Marijuana use disorder is listed in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders, which, to most professionals, means that “marijuana addiction” is a viable mental health disorder. Researchers have been able to prove that cannabis, the formal name for marijuana or “pot” can cause chemical dependency, symptoms of withdrawal, and many of the other strong indicators that marijuana is addictive.
Pot Addiction In The Brain
The way that cannabis interacts with the natural cannabinoid receptors in the brain is not the primary problem in marijuana use disorder. Other drugs, like opioids, create a number of issues in opioid addiction. Primarily, the issue lies in the way that marijuana interacts with the dopamine system, like most other drugs. Marijuana creates a powerful euphoric high caused by a surge in the production of dopamine.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, a messaging chemical in the brain which sends messages of pleasure to the reward system. Addiction is a misfire of reward, focusing the brain onn seeking pleasure and avoiding pain.
Pot Addiction In The Body
Marijuana can cause many of the same uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal that other drugs and alcohol create. People who detox from marijuana experience:
- Inability to sleep
- Inability to eat
- Feelings of anxiety
- Feelings of depression
- Experiencing paranoia
- Experiencing psychosis
- Extreme cravings
Pot Addiction In Life
There are two types of cannabis addicts, the mythical “high functioning” addict and the realistic “low functioning addict”. What separates the two is mostly misconception about what addiction truly means.
- High functioning marijuana addict: A high functioning addict is typically described as someone who continues to maintain all the necessary functions and responsibilities of life while being completely chemically dependent upon drugs like marijuana. Despite fulfilling responsibilities, someone who is a high functioning marijuana addict will still experience the difficulties in mental health, physical health, and spiritual health.
- Low functioning marijuana addict: Marijuana use disorder was added to the DSM-5 because of the way it can completely disrupt someone’s life when they become chemically dependent upon it. Unable to fulfill responsibilities, maintain relationships, and often in poor health, the low functioning marijuana addict has completely lost any ability to manage their marijuana use.
Lakehouse Recovery Center offers residential detox and treatment services for men and women seeking to recover from marijuana addiction. For information on our programs, call us today at (877) 762-3707.