Consumed in a variety of ways, from smoking through cigarettes to adding the dried leaves into food or teas, cannabis is the most abused drug on the market; causing concern for the long-term cognitive health for 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 through our referral services, with the aim to find the most effective addiction treatment options out there.
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.
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, in turn, causing a dual diagnosis when mental health conditions are concerned.
For those who knowingly consume cannabis for its positive effects, again, 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.
With 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, all contributing to an addiction.
From heart and lung problems, a 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 a number of different factors, including the timespan of an 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: If an individual’s life has started to be controlled by cannabis consumption, it is likely that an addiction is present. 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 do 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. Overtime, as an addiction develops, where reliance is placed on this level of dopamine, 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. As 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.
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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.
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