Marijuana Addiction Treatment in New Jersey - Garden State Treatment Center

Weed, pot, herb, Mary Jane, and grass all refer to the same addictive substance – marijuana. These are the dried parts of cannabis plants that people roll to smoke, smoke in water pipes, or even use in drinks and food to induce euphoria and a pleasant feeling of relaxation.

The use of marijuana hasn’t always been criminalized, but it became illegal in 1937 in the US, although some states allow it for recreational use. This means that using marijuana can lead to legal consequences in addition to the negative physical and psychological impact.

New Jersey passed a law in 2021 that legalized and decriminalized the use of marijuana for recreational purposes. One study showed that more than 45% of men and 35% of women in New Jersey are using marijuana.

Today, many people are dependent on marijuana, and the risk of developing an addiction can destroy their lives. So, if you want to learn about marijuana addiction treatment in New Jersey, this article is for you.

Marijuana doctor

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana refers to the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds of the cannabis sativa and indica plants. Both plants belong to the same family, but the sativa has a stimulating effect, while the indica has a relaxing one.

These two plants contain hundreds of chemical substances, but marijuana refers to the ones that contain large amounts of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.

In addition to consuming the plant parts, people also smoke THC-rich resins like hash oil, wax, or shatter – a hard solid. These extracts contain large amounts of THC, and consuming them can be extremely dangerous. Marijana and other THC-rich extracts are different from cannabinoids, which don’t make you high.

CBD can be found in different forms, including oil, patches, extracts, and lotions, and each state has specific laws that govern its use.

Why is Marijuana Addictive?

Marijuana is addictive because THC is psychoactive. This means that it changes how your brain functions.

People develop dependence when the brain adapts to the presence of large amounts of the drug. The production and sensitivity of endocannabinoid neurotransmitters decrease, and people start becoming irritable and experience mood swings. These neurotransmitters are responsible for various body functions and react to natural THC-like compounds.

Dependence turns into addiction when the person can’t stop using the drug, even when it interferes with different aspects of their lives. They start displaying drug-seeking behavior and become unable to function without marijuana.

There’s a big controversy regarding using CBD since scientific research has shown that it can help with several health issues like depression and insomnia, preventing relapse in case of substance addiction, and seizures. Nevertheless, the use of marijuana carries more risks, especially since there isn’t enough data to analyze the long-term effects of marijuana on the body and brain.

What are the Side Effects of Using Marijuana?

When a person smokes marijuana, THC passes from the lungs to the bloodstream and then to the body and brain. When they eat or drink marijuana, the absorption of THC becomes slower.

Short-Term Side Effects

These side effects start within 30 minutes to one hour, depending on how you’ve consumed the drug.

  • An instant high or a feeling of euphoria.
  • Altered senses and becoming more sensitive to lights and sounds.
  • Mood changes.
  • Increased heart rate.
  • Increased appetite.
  • Changes in the perception of time.
  • Impaired or slower body movements.
  • Cognitive impairment, like memory issues, decision-making problems, and delayed responses.
  • Hallucinations, delusions, and psychosis-like symptoms when taking the drug in high doses.

Long-Term Side Effects

Long-term and chronic use of marijuana affects a person’s life in various ways.

Physical Effects

With extended use of marijuana, patients start experiencing respiratory issues, like a chronic cough, chronic bronchitis, and an increased risk of pneumonia. Since it accelerates heart rates, people who use marijuana are at a higher risk of heart attacks.

Studies showed that pregnant women who consumed marijuana were more likely to give birth to underweight babies. These babies were also more prone to developmental, social, behavioral, and attention issues that persist into adulthood.

One research showed that people who used marijuana during their teens experienced a significant loss in cognitive functions by scoring low on IQ tests. Some people develop Cannabinoid Hyperemesis syndrome, characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain.

Mental Effects

Long-term use of marijuana has been linked to psychosis-like symptoms. People experience hallucinations and paranoia-like symptoms, and these symptoms are worse if the patient suffers from schizophrenia.

One study showed that the long-term use of marijuana has been linked to suicidal thoughts, especially in young adults. People are more likely to suffer from depression and social anxiety when they have been taking marijuana for extended periods.

Moreover, depending on marijuana can lead to other drug abuse issues. People try to get the same high by mixing marijuana with other substances, and this leads to addiction.

Social Effects

Heavy marijuana use and dependence have been associated with dependence on other drugs. Several studies showed that people who take marijuana regularly are less likely to graduate from school and college. They will have a lower income, might rely on welfare dependence, and generally experience lower satisfaction with their lives.

Due to the diminished quality of life, people will struggle with their personal and professional relationships. One study showed that adult teens who use marijuana for extended periods are more likely to get arrested later in life.

Driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal in every state. Being convicted of a DUI will show up in your background check and might deprive you of future job opportunities.

Understanding the Withdrawal Symptoms of Marijuana

If you’ve been using marijuana for a long period, you’ll probably experience several withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking the drug. Although marijuana is considered less dangerous than other drugs, it can still lead to substantial discomfort and pain.

One study showed that almost 47% of people who use marijuana or another THC-rich substance will experience these symptoms. The severity of the symptoms depends on how long you’ve been using the drug and the amount consumed on average.

  • Loss of appetite.
  • Digestion issues.
  • Mood swings and irritability.
  • Insomnia and diminished sleep quality.
  • Shivers and sweating.
  • Headaches.
  • Loss of focus,
  • Anxiety and depression.

Can You Overdose on Marijuana?

A marijuana overdose is possible, but it’s not fatal. The intense high from a marijuana overdose can alter perception and judgment, so people might unconsciously subject themselves to danger.

Marijuana Addiction Treatment in New Jersey

There are several treatment options available in New Jersey if you’re struggling with Marijuana abuse. Understanding the pros and cons of each option and who it works for will help you pick the most suitable one.

Medication-Assisted Detox

Medically-supervised detox is suitable for those who have been using marijuana for extended periods or deal with co-occurring disorders. If you don’t live in a stable environment, struggle with other substance abuse, have a mental disorder, or have tried to quit marijuana several times, this will be the way to go.

This treatment option involves being supervised by medical professionals, where doctors can prescribe different medications to help you overcome the withdrawal symptoms. After you’ve quit marijuana, you’ll continue to receive support therapy to help you handle your substance abuse tendencies.

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy and counseling sessions teach patients basic skills that help them refuse marijuana and other drugs when offered to them. Cognitive behavior therapy, or CBT, focuses on teaching patients new ways to manage their problems. It provides alternatives to drugs, so patients can manage their anxiety and depression.

Contingency management is a behavioral approach that rewards patients when they display positive behavior, like attending therapy sessions or avoiding substance abuse. Motivational interviewing is usually combined with CBT and aid groups to help people maintain sobriety.

Holistic Therapy

Holistic treatment options like maintaining physical health, mindfulness practices, and spiritual exploration help people overcome their marijuana dependence. This therapy focuses on overall well-being and changes how patients perceive their problems.

Support Groups

Support groups like the 12-step program Marijuana Anonymous provide people with a potent way to quit using marijuana and stay sober. Patients meet to discuss their dependence issues and the challenges they meet throughout their sobriety journey.

By dealing with people who went down the same route, you’ll be able to find a way to regain control of your life. You can attend these support group meetings while you’re experiencing withdrawal symptoms and after you’ve gotten rid of marijuana to stay clean.

Conclusion: Quitting Marijuana

Many people think that marijuana is safe to use because it’s less dangerous than other drugs like cocaine and heroin. Nevertheless, people can become dependent and even addicted to marijuana, with short and long-term side effects that affect the quality of their lives.

If you or a loved one are struggling with marijuana abuse, it’s time to take action. Several treatment options are available, so learn about them to start your sobriety journey today.


Published on: 2024-04-07
Updated on: 2024-04-11