless of where you stand on the political issue, it’s important to know that marijuana has risks associated with it. It is possible, for example, to engage in marijuana abuse, which can lead to marijuana addiction. Even if marijuana is legalized throughout the nation, it will still retain these risks. After all, alcohol is legal, and yet, those who use alcohol are at risk of developing alcohol addiction.
Understanding Marijuana Addiction
Before we can talk about marijuana addiction, we must have an understanding of what marijuana is. Marijuana refers to the leaves and flowers coming from the hemp plant. It can be smoked in pipes or hand-rolled cigarettes, it can be eaten by being cooked into foods or it can even be ingested in teas. There are many nicknames for marijuana. It’s often called pot, weed, Mary Jane, herb, grass and many others. It is considered to be a psychoactive substance, and it contains the chemical, THC, which alters your brain.
When marijuana is smoked or ingested, the psychoactive element goes into the user’s bloodstream. The effects of marijuana can vary from person to person. Some people experience relaxation and drowsiness. Some people experience “munchies”. Some people experience paranoia and anxiety.
There is a debate as to whether or not marijuana is addictive. While it’s not addictive in the same way other substances like alcohol or heroin are, the latest research indicates that marijuana abuse and marijuana addiction are certainly possible.
Is Marijuana Physically Addictive?
The short answer is yes, marijuana can be a physically addictive substance. It’s possible for a user to develop a dependence on the drug that can lead to negative side effects if the drug is stopped suddenly.
This can occur when someone’s brain has gotten used to the substance. When marijuana is in your system frequently, your brain will stop producing the neurotransmitter known as endocannabinoid, and when marijuana is no longer in your system, your brain will struggle to make up for the deficiency.
A psychological or situational addiction to marijuana is, however, more common. People become addicted to the way they feel when under the influence of the drug. They may also use it frequently with a group of friends, and they don’t want to lose the group of friends. There are many different reasons someone might become psychologically addicted to marijuana.
Marijuana Addiction Rate
Many people wonder what percentage of marijuana users become addicted. It is believed that 30 percent of marijuana users approximately will develop some form of marijuana use disorder, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. If someone uses marijuana before the age of 18, they are anywhere from four to seven times more likely to develop marijuana addiction.
For people in Ohio who are struggling with marijuana addiction, there are treatment options available. Facilities like The Recovery Village Columbus offer inpatient and outpatient treatment programs as well as aftercare programs to treat marijuana addiction. If you or someone you love is suffering from marijuana use disorder, give us a call today, and allow us to help you or your loved one to take back the control.