Marijuana Addiction & Abuse

What is marijuana addiction?

Marijuana is a psychoactive tobacco-like substance, made from the flowers, stems, seeds and leaves of the Cannibus sativa plant, a member of the hemp family. It is usually smoked, though it can also be used as an ingredient in baking, or brewed as tea.

In a 2006 report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, researchers estimated that 4% of the world’s adult population uses marijuana regularly, while as many as 20% of American and European adults have tried it at some point-making it the world’s most widely used illegal drug. In low doses, marijuana can be a highly effective analgesic, and it is used in this manner for patients with severe cancer pain, neuropathy or arthritis (under medical supervision).

The chemical compound in the cannabis plant responsible for its psychoactive properties is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This gives the user a mild sense of euphoria, accompanied by dry mouth, rapid heartbeat, problems with concentration and coordination, and slowed reaction times. Shortly after ingesting marijuana, the user will feel extremely relaxed-almost in a dream-like state. He or she may not be able to follow, or participate in, conversations with others in the room. The user’s movements will most likely be slowed and careful (if he or she is aware of others watching), or erratic and clumsy like a drunk. User’s moods can range from mellow and quiet to despairing and violent.

Heavy or chronic marijuana addiction may cause lung disease, more quickly than tobacco smoking. Marijuana may also raise blood pressure and affect short-term memory. At high doses, marijuana can be almost as powerful in its effect on the brain as hallucinogenic drugs. Heavy users may experience distortions in their sense of the passage of time, as well as hallucinations, loss of control of muscle movement, and a sense of detachment from his/her surroundings.

Hallucinogen Drugs

What are hallucinogen drugs?

Hallucinogens, or hallucinogenic drugs, are substances that produce intense psychological effects we would normally associate with dreaming, religious visions or schizophrenia. The user’s senses are affected, distorting reality or causing the perception that he/she is seeing, hearing or touching things that do not exist. LSD, mescaline, PCP and psilocybin (“magic mushrooms”) are the most common hallucinogenic drugs.

What effect do hallucinogen drugs have on the user?

The user experiences a break with reality. His or her perceptions of their surroundings are altered, as light, space, colors, the passage of time and other details metamorphose in the user’s senses. A user may recall speaking to someone, hearing music, eating food or smelling things-none of which actually happened.

These “trips” (using experiences) may be extremely pleasant for the user, or deeply disturbing. Given that whatever he or she is experiencing is only happening in the user’s mind, literally anything can happen.

What are the symptoms of someone under the influence of hallucinogens?

The most telling symptom is usually the user’s behavior: their eyes may be glazed over or closed, and their speech slowed. It is evident that the user isn’t in the “here and now.” He or she may be talking to someone who isn’t there, or describing their surroundings of sensations in bizarre terms.

Many hallucinogenic substances occur naturally in plants or animals, and have been used in various tribal rituals and religious ceremonies for thousands of years. The effects of most hallucinogens last for a few hours to several days. Many users report “bad trips”- experiences filled with paranoid thoughts, populated by monsters and other frightening images. In some cases, users have died, either by suicide or as the result of an accident while under the influence. It is also possible for hallucinogens to cause “flashbacks”: an unexpected re-occurrence of the effects, sometimes months or years after using.

The opportunity to escape reality so totally through the use of hallucinogens creates strong cravings (the primary characteristic of addiction) among users.

Rehab: Who is it for?

Alcohol Rehab: Who is it for?

Alcoholism comes in many forms and is best treated with rehabilitation. Alcohol rehab is for alcohol addicts regardless of age, sex, ethnicity, or family history. Alcohol addiction is not only caused by genes predisposed to addiction, but rather can affect anyone. External factors – everyday occurrences – can trigger a craving and cause a relapse. An alcohol rehab can identify the trigger and target the underlying causes of an addict’s alcohol abuse, while tending to the mental, emotional and physical needs of a loved one in recovery.

Alcoholics can be teenagers, parents, young adults, professionals, grandparents – any demographic can be affected. Alcohol rehab like that offered at Mission Viejo Recovery / IOP Intensive Outpatient may be necessary if you or your loved one cannot control the number of drinks they have, are unable to quit drinking on their own, have experienced harsh consequences from their drinking and continue to drink anyway, or drink specifically to binge drink and get drunk. Binge drinking is particularly common in teenagers and college-aged young adults, but often has serious repercussions to health and well-being.

However, alcohol rehab is an excellent preventative measure to reduce encountering the risk of harmful side effects from drinking when seeking help at the apparent onset of the problem. A recovery program can motivate a long-term recovery goal by way of teaching self-help, immersing in group therapy and having professional assistance.

Everyone has a different method of coping and an alcohol rehab can tailor a recovery program to each individual’s needs. Rehabilitation is an effective recovery method for alcoholics and can put them on the road to recovery. A well-balanced alcohol rehab program will alter responses to triggers, develop a responsible behavior around alcohol and a new attitude towards it. An alcohol rehab recovery program gives an addict time to adapt to a new lifestyle before facing the challenges of avoiding situations where temptation is strong, while providing alternative activities and distractions from relapse. Guilt, loss and anger do not need to be a part of an addict’s life if an alcohol rehab can teach them to forgive themselves for their past actions and learn to live and adapt to addiction as a disease they can overcome with a healthier, sober lifestyle.

Freedom for drugs and alcohol begins here.

Our counselors are available 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Call anytime at 949-891-0693.