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Marijuana Addiction Facts and Statistics

by | Last updated Jul 23, 2020 at 7:09PM | Published on Sep 24, 2014 | Eating Disorders

Marijuana Addiction Facts and Statistics

In recent years, many states made marijuana legal for medicinal and recreational manners. While marijuana addiction is rare, it happens, and can often lead to severe health concerns or addiction to other substances. Despite the health benefits attributed to marijuana, when you read about marijuana addiction facts, it’s impossible not to wonder how this substance isn’t more controlled. 

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana comes from the dried flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant. It has mind-altering compounds known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which give people the “high” most users report. Also known as weed, pot, dope, or cannabis, marijuana has risen in popularity lately, mostly because legislation is pushing to make the drug legal. Today, smoking marijuana is seen as a normal thing, similar to smoking cigarettes.

Facts About Marijuana Addiction

5 Interesting Marijuana Addiction Facts You Should Know

Although we still need more research to understand the long-term effects of marijuana abuse, some studies throw interesting facts that everyone should know. The more we know about marijuana and how it affects the body, the better we can understand its effects on the body and mind. 

1. Synthetic Marijuana Can Be Deadly

Also known as Spice or K2, synthetic marijuana is a combination of laboratory-made chemicals that resemble marijuana leaves. These “natural” alternatives can be highly addictive and extremely dangerous because people don’t know what they’re consuming. These products are widely available at convenience stores, gas stations, and even online, often labeled as “not for human consumption,” making them difficult to track and control.

2. Marijuana Can Cause Cognitive Impairment

Animal research indicates that marijuana exposure leads to cognitive impairments and structural changes in the brain. It also shows that THC altered their reward system, increasing the animal’s likelihood to self-administer other drugs like heroin when given the opportunity. 

On the human side, we still need more research to understand marijuana’s long-term effects fully. Studies believe that marijuana use among adolescents reduces the volume of specific brain regions responsible for functions like memory, learning, and impulse control. However, these effects depend on how long and how often people use marijuana.

3. Marijuana Could Be a Gateway Drug

Initially, people think that marijuana is not a gateway drug. However, some research by the National Epidemiological Study of Alcohol Use and Related Disorders showed that marijuana users are more likely than non-marijuana users to develop an alcohol use disorder within three years. Marijuana can also lead to other substance use disorders like nicotine addiction. 

4. There’s a Link Between Marijuana Use and Mental Illness

Many studies link marijuana to an increased risk of mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and other substance use disorders. However, what causes this connection remains unknown. Recent studies show that people who smoke high-potency marijuana are five times more likely to develop psychosis. 

5. Marijuana Addiction Happens 

While rare, marijuana use disorder, chronic users are at risk of developing an addiction. The latest data suggest that at least 30% of marijuana users have some degree of addiction. Those who start using marijuana before the age of 18 are four to seven times more likely to develop marijuana addiction than those who start using it as adults. 

Marijuana Abuse Statistics

Marijuana Abuse Statistics

Since marijuana is now legal in at least 30 states, we’re learning more about how many people use it. When it comes to marijuana abuse statistics, studies look at those who use it for recreational purposes and those who abuse medicinal prescriptions for marijuana. 

  •  In 2018, more than 11.8 million young adults reported marijuana use in the past year.
  • In 2019, 11.8% of 8th graders reported marijuana use in the past year and 6.6% in the past month.
  • Nearly 4% of 12th graders say they vape THC daily.
  • In 2011, there were almost 456,000 drug-related emergency department visits in the United States in which marijuana use was mentioned.
  • Close to 35 million adults in the US have a marijuana use disorder.
  • Approximately 1 in 10 of those who abuse marijuana become addicted or mentally dependent on it.

Marijuana Addiction Treatment Options

There’s no doubt marijuana addiction can be challenging to fight, especially with the substance becoming legal in so many states. But it isn’t impossible. Anyone who chooses to quit marijuana needs to find the right support system to prevent withdrawal symptoms. Thus, finding a partial hospitalization program (PHP) that monitors the detox process is paramount for a controlled and supervised scenario. 

Many addiction treatment centers count with addiction specialists that can guide people through their recovery. At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, our drug rehab programs include:

Medical Detox: In this clinically supervised detox process at the rehab center, we ensure the patient’s safety and make the withdrawal phase as comfortable as possible by minimizing withdrawal symptoms and using medication-assisted treatment services to guarantee a complete detoxification process.

Intensive Outpatient Programs: When patients are looking to seek addiction treatment while maintaining daily obligations like work, school, or caregiving, IOPs are a more flexible option that still gives people access to the help they need.

Group Therapy: Recovering addicts need to build a healthy support system that encourages their recovery and sobriety. Group therapy gives them a safe space to foster these relationships and continue working through their recovery after leaving inpatient treatment programs.

Long-term Recovery Programs: With long-term recovery assistance, patients can have the ongoing support they need to maintain long-lasting sobriety. Recovery programs are crucial to relapse prevention.

Get Help Now

If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol and drug abuse, ask for help immediately. Please, call Lighthouse Recovery Institute today and speak with our addiction specialists to learn more about our comprehensive and personalized addiction treatment programs.

We offer unique and personalized treatment plans because we believe no two addictions are alike. The journey towards recovery is a long one, but together and with your family and friends’ support, we’ll make it. Please, whether you or a loved one is thinking about starting addiction treatment, don’t delay it. Start your addiction treatment journey today. 

Geraldine Orentas

Geraldine Orentas

Geraldine is Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s Digital Marketing Manager. She has a Bachelor’s in Journalism and experience in the digital media industry. Geraldine’s writing allows her to share valuable information about mental health, wellness, and drug addiction facts, hoping to shed light on the importance of therapy and ending the stigma.
Medical Disclaimer:

Lighthouse Recovery Institute aims to improve the quality of life for anyone struggling with substance use or mental health disorder. We provide fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options, and their outcomes. The material we publish is researched, cited, edited, and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide in our posts is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be used in place of the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider.

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