Marijuana addiction remains one of the most common—and most insidious—recreational drug dependencies. Across the nation, nearly 12 million individuals suffer from marijuana addiction, including over 33 percent of teenagers in the 13 to 18 year age range. While many chronic marijuana smokers often take measures to reduce the visibility of their dependency, the symptoms of marijuana addiction eventually become apparent—and problematic—requiring inpatient rehab stays to fully treat.
Symptoms of Marijuana Addiction
No single symptom can definitively indicate that a marijuana addiction is present in your own life—or in those you love. However, if you recognize several of the symptoms of marijuana addiction listed below, you may want to call an inpatient rehab facility and speak with a confidential intake counselor to further assess potential chemical dependency.
- Bloodshot Eyes
Similarly to alcohol, marijuana addiction leads to blood vessel inflammation, causing eyes to appear “glassy” or bloodshot.
As marijuana begins to affect the brain’s neurotransmitter levels, motor skills become compromised, leading marijuana users to display a level of clumsiness in their daily tasks, spilling liquids, tripping over objects, and frequently dropping items in their hands.
- Unexplained Laughter
Because marijuana affects perception, many struggling with marijuana addiction will find oddities and humor in everyday situations that usually would not be considered amusing when sober.
- Mental Slowness
One of the symptoms of marijuana addiction is slowed cognition, leading to clouded thought and jumbled verbal or written expressions.
Short-term memory problems are a hallmark symptom of marijuana addiction. Addicted individuals will often have incredibly short attention spans, with noticeably impaired memories.
Lethargy is one of the symptoms of marijuana addiction that builds over time. Marijuana dependent individuals will experience sedation, become easily tired, or simply give in to a sense of inertia.
- Appetite Increase
Weight gain is common among those battling marijuana addictions. As brain chemistry becomes altered, appetite increases and carbohydrate and sugar cravings increase, in a condition known as “the munchies.”
Many chronic marijuana smokers will have paraphernalia around their homes, including bongs, glass pipes, rolling papers, or homemade smoking devices.
- Unexplained Burns
Due to inebriation and clumsiness, marijuana addicted individuals will often have unexplained burn marks both on their clothing and on their bodies—particularly on the thumb and forefinger due to the motion of grasping smoldering joint remnants.
Over time, marijuana addiction can lead to symptoms of depression. Activities that were once enjoyable fall by the wayside, and a lack of motivation and exhaustion set in. Sleep patterns tend to disrupt, and performance in athletics, work, or school declines. Paranoia may also set in, compromising relationships and interpersonal interactions, further fueling depression.