A Better Today

Inpatient Rehab

How A Better Today Recovery Services Treats Marijuana Addiction

Marijuana is the most used drug in the United States, with 22.2 million people reportedly using it regularly. A growing myth states that it is an effectively harmless drug. In fact, not only can it be harmful, it can, in some cases, even be addictive.

The marijuana controversy is a tale as old as time; advocates for medicinal and recreational use work toward legalization of the plant, while those with concerns about its harmful effects and its reputation as a gateway drug work to keep it illegal for the people’s protection.

About 9% of those who regularly abuse marijuana develop a dependency on the plant for a reduction in stress and anxiety. Long-term physical effects attributed to smoking Marijuana are the same for smoking tobacco cigarettes. Higher risk for psychiatric consequences increases as usage frequency goes up and as initial-use age goes down.

Addiction treatment is necessary when the frequency of marijuana abuse becomes out of the individual’s control, or the individual prioritizes marijuana above everything he or she enjoyed before becoming addicted. In treatment, a therapist will address the underlying causes that may be contributing to the addiction. This renders the plant powerless and the individual’s sense of self-emerges.

In treatment, therapy and structured daily schedules help an individual realign with habits and goals that will allow personal gain. Group therapy offers perspectives from others also recovering from marijuana addiction, which gives the person an opportunity to listen and become involved in a safe group setting. Marijuana addiction is not widely talked about but help is available and recovery is within reach.

What is Marijuana?

Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa are both referred to as marijuana; marijuana is a medium-sized plant with a large flower that originates in the Himalayas. The Chinese discovered it and found a wide variety of uses for it, but when they discovered opium, marijuana lost its charm.

Marijuana also called weed, cannabis, pot, and bud, was legal as a medication in the United States until 1942. When the drug schedule was created in 1970, marijuana was put on Schedule I despite the protests of the medical field.

The plant is consumed by smoking it in hand-wrapped papers, pipes or water pipes. It can also be cooked into food and an oil form can be vaped. Marijuana extracts are also becoming popular as these forms have a concentrated collection of THC—the mind-altering component of the plant—expanding the desired effects and increasing the risk of overdose.

Drug & Alcohol Interventions for Marijuana Dependency

When a loved one has a dependence on marijuana, he or she typically experiences mood swings in day-to-day life. If it’s plentiful or recently consumed, your loved one’s behavior may be one of satisfaction and content; however, if the supply is running low or it hasn’t been consumed recently, your loved one may become irritable and aggressive.

Family members on the receiving end of these moods are often shocked, confused and angry, causing a ripple effect that can reach several members of your family. Family members often struggle with what to do to help, while feeling hurt and betrayed.

An intervention allows loved ones to come together to share the burden of their concern. For an addicted individual, it can be hard to see past the next time he or she can get high. Bringing respected loved ones together has often shown the individual that treatment is now crucial.

Common Behaviors Associated With Marijuana Abuse

CDB and THC work together in producing the effects of Marijuana. About 30 minutes after ingesting the plant, the effects begin to take form. Feelings of euphoria and relaxation replace feelings of stress and anxiety. During this time, common behaviors are generally pleasant and easy-going. Laughing comes easily and optimism is present.

As the effects continue to build, the brain’s response transforms behaviors to accommodate lower inhibitions, anxiety, and in extreme cases, hallucinations. Many people experience sleepiness or fatigue and ravenous hunger while under the influence of Marijuana as well.

The behavioral effects of long-term daily abuse of Marijuana that can appear over time are a loss of interest in school or work achievements, goals for the future and a significant change in friend groups. Neglecting personal appearance and other priorities can also be an indicator that someone is struggling with Marijuana abuse.

Spotlighting Marijuana: Both Sides of the Story

Being a substance abuse treatment facility, we must view marijuana and its’ own unique stigma with apprehension, hesitation, and respect. The core belief of A Better Today Recovery Services focuses on saving lives and healing families. We must ask ourselves as an ethical company these questions :

  • Can you become dependent on marijuana to the point that puts yourself and your family members into unhealthy comprising situations?
  • Does the dependency on that substance influence, shape, and/or negatively impact the life you are living?
  • Can this substance become a crutch for avoiding problems and life experiences?
  • Does using and abusing marijuana alter the brain permanently in anyway that could negatively impact an individual’s future growth and development?
  • Last but not the least important, can the individual die from using or abusing too much of the substance when seeking treatment was a possible solution?

These questions are hard to answer and can be answered from a foundation of perspective, religious beliefs, values and morals that will be unique to each person when they are asked.

What ABTRS can do is respect each opinion and the impact, positive and negative, that it has on society. What we can do is be there for individuals and their loved ones that do feel like their dependency on marijuana is negatively impacting their life. A Better Today Recovery Services wants to be there for you when you need it most, it is about you and your quality of life for you and your loved ones. We are here for those who need support in getting clean from their substance of choice and remain sober because being sober positively influences their life. Again, A Better Today Recovery Services must respect the two sides of the stigma around marijuana and offer our services and tools for living a life abstinent from mind-altering substances like marijuana.

ABTRS is Here for You.

Marijuana affects judgment, drains
 motivation, and can induce a feeling of anxiousness.

Effects of Cannabis on the Adolescent Brain

Human brains become fully developed at the age of 25. Adults over the age of 25 years old use the prefrontal cortex for rational thinking. Coincidentally, the prefrontal cortex is the last part of the brain to develop.

Marijuana consumption during brain development causes disruptions that could substantially change the genetic curve of its growth; the effects of this change inhibit the brain’s growth potential. These could have rampant connotations for analytical thinking and routine living activities in adulthood.

Some of the biggest concerns researchers have about adolescents using marijuana involve attention and memory. The studies of the effects of cannabis on the adolescent brain are limited; however, the knowledge that we do have alludes to adverse, possible long-term effects on the healthy growth of the brain. Adolescents often need individual treatment to address their tendencies to use marijuana in social situations or during difficult emotional times. Through treatment, adolescents are able to regain a confident sense of self without marijuana.

However, more long-term studies need to be done to understand many unanswered questions, including those regarding naturally pre-determined risk-taking tendencies compared to risk-taking tendencies that can be attributed to the early commencement of use and frequency of use.

Medical Marijuana Refugees: From Schedule I to Life Changing Medication

In 1970, President Nixon asked his Attorney General to manage the brand new Control Substance Act. As part of the task, the attorney created a categorized organizational chart referred to as the “schedule.” President Nixon was strongly opposed to the legalization of marijuana. It coincidentally found its way to the top of the schedule where it currently sits amongst countless ignored petitions to have it removed.

About 1 million people in the United States suffer with seizures that do not respond to regular treatment, but derivatives of marijuana have proven to considerably decrease seizures for many patients from hundreds of seizures per month to just a few. When Colorado legalized Marijuana, people from all walks of life relocated to the state to relieve loved ones of seizures and other illnesses. Many are forced to make a choice between their lives in their hometown or their child’s health and quality of life.

Not only does Marijuana change the lives of some patients, but it also changed the lives of Colorado residents as well. In the first year of legalization, residents saw a cash influx of $800,000—that’s 4 times the projected tax revenue, which has lead to multiple city improvements.


In 2012, 957,000 individuals received substance abuse treatment to change their habit of indulging in marijuana use.

The Dangers Associated with Marijuana Abuse

Signs & Symptoms

It is not hard to miss the many depictions of people high on marijuana in entertainment. The bloodshot eyes, lazy demeanor, and sluggish reactions are unmistakable.

While these portrayals can often be a bit exaggerated, they are quite similar to an accurate representation of the symptoms of marijuana use.

Signs that may indicate regular marijuana consumption are easier to see over a period of time. These signs include a developing lack of motivation, weight gain, changes in daily priorities, short-term memory loss and marijuana-related paraphernalia, often containing an illustration of a cannabis leaf on the packaging.

Withdrawal & Overdose

After a prolonged period of Marijuana abuse, the brain begins to adjust to the constant presence of THC, causing withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal symptoms appear when someone who regularly consumes marijuana for a lengthy period of time, abruptly discontinues their intake.

Marijuana withdrawal symptoms are similar to those of caffeine withdrawal, including insomnia, restlessness, anxiety, general feelings of unhappiness and stomachaches, which begin a couple of days after the last marijuana intake and can last up to four weeks.

An overdose on marijuana creates extreme fatigue and uncontrollable lethargy for hours and sometimes days. The measure of marijuana that constitutes an overdose and the severity of overdose symptoms are widely dependent on age, sex, body type and dependency level of the person ingesting the substance.


What is Marijuana?

Cannabis Sativa is the plant that most people refer to as Marijuana. It is a psychoactive drug, meaning it has mind-altering properties. Although marijuana has over 480 chemical components, but THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is the chemical that is believed to be responsible for producing Marijuana’s psychoactive effect

What is Marijuana’s origin?

Marijuana can be grown indoors anywhere in the world, and outdoors in the United States, Asia, South America, Canada, and Mexico.

What are Marijuana’s common street names?

BC Bud, Chronic, Gangster, Hash, Indo, Mota, Reefer, Skunk, Yerba, Aunt Mary, Blunts, Dope, Ganja, Herb, Keef, Pot, Sinsemilla, Weed, Boom, Grass, Hydro, Joint, Pot, Smoke, Mary Jane, Wax, Dabs, Edibles.

How is Marijuana abused?

Most often, Marijuana is smoked, either as a cigarette (joint), blunt, in a bong, or in a pipe. There are also wax pens that look similar to the electronic cigarettes that are used to smoke wax and hash. It can also be brewed into tea, or mixed into foods.

What is Marijuana’s effects on the mind?

The chemical THC has various effects on the brain, and can influence pleasure, thought, sensory perception, memory, motor coordination, time perception, learning, and problem-solving. Long term use leads to physical and psychological dependence. There are also a host of behavioral, psychological, and physiological effects associated with Marijuana, including nausea, exhilaration, relaxation, enhanced sensory perception, heightened imagination, illusions, impaired judgment, paranoia, confusion, emotional liability, and increased appetite.

What is Marijuana’s effects on the body?

Some effects of Marijuana include increased heart rate, coughing, sedation, decreased blood pressure, sweating, stomach pains, headache, nausea, shakiness, blood shot eyes, and increased appetite.

What are Marijuana’s overdose effects?

Overdosing on Marijuana is next to impossible. That’s not to say you are not unable to take too much and have negative effects like, extreme paranoia, anxiety, and in some cases fainting. Marijuana has the ability to impair an individual’s coordination, judgement and perception, so it is possible to injure yourself or others while you are under the influence.

What are the withdrawal effects of Marijuana?

The withdrawal effects of Marijuana abuse include sweating, stomach pains, headache, nausea, shakiness, restlessness, sleep difficulties, irritability, and decreased appetite.

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Providing Quality Treatment for Marijuana Dependency

Contrary to popular belief, marijuana causes harmful effects and can be addictive after long-term, chronic use.

The ability to learn and retain information becomes compromised while physical ailments, such as bronchitis, continually persist. Those with a genetic susceptibility have the additional concern of waking up a sleeping psychiatric disorder.

On average, those who seek substance abuse treatment for marijuana addiction have been using it daily for 10 years and have tried to quit about 6 times. Waiting 10 years to obtain treatment for marijuana abuse is not recommended. Damage to the mind and body can be better minimized with earlier treatment.

In treatment, supportive staff and a structured environment form a safe and comfortable withdrawal process. Specialized therapeutic approaches aim to uncover disorders the addiction may have been hiding, such as anxiety or depression.

Properly treating these disorders reduces cravings and helps to prevent relapse in recovery. A daily schedule during treatment will help to establish a healthy routine that can be carried into early recovery and new life skills will be obtained to help lead a sober lifestyle.

Recovering from marijuana abuse opens up more opportunities for the happy enriched life one often dreams of. Solid support systems for a sober lifestyle are available through the sober community, such as group therapies and outpatient care with a therapist.

Family and friends can also be a valuable resource. Individual treatment is essential for a person who struggles with a dependency on Marijuana. Support in recovery is crucial to maintaining overall recovery.

As Marijuana Continues to Take the Spotlight in the Media: Reliable Sources Matter

No one likes to be misled with fake news when they are researching drug and alcohol treatments. Their concern is usually focused on saving their loved one’s life from addiction, not on determining whether they can trust their source. Which is why ABTRS believes in the importance of using reputable sources when educating our patients and their families. ABTRS wants to empower you with the knowledge to make good decisions with your addicted loved one’s future in mind. So, we have provided our sources that we used to educate people below.

Bostwick J. M. (2012). Blurred boundaries: the therapeutics and politics of medical marijuana. Mayo Clinic proceedings, 87(2), 172-86.

Camchong, J., Lim, K. O., & Kumra, S. (2016). Adverse Effects of Cannabis on Adolescent Brain Development: A Longitudinal Study. Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991), 27(3), 1922-1930.

Wilkinson, S. T., Yarnell, S., Radhakrishnan, R., Ball, S. A., & D’Souza, D. C. (2015). Marijuana Legalization: Impact on Physicians and Public Health. Annual review of medicine, 67, 453-66.

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