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What are the Symptoms of Marijuana Addiction?

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Marijuana is the most commonly abused drug worldwide. Its symptoms vary from user to user, though its long term effects are equally harmful.

Immediate Effects

Within a few minutes of inhaling marijuana smoke a person’s heart rate increases. It can increase by 20 to 50 beats per minute and can sometimes double.

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, rapidly passes from the lungs into the bloodstream when it is ingested. It’s carried to organs throughout the body, creating a euphoric feeling in the user’s body.

THC also releases a chemical in the brain known as dopamine. Dopamine results in the user feeling relaxed, leads to heightened senses, altered perception, increased laughter and appetite.

After the High

After the high of cannabis subsides, the user may feel sleepy or depressed. The user may find that forming new memories and focusing becomes more difficult. Performing complicated tasks, like studying or driving, are often more difficult than usual.

Long Term Effects

There are a number of long term effects associated with the abusive treatment of marijuana. Some long term effects include reduced resistance to common illnesses, reduced sexual capacity, personality and mood changes, reduced ability to learn or study and lack of motivation.

Withdrawal

One of the most commonly reported symptoms of marijuana withdrawal is a craving for the drug. Though some users do not believe they are addicted, the desire for a drug is the most common sign of addiction.

Another common symptom of withdrawal is sleep disruption. Those who attempt to quit using marijuana often report sleeplessness or insomnia, lasting from days to months. Additionally, those who have attempted to quit experience nightmares or vivid, sleep-disrupting dreams.

A number of other withdrawal symptoms include beaches, appetite change, weight loss or gain, digestion problems, cramps or nausea after eating.

Treatment

Behavioral treatment like motivational enhancement theory and contingency management may be helpful in recovering from marijuana addiction. Currently, there is no medication that has clearly shown effective treatment of addiction.

Source: Web MD