Marijuana is often considered a milder drug, but it can create mental and physical dependencies. At Landmark Recovery of Indianapolis, our center can help you overcome your addiction starting with detoxing from marijuana’s effects on your body.
What is Marijuana?
Marijuana is a mind-altering drug produced by the Cannabis sativa plant. The drug can be consumed in several different ways that include smoking, eating food infused with marijuana, drinking tea brewed with marijuana, and inhalation of vapors produced by a vaporizer. 1 Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary mind-altering chemical found in marijuana and acts on specific cannabinoid receptors found in areas of the brain associated with concentration, thinking, sensory and time perception, pleasure, memory, and coordination. 2 Overactivation of these areas causes the relaxation, heightened sensory perception, and euphoria associated with a marijuana “high”, but can also lead to increased appetite, anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, increased heart rate, reduced blood pressure, difficulty concentrating, and impaired memory.
Marijuana Abuse in Indiana
Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, with an estimated 43.5 million individuals reporting the use of marijuana during the past year. 3 Although marijuana is an illegal substance in the Hoosier state, its rate of use closely mirrors that of the rest of the nation. This may be in part due to Indiana being surrounded by legal marijuana in neighboring states. Marijuana can be legally purchased for recreational use in Michigan and Illinois, Ohio currently allows medical use, and the Kentucky House of Representatives recently passed a medical marijuana bill law that would allow the same. 4
Over 10% of Indiana residents are current marijuana users, and more than 15% report using marijuana in the past year. 5 Marijuana currently ranks first in illicit drug usage among young people, with nearly 23% of Indiana residents aged 18 to 25 reporting current use and 36% reporting past-year use. Unfortunately, the prevalent use and abuse of marijuana is also an issue facing Indiana students, with the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System reporting that 1 in 6 high school students in grades 9 through 12 have used marijuana in the past month. 6 Marijuana use is even more prevalent among college students, with results from the 2019 Indiana College Substance Use Survey indicating that 1 in 5 college students in Indiana currently use marijuana. 7
Marijuana addiction and abuse is a major health crisis in the state of Indiana. From 2007 through 2016, the percentage of treatment episodes reporting marijuana use and dependence in Indiana was significantly higher when compared to the rest of the United States. 8 Roughly half of all clients being admitted to substance abuse treatment in Indiana reported marijuana use, while about 1 in 5 indicated marijuana dependence.
Consequences of Marijuana Use
Research has shown that marijuana use is associated with numerous deleterious health consequences. Short-term use impairs motor coordination and alters judgement, increasing the likelihood of other risky behaviors. 9 Long-term use decreases cognitive function and IQ and increases the risk of memory and attention issues, mental illness, polysubstance abuse, and respiratory conditions such as chronic bronchitis. 10-11 Studies have also shown that regular users of marijuana are also more likely to end up in a lower social class than their parents, have relationship and workplace problems, and experience financial difficulties. 12
Can You Experience Marijuana Withdrawal?
Most experts believe that a THC specific withdrawal syndrome, called cannabis withdrawal syndrome, can occur in people who are heavy marijuana users or struggle with addiction. 13 Marijuana withdrawal symptoms can begin to appear within 24 hours of cessation and usually subside within a few weeks, although some symptoms can persist for several months. This is because THC is stored in fat cells, making it take much longer to fully clear from the body compared to most other drugs. 14 Symptoms of marijuana withdrawal can include: 15
What is Marijuana Detox?
Marijuana detoxification (or detox) is the process of your body getting rid of the toxins that have accumulated as a result of marijuana use. Although marijuana detox is generally not dangerous, there are still many challenges to undergoing detox alone or at home. For starters, the severity and duration of marijuana withdrawal can vary widely between individuals and is dependent on many factors. These include the amount and frequency of marijuana use, context of cessation (voluntary vs involuntary), personality traits, current life stressors, previous experiences, expectations, support, severity of dependence, comorbidities, and co-occurring addictions. 13 If you never tried quitting marijuana before, you will not be able to predict how your body and mind may react during the withdrawal process.
For many chronic marijuana users and those struggling with addiction, the intense cravings and severe discomfort associated with discontinuation are enough to cause relapse. 16 These individuals would benefit from a medically supervised marijuana detox in a substance free, supportive environment where their cravings and withdrawal symptoms can be properly managed. Marijuana detox at a professional treatment center is also recommended for people suffering from marijuana dependence alongside other addictions or mental health issues. An integrated intervention that treats co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse at the same time is most the effective approach for individuals with a dual diagnosis, and for this reason inpatient marijuana detox should be undergone in a facility where you can be carefully monitored during withdrawal and provided with proper marijuana addiction treatment and mental health care. 17
Fortunately, while undergoing detox at a treatment center in Indianapolis, doctors will be able to administer medications that can help reduce specific symptoms associated with marijuana withdrawal. These include antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, medications for nausea and vomiting, mild analgesics for headaches or muscle pains, and sedative-hypnotics (such as Ambien) for addressing sleep difficulties. 18
How Can I Get More Information?
Our detox center and addiction treatments at Landmark Recovery in Indianapolis provide you with the best opportunity to successfully rid your body of marijuana dependence in a safe and comforting environment. When followed by our science-backed, evidence-based treatment, marijuana detox represents a crucial first step on your path to wellness and recovery. Please reach out to Landmark Recovery at 317-449-8029 so that we can provide you with more information about our medically supervised marijuana detox and addiction treatment programs in Indianapolis. This information also includes how we can help to manage your withdrawal symptoms as safely and comfortably as possible.
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1) United States Drug Enforcement Administration. (2017). Marijuana/Cannabis. Drugs of Abuse: A DEA Resource Guide.https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/sites/getsmartaboutdrugs.com/files/publications/DoA_2017Ed_Updated_6.16.17.pdf#page=74
2) National institute on Drug Abuse. (2019). Marijuana.https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana
3) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Agency. (2019). Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.https://www.samhsa.gov/data/report/2018-nsduh-annual-national-report
4) Kentucky General Assembly. (2019. House Bill 136.https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/19rs/hb136.html
5) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2019). National Survey on Drug Use and Health: 2017-2018 State-Specific Tables, Table 40. Indiana.https://www.samhsa.gov/data/report/2016-2017-nsduh-state-specific-tables
6) Kann L, McManus T, Harris WA, et al. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance - United States, 2015. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summaries. 2016;65(6):1-174.https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/data/yrbs/pdf/2015/ss6506_updated.pdf
7) King, RA, & Jun, MK. (2019). Results of the Indiana College Substance Use Survey 2018.https://iprc.iu.edu/publications/icsus/ICSUS_Survey_2019.pdf
8) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2020). United States TEDS admissions aged 12 years and older, by primary substance use and gender, age at admission, race, and ethnicity: Percent, 2017.https://wwwdasis.samhsa.gov/webt/newmapv1.htm
9) Volkow ND, Baler RD, Compton WM, Weiss SR. Adverse health effects of marijuana use. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2014;370(23):2219-2227.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4827335/
10) Meier MH, Caspi A, Ambler A, et al. Persistent cannabis users show neuropsychological decline from childhood to midlife. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2012;109(40):E2657-E2664.https://www.pnas.org/content/109/40/E2657.long
11) Zalesky A, Solowij N, Yücel M, et al. Effect of long-term cannabis use on axonal fibre connectivity. Brain. 2012;135(Pt 7):2245-2255.https://academic.oup.com/brain/article/135/7/2245/355929
12) Cerdá M, Moffitt TE, Meier MH, et al. Persistent cannabis dependence and alcohol dependence represent risks for midlife economic and social problems: A longitudinal cohort study. Clinical Psychological Science. 2016;4(6):1028-1046.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5167539/
13) Bonnet U, Preuss UW. The cannabis withdrawal syndrome: current insights. Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation. 2017;8:9-37.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5414724/
14) Westin AA, Mjønes G, Burchardt O, Fuskevåg OM, Slørdal L. Can physical exercise or food deprivation cause release of fat-stored cannabinoids? Basic Clinical & Pharmacology & Toxicology. 2014;115(5):467-471.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4270258/
15) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015). Treatment Improvement Protocol 45: Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment.https://store.samhsa.gov/product/TIP-45-Detoxification-and-Substance-Abuse-Treatment/SMA15-4131
16) Allsop DJ, Copeland J, Norberg MM, et al. Quantifying the clinical significance of cannabis withdrawal. PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e44864.https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0044864
17) Kelly, TM, & Daley, DC. Integrated Treatment of Substance Use and Psychiatric Disorders. Social Work in Public Health. 2013;28(0):388-406.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3753025/
18) Vandrey R, Smith MT, McCann UD, Budney AJ, Curran EM. Sleep disturbance and the effects of extended-release zolpidem during cannabis withdrawal. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 2011;117(1):38-44.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3119729/