Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Marijuana?
Marijuana is a naturally occurring, mind-altering drug. In recent years, there has been a spike in synthetic marijuana. Made with a variety of dried plants sprayed with unknown chemicals, synthetic marijuana (commonly called K2) can be toxic.
What Are Common Street Names?
Cannabis, Dope, Joint, Mary Jane, Pot, Reefer, Skunk, Weed, Yerba
What Does It Look Like?
Marijuana looks like dry, shredded green and brown flowers, stems, and leaves. It resembles tobacco.
How Is It Used?
Marijuana is usually smoked but can also be mixed in with food or brewed as tea.
What Are the Short-Term Effects of Marijuana?
Marijuana is typically used for its sedative properties. It reduces inhibitions, making some users more sociable or talkative, and enhances sensory perception, heightening sensitivity to physical touch, art, and music. Though it is sometimes also used for medical purposes, marijuana is still a drug that can threaten an individual's overall well-being.
Why Is Marijuana Harmful?
Marijuana may have become legal in several states over the last decade, but it is not harmless. Specifically, short-term marijuana use can lead to paranoia, anxiety, loss of coordination and memory, impaired decision-making abilities, and drowsiness. Over longer stretches of time, marijuana use can damage the immune system and cause other undesirable consequences.
Long-Term Effects of Marijuana Abuse
While marijuana is not considered as dangerous as other drugs such as heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine, repeated misuse of marijuana can lead to addiction, increased risk of abusing other, more potent substances, and marijuana induced health problems. Continued marijuana use can also lead to:
- Respiratory disorders
- Financial difficulties
- Poor school/work performance
Recognizing Marijuana Addiction
Like other substances when used in excess, marijuana can cause neurological dependence, leading to changes such as:
- Distorted perception
- Red eyes
- Dry mouth
- Dilated pupils
- Slowed reaction time
What Does a Marijuana Overdose Look Like?
Although a deadly overdose is highly unlikely, as an individual would need to consume a massive amount of marijuana, a temporary overdose is possible. This is often referred to as “greening out.” This is more likely to occur if the individual mixes marijuana with alcohol or other drugs.
Signs of Overdose
- Fast pulse
- Shaking and chills
- Trouble breathing
- Pupil dilation
- Nausea and vomiting
When marijuana is combined with other drugs, more severe effects can include seizures and strokes.
How Do You Treat Marijuana Addiction
The first step in recovering from long-term marijuana abuse is to discontinue use. This allows the body to rid itself of toxins and begin to heal. Although typically not severe, withdrawal symptoms can occur after discontinued use. To ensure the safety and comfort of the addicted individual, it is recommended that individuals consult with an addiction treatment professional to determine whether medically-monitored detox is right for them.
- Sleep disturbances
Marijuana Addiction Treatment
Recovering from marijuana abuse requires more than simply abstaining from the drug. Drug counseling can address the underlying issues that led to substance abuse as well as the behaviors that it has caused. Comprehensive addiction treatment programs such as inpatient (residential) and outpatient offerings can help individuals heal not just physically, but also mentally and spiritually.
Alternative therapies can be a powerful supplement to traditional addiction treatment, allowing individuals to gain a deeper understanding of how addiction has impacted their lives as well as providing them with tools and techniques that they can incorporate into their daily routines during and after addiction treatment.
Those recovering from marijuana addiction can benefit from a variety of therapeutic activities. Individuals who used marijuana to cope with anxiety, anger, or fear related to personal or family issues may find tranquility through Meditation, which soothes the mind and helps keep worries in perspective. Users who searched for relaxation through marijuana may value the connection to nature and the tranquility they can find by taking Hikes and Walks. Those who resorted to marijuana to strengthen their imagination may find solace in new creative outlets such as Mindfulness Through Music.
Practice of centering the mind on breathing and sensations of the body to achieve mental clarity, cultivate serenity, and emotional stability.
Hikes and Walks
Staff-supervised hikes and walks in the Housatonic State Forest to help you practice self-reflection and recharge your spirit.
For more activities that promote holistic healing, consult our Wellness page.
If you or a loved one is struggling with marijuana addiction, reach out for help. Our team of medical, clinical, and wellness experts are here to help you break free from addiction and achieve the happy, healthy life you deserve.