How do you know if someone is addicted to marijuana?
If you are concerned about your loved one’s marijuana use, there some physical and psychological signs you can search for. Some of the initial signs include bloodshot eyes, increased appetite, lack of motivation, weight gain, nervous or paranoid behavior, impaired coordination, and slowed reaction time. Other symptoms from marijuana use include anxiety, impaired judgment, distorted perception, relaxed state, sleepiness, feeling high or euphoria, and delayed or poor coordination. The prolonged use of marijuana can create some psychological problems such as depression, anxiety, motivational issues, and cognitive difficulties. This is seen more when marijuana use is started at a young age with a developing brain. The short-term side effects of marijuana are not life-threatening, but there is potential for danger. Many states saw increased numbers in emergency room visits because of synthetic marijuana and marijuana that was cut with other drugs such as opioids.
Some of the immediate side effects of marijuana use include paranoia, elevated heart rate, overeating, impaired motor functions, anxiety, and impaired cognition. The long-term effects of marijuana use are not as severe as other drugs. However, long-term effects can become severe if marijuana use is chronic among adolescents and young adults before full brain development. Some of the possible side effects of chronic marijuana use at a young age include mood swings, reduced ability to learn, lung infections, inhibited mental development, panic attacks, and memory loss. Adolescents see the most significant impact of marijuana use because their brain is still in early development. Recognizing a marijuana addiction is the first step in being able to help someone who is addicted to the drug. One of the most significant signs of marijuana use is the urge to use marijuana. For example, someone who is a chronic marijuana user will use the drug at work, at social gatherings, and anywhere they feel the urge to use.
Treatment for marijuana addiction is essential, and it is not uncommon for the family to perform an intervention to help a loved one addicted to marijuana. If the use of marijuana is hindering a productive life for someone, you care about, staging an intervention will help them. People who have become addicted to marijuana do not always feel there is a problem with their marijuana use. An intervention is a perfect opportunity to present them with the fact about marijuana being addictive and how it has negatively impacted his or her life.
Marijuana Intervention and Treatment
Once you have determined if your loved one is using or addicted to marijuana, the next step is a family intervention. The best way to organize a family intervention is by hiring a professional interventionist. Certified intervention groups have the training and qualifications to counsel a family and perform the intervention. Interventions are not designed to place blame or point the finger but show the addict how their addiction affects them and the people around them. Any addiction becomes worse without help, and most marijuana addictions are part of a larger drug problem. However, because of the legal status of marijuana in some states, it is often the only drug of choice for some addicts. Like alcohol, marijuana is widely accepted in most parts of the country, making it difficult to convince someone they need help.
When the family contacts a professional interventionist, the first day is spent with the family providing education and counseling. There are often barriers, such as enabling or codependency, that is holding the family back from getting their loved one the help they need. Enabling would derail an intervention and make it impossible to convince the person they need help. Often, there is more than one person in the family using marijuana, which is why it is important to have the right people to attend the intervention. The interventionist helps the family decide who will be there and where and when the intervention takes place. Everything is organized, and the family is prepared for every scenario.
In the event that the addicted person says no to treatment, the family is prepared with a bottom line or consequences. For example, the person could lose their job or be kicked out of the house if they do not agree to attend a drug rehab center. The family needs to follow through with the consequences because it will also help keep their loved one in treatment. The rehabilitation process for marijuana addiction begins with detox, which does not last long unless the individual is abusing other drugs. Conventional detox programs are equipped to manage someone with an addiction to marijuana. The detox process is necessary to stabilize the person before they enter treatment.
The best rehabilitation options are inpatient or outpatient treatment, but this depends on the severity of the addiction. An addiction assessment is a good place to begin because the assessment process would help the family determine the extent of addiction and what rehabilitation works best. Short-term treatment programs usually last three to six weeks, whereas long-term programs provide services for three to six months. Typically, the severity and extent of addiction would determine the level of rehabilitation required. Outpatient programs are effective, but usually for someone that is still working and who has family support. It is also a good idea to follow through with aftercare support when treatment is complete. Aftercare could include peer support groups such as 12-step meetings or living at a sober living home—it all depends on what is happening after treatment and if the person has a support structure.
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