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Cannabis Addiction

Although identified as harmless and many claiming that cannabis should be prescribed for pain relief, prolonged misuse of the drug can result in psychoactive effects and in turn, the development of dependence. Enquire Now
Further Information
Cannabis Addiction
Updated on 16/09/2021
Medically reviewed by
Dr Alexander Lapa (Psychiatrist)

Consumed in various ways, from smoking through cigarettes to adding dried leaves into food or teas, cannabis is the most abused drug on the market, causing concern for the long-term cognitive health of current users.

If you’ve just started to use cannabis, we urge you to stop as soon as possible. Without control, consistent consumption can lead to an addiction.

If you’re living with an addiction and need help, you should consider rehabilitation. Here at Addiction Advocates, we are addiction specialists and can help you find the most effective addiction treatment options out there through our referral services.

Reach out today if you’re experiencing a cannabis addiction or believe that a loved one is misusing the drug so we can help determine the best addiction treatment programme for you.

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Are you suffering from Cannabis Addiction and need help? Addiction Advocates are leading UK based experts in Cannabis Addiction and Rehabilitation Treatment. Find out how we can help by getting in touch with our friendly team today.

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Cannabis Addiction help

How addictive is cannabis?

There are many preconceptions surrounding cannabis. Many individuals believe that the drug is harmless and should be made legal. Although research does promote its counterpart chemical of CBD oil, when considering health benefits, the THC content in cannabis, if used over the long term, can increase the susceptibility of an addiction.

As many individuals will use cannabis as a form of pain relief without a prescription, it is likely that without control of quantities and consumption timeframes, a cannabis addiction will develop. This is down to the relaxing and calming effects of cannabis, sought-after for a prolonged period of time.

Here is where innocent consumption for health purposes can advance into an addiction, causing a dual diagnosis when mental health conditions are concerned.

Again, for those who knowingly consume cannabis for its positive effects, an addiction can develop over time, similar to additional illegal drugs. Once tolerances build-up, greater consumption will be activated to reach those similar positive effects.

Over time, once the brain has noticed and started to depend on cannabis to function optimally, ongoing cravings can be experienced, signalling an addiction.

Cannabis (Marijuana) Withdrawal SymptomsWith this in mind, short-term cannabis consumption can result in mild behavioural changes. However, long-term cannabis abuse can also cause lasting physical and psychological impacts, contributing to an addiction.

From heart and lung problems, reduced quality of life to the development of mental health conditions and a breakdown in relationships, probable negative experiences are likely if a cannabis addiction is fuelled.

The signs and symptoms of cannabis addiction

When considering addiction as a whole, it is important to remember that signs and symptoms can vary from person to person, including their severity. This is down to several different factors, including the time span of addiction, the changes experienced through cannabis consumption and existing health history.

However, common signs and symptoms of cannabis addiction include:

  • Physical symptoms: Those who excessively abuse cannabis can experience fatigue, bloodshot eyes, dry mouth, increased appetite, and a reduced desire to maintain health, wellbeing and appearance routines.
  • Psychological symptoms: Ongoing cannabis consumption can result in paranoia, poor judgment, further mental health disorders, irritability, dramatized mood swings and responses.
  • Behavioural symptoms: An addiction is likely to present if an individual’s life has started to be controlled by cannabis consumption. This is usually spotted if attitudes, routines, relationships, emotions, opinions and interests change, coinciding with cannabis consumption.

As the signs and symptoms of cannabis addiction do fluctuate, it’s important to keep on top of your own consumption. If you believe that your life has changed negatively, down to cannabis abuse, or you struggle to reduce your cannabis intake, we urge you to consider professional support and treatment services.

Cannabis consumption and mental health problems

When consuming cannabis, an increased level of dopamine is present in the brain. Over time, as an addiction develops, where reliance is placed on this level of dopamine, the dangers of a strong psychological addiction are likely.

Yet, there’s great concern linked to the psychoactive effects of cannabis abuse, changing the functioning of the central nervous system. Changes are experienced, usually displayed in adaptations to behaviour and perception. There’s a high correlation for mental health problems to develop. Here is where the risk of a dual diagnosis is present, where both cannabis consumption and negative mental health issues can fuel one another.

If you are experiencing a dual diagnosis, sourcing support from addiction specialists is recommended; something we can help with here at Addiction Advocates.

It is also important to remember that many individuals will consume cannabis to control pre-existing mental health conditions. This, again, can be dangerous, as the THC content is identified to advance psychoactive effects.

Whether you’re consuming cannabis to control the symptoms of a mental health condition or have developed psychological impacts down to cannabis abuse, considering treatment should be prioritised.

Treating a cannabis addiction

Treating a cannabis addiction will resemble treatment aims for alternative drug addictions. However, as there is great concern surrounding psychological effects, greater cognitive intervention and support will motivate recovery.

To ensure that withdrawal symptoms are experienced both physically and mentally, you will be provided with a personalised treatment programme through our referral service. You’ll have access to addiction treatment options covering both medical and psychological areas through our referring rehab centres.

From a cannabis detox, influencing physical withdrawal symptoms, to support groups, cognitive behavioural therapy and counselling sessions, this combination will help to influence recovery efforts. Likewise, treatment services are available to support those with a dual diagnosis, contributing to the overarching aim of addiction recovery.

A successful recovery journey can be experienced through this combination; individuals will likely overcome a cannabis addiction while reducing future relapse opportunities. To benefit from this degree of success, contact our team today.

We can understand your cannabis addiction further and its long-term impacts, followed by addiction treatment recommendations.

Treating a cannabis addiction

Treating a cannabis addiction will resemble treatment aims for alternative drug addictions. However, as there is great concern surrounding psychological effects, greater cognitive intervention and support will be required to motivate recovery.

To ensure that withdrawal symptoms are experienced both physically and mentally, through our referral service, you will be provided with a personalised treatment programme. Through our referring rehab centres, you’ll have access to addiction treatment options, covering both medical and psychological areas.

From a cannabis detox, influencing physical withdrawal symptoms, to support groups, cognitive behavioural therapy and counselling sessions, this combination will help to influence recovery efforts. Likewise, treatment services are available to support those with a dual diagnosis, contributing to the overarching aim of addiction recovery.

As a successful recovery journey can be experienced through this combination, it is likely that individuals will overcome a cannabis addiction, while reducing all future relapse opportunities. To benefit from this degree of success, contact our team today.

We can understand your cannabis addiction further and its long-term impacts, followed by addiction treatment recommendations.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to get help for cannabis addiction
If you are struggling with a cannabis addiction, your first point of call should be your GP. They may often refer you to a local drug service but sometimes they can offer you treatment at their practice. If in any case you feel uncomfortable about discussing this with your GP, then contacting your nearest drug treatment service directly may be your best point of call. The Frank website has a tool whereby you can find local drug treatment services. There are a also a number of charities that can assist you which can be found on the Adfam website or you can contact the Addiction Advocates team who’ll be able to assist you in finding a suitable rehabilitation clinic for you.
How to help someone with a cannabis addiction
If you know someone with a cannabis addiction, it can be quite distressing to watch them continue to take it, but you must remain strong, positive, empathic and supportive. Initially you must have a conversation with them, try not to be judgmental of them but do provide examples whereby their behaviour under the influence may have been troubling to you. During this conversation, you must remain positive and express your strong belief in their ability to succeed in recovery. Many addicts feel hopeless so this will go a long way, and this is a good opportunity to provide them with information on treatment available to them. Once they realise that there is plenty of treatment options available to them, this will instil confidence into them and motivate them to recover. A good way to provide practical and empathic support is to offer to attend an initial GP consultation with them, this will not only get them started on to the road to recovery but it will also show that you are with them and supportive of their journey.
What are the symptoms of a Cannabis addiction?
There are a number of symptoms that are indicative of a marijuana addiction and they fall into three categories; Physical, Mental and Behavioural. Physical Symptoms • Parched mouth • Heightened desire for food or “the munchies” • Fatigue • Lack of balance and/or coordination • Bloodshot eyes Mental Symptoms • Paranoia • Feeling irritable • Fluctuating mood • Low attention span/focus Behavioural Symptoms • Poor performance in education or professional settings • Consumption in situations that can compromise wellbeing and/or safety • Experiencing negative consequences and still maintaining usage • Deceit or lies about their activities
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Seth is an author, addiction recovery expert and fully accredited member of the national counselling society. He has experience working with a wide range of addictions and mental illnesses using a number of evidence-based therapies and programmes such as the SMART models of addiction recovery.

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We can help take the stress out of finding an addiction treatment provider by recommending only the best options available that fully suits your criteria. The help and advice we can provide includes making sure that your journey towards recovery…

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