With millions of Americans suffering from addiction, the epidemic is out of control and something needs to be done to stop this! Many do not see marijuana as a drug and as such minimize its addictive traits. Based on the image of marijuana created by society many see this drug as merely a recreational drug that is used just to relax or mellow out. Society flippantly portrays images of smoking marijuana as fun, cool and acceptable. Many minimize the significance of this drug by making illogical arguments such as "how many people do you know that got arrested for driving under the influence of weed?" However, it can be highly addictive and can draw the unsuspecting into a world filled with the loneliness and darkness of addiction.
How does weed make you high?
To understand the seriousness of smoking marijuana I believe it is essential to understand a bit about how this natural substance creates the highness that many seek. The main active ingredient is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabino, also known as THC, and this is what creates the high, euphoric feeling. It starts in the lungs when a user inhales and then travels through the blood directly to the brain. There is then a cellular reaction which affects certain pleasure points in the brain causing the happy and giddy feeling that most are seeking. It is paramount to realize that when you smoke week you are affecting your brain. These affects can lead to changes in your brain and possibly permanent brain damage.
Signs of Addiction
If you suspect that you or your loved one may be addicted to marijuana, then there are signs that you can look for. Other than the obvious red eyes, dry mouth, and excessive hungriness there are some signs that are a little bit harder to spot. A marijuana user and/or addict probably will start to exhibit problems in their work or school. In particular, sudden memory loss, learning problems and lack of motivation might start to appear and affect the overall quality of the student's or employee's work produced. These types of problems probably will increase over time becoming more obvious. Additionally, if you suspect marijuana use look for overall uncoordinated, disoriented actions and lack of balance. For someone that sees the use but suspects it is getting out of control, look for signs that use is increasing and becoming a part of the person's daily routine. If the person is using marijuana to go to sleep at night or just to get through the day, then this is probably an indication of addiction.
Detoxing from Weed
For anyone that has truly suffered from addiction, these people know and understand how painful, uncomfortable and draining detoxing from any drug can be. Once you are so dependent on any drug that you feel that you physically need it to survive then you know you are in serious trouble. For marijuana specifically, there are many physical as well as psychological symptoms which might come to a surprise to many. Common physical effects include night sweats, headaches, problems eating, shaking and dizziness. Common physiological effects include insomnia, nightmares, vivid dreams, depression, anger, and irritability. Remembers that the use of THC dulls everything allowing you to numb feelings, emotions, and even physical pains. Now that you are no longer smoking weed you will see that you can become very depressed and start to feel emotions that were previously numb. You will also likely start to have vivid dreams since these have been suppressed for the time of use. It may seem as though the floodgates have been opened but never fear for these will pass. Even though an accurate timeline cannot be given, you will heal and recover leaving you once again feeling normal. Especially since THC is actually stored in your fat cells, it is hard to predict how long any detox symptoms will last and when they will start. It is important to remember again that marijuana does effect your brain and your brain will need time to heal and return to status quo. It is also significant to note that detoxing itself may take quite some time from months to even years depending on the drug and the time of use. Be patient with this process and expect some bad days but ultimately know that this is for best option.
There are some ways to help relieve the symptoms that detox may produce. Overall, it is extremely important to take care of yourself during this time so that you can help your body heal. Relaxing and avoidance of strenuous activity initially is important. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids and eat foods rich in potassium. Once you are feeling better, exercise is a great way to battle depression and to help you get back on a proper sleep pattern. The natural endorphins released by exercise are sure to make you feel better and stronger leaving you energized during the day and able to sleep at night. If you are having severe symptoms, then call 911 or go directly to an emergency room where you can be medically detoxed if it is needed. Do not ignore serious symptoms as the detox from any drug can be dangerous and can lead to serious medical situations!
After the Detox is Over
I cannot emphasize enough how a marijuana user is not in the clear by merely detoxing. Many addicts are fooled by this and believe that just because the drug is out of their system they are no longer an addict. This is far from the truth! To sustain abstinence and live a life of true recovery, you must continue to work on it and you must remember it is a process. Steps to prevent further use might include individual therapy, intensive outpatient therapy and in some cases, residential treatment. Remember, that it is not one size fits all so you may find that one option works better than others. For additional options please check out my book "Quit Marijuana: The Complete Guide" by yours truly, JR Smith. With different suggestions and strategies, it is my wish that this book will guide you to the initial detoxification and then life long abstinence. There are resources out there if you want to quit smoking weed or if want to maintain your abstinence. Remember, weed is a drug! Do not get caught in the downward spiral caused by addiction!
My hope is that you took the article above seriously and understand better the seriousness of this drug. You can quickly become dependent on this drug before you even realize it.