Cannabis (or more commonly known as marijuana, weed, or pot) is a very popular and prevalent drug in the United States. It is even legal for medicinal purposes in some states; however, marijuana is highly abused. When an individual smokes or ingests marijuana, the individual will experience distorted perceptions, impaired coordination, difficulty with thinking and problem solving, and problems with learning and memory. Several research studies have shown that chronic marijuana users have difficulty learning and decreased memory function, which can last for days or weeks after the actual physical “high” or effects of the drug wear off. Therefore, chronic marijuana abusers are functioning at a suboptimal intellectual and physical level of capability all of the time.
Many studies also show a direct correlation between chronic marijuana use and increased rates of anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and various mental illnesses. There are numerous misconceptions about cannabis addiction and treatment and about the actual addictive qualities of marijuana. Many pro-marijuana users ridicule the idea that marijuana is addictive. At Passages, we see people addicted to marijuana every day. Marijuana is a gateway drug, meaning that individuals who abuse it typically drink alcohol more and abuse other drugs, drastically increasing their chances of becoming addicted to numerous substances. Cannabis has definite withdrawal symptoms when an abuser stops using, which include vivid dreams (caused by the chemical THC), anxiety, irritability, decreased appetite, paranoia, tension, and insomnia. At Passages Malibu, we treat marijuana addiction and provide a medically supervised detox.