Mental Health Effects of Marijuana Abuse
A chronic pattern of marijuana dependence can lead to lung or heart problems, and someone can develop a mental health disorder and get addicted to daily marijuana abuse.
Most recreational marijuana users call marijuana pot, herb, weed, dope, green, smoke, grass, etc. For people who use marijuana medically, it is called cannabis. It is the same substance as recreational and medicinal marijuana; both derive from a cannabis plant.
Depending on how someone prefers to use it, they can smoke it as a joint, through a pipe or bong, vape it, eat it and even drink it. Whether a person uses marijuana for pleasure or to minimize physical discomfort, it will affect the mental ability of the user.
What You Need To Know About Marijuana Abuse
Cannabis contains compounds that affect both the brain and body. It can be addictive and may be more harmful to one person’s health than others. Marijuana use can lead to memory loss and an inability to make rational decisions. Using marijuana will also cause anxiety, paranoia, and psychosis. Other essential facts about marijuana include:
- Causes rapid heart rate
- Users have dry mouth and are dehydrated
- Leads to lung and pulmonary system diseases
- Known to cause lung cancer
- Harms adolescent brain development
- Impairs function of the immune system
- Reduces someone’s ability to concentrate
- Impedes physical coordination
Why Do People Become Mentally Slow on Marijuana?
Everyone understands that someone high on marijuana responds slower when talking, walking, and even driving. Still, marijuana affects how accurately someone can think. Marijuana addicts also report that they need cannabis to think more clearly, indicating dependence. Cannabis causes cognitive decline, particularly with long-term usage.
It is evident that people who use pot regularly start to believe that marijuana is helping them mentally, but it is causing them further physical, mental, and emotional addiction. The programs that help marijuana addicts overcome their addiction rely on behavioral therapy to help them re-train their brains and cope with negative thoughts and emotions.
Can Marijuana Use Cause Mental Health Disorders?
There is now evidence that marijuana abuse can cause someone to develop a mental illness. The research has shown that schizophrenia and psychosis occur, as does generalized anxiety and depression. The CDC reports:
People who use marijuana are more likely to develop temporary psychosis (not knowing what is real, hallucinations, and paranoia) and long-lasting mental disorders, including schizophrenia (a type of mental illness where people might see or hear things that are not there). The association between marijuana and schizophrenia is stronger in people who start using marijuana earlier and use marijuana more frequently. Marijuana use is also linked to depression, social anxiety, and thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts, and suicide. (CDC)
Why Is Marijuana Used Medically if It is Harmful and Addictive?
The debate about marijuana harm is similar to prescription pain killers. Many people can safely use a prescription opioid to minimize their pain. Yet, they will develop physical dependency if required to take long-term pain medication. That will cause withdrawal symptoms that affect mental health. Marijuana as a medicine can be used responsibly without side effects.
However, a chronic method of marijuana use can lead to lung and heart problems, and someone can develop a mental health disorder and get addicted to daily marijuana use. It all comes down to how often and how much a person uses marijuana. Are they addicted or becoming addicted? They are likely to experience mental problems and develop physical conditions if they are.
What Programs Are Best For Marijuana Addiction?
Marijuana addiction or abuse requires in-depth counseling and one-on-one attention from a substance abuse counselor. We provide customized programs to meet the individual’s needs. The Marijuana treatment program at On Call treatment center has programs based on cognitive behavioral therapy, holistic therapy, motivational interviewing, relapse prevention, and psychotherapy as individual counseling. We have helped at-risk teens and adults who struggle with marijuana addiction. Even the most chronic marijuana user can reclaim their lives clean and sober at On Call Treatment.
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