Marijuana has become increasingly accessible in many states, with its use now legal for medical and recreational purposes. As a result, marijuana use has become a more accepted practice, often seen as a part of social gatherings. However, it is essential to note that not all use of marijuana is without risks. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, 30% of individuals who use marijuana may experience some form of marijuana use disorder.
Cannabis use disorder (CUD), also known as addiction to marijuana, affects approximately 10% of regular users. It can have a detrimental impact on daily activities, employment, and relationships and often goes unnoticed until it has caused significant harm. Furthermore, marijuana addiction can harm relationships, causing conflicts, trust issues, and communication breakdowns. This occurs when individuals cannot control their drug use despite their desire to do so.
It is crucial to recognize that the consequences of marijuana addiction are not limited to psychological effects only. In this article, we will examine the correlation between marijuana and relationships, the hazards of untreated marijuana addiction, and the signs of addiction to marijuana.
As marijuana consumption is increasing across all age groups, genders, and locations in the United States, researchers have identified the link between marijuana and relationships. A research study conducted by Rutgers University explored the impact of marijuana use on couples’ connections, and the findings were published in the journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
The research found that individuals who regularly use marijuana may have a decreased awareness of the issues and methods for resolving conflicts in their relationships. The study also found that these participants may have difficulty coping with stress without resorting to criticism and demands.
A Center for Psychological Studies study revealed that marijuana use could alter perception and emotions and impede emotional growth. The research found that marijuana addiction can lead to emotional unavailability in relationships. Additionally, marijuana use disorder can result in poor short-term memory, difficulty focusing, and difficulty connecting emotionally, all of which can negatively impact relationships.
Hence, it is vital to take the adverse effects of marijuana addiction on relationships seriously. As more research becomes available, more therapists in Colorado are examining the topic of “Cannabis and Couples: What Does Research Say?” This is crucial as it helps to understand better how marijuana can affect brain function and result in bad relationships.
The following are common symptoms and warning signs of marijuana addiction:
INTENSE CRAVINGS: Long-term marijuana users may experience strong cravings for the drug, which can be persistent and overwhelming. These cravings can make it difficult for a person to quit using marijuana, leading to difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, anxiety, headaches, and irritability. Heavier users may experience stronger cravings.
CHRONIC CANNABIS USE: Difficulty controlling marijuana use is a major symptom of addiction. This may involve using marijuana every day or in large amounts to the point of intoxication. Additionally, if a person cannot stop using marijuana despite knowing the risks, this is a sign of dependence.
BUILDING TOLERANCE: Needing larger doses or stronger strains of marijuana to achieve the same psychoactive effects is another warning sign. As the body builds tolerance, this can lead to increased dependence on the drug and an increased risk of moving to more potent drugs.
POOR MOTIVATION: Marijuana addiction can negatively impact daily routines and responsibilities. It can cause impaired executive functioning, which may manifest as a lack of motivation. If a person loses interest in their hobbies or goals, it may be a sign of addiction to marijuana.
WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS: Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit can indicate that the body has become dependent on the drug. These symptoms may include irritability, stomach or headaches, restlessness, and mood swings. Withdrawal symptoms may also be more severe and stronger in people with heavier drug use.
A study conducted in March 2016 revealed that individuals who have regularly smoked marijuana for an extended period might experience various social and economic difficulties in their mid-life. Prolonged heavy use of marijuana can also have negative impacts on development, including paranoia, panic, hallucinations, poor coordination, and short-term memory impairment.
Failing to address marijuana addiction can lead to numerous additional problems. Some of the dangers of leaving marijuana addiction untreated for an extended period include:
Impaired cognitive function and difficulty solving complex problems.
Reduced sexual health, particularly in men.
Reduced empathy and increased interpersonal dysfunction.
Altered judgement and increased risk-taking behaviour.
Damage to the brain includes reduced alertness, slowed learning and memory, and decreased IQ scores.
Increased risk of lung infections and lung disease due to marijuana smoke’s effect on inflamed lungs.
Treatment for cannabis use disorder can be effective, particularly therapies that focus on identifying and avoiding relapse triggers. Behavioural therapies, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), that address maladaptive belief patterns and teach problem-solving skills are particularly effective. Many individuals who seek help for marijuana addiction have been using the drug for an extended time and find it hard to imagine life without it. Treatment for marijuana addiction can assist individuals in re-evaluating their perspective and provide them with the necessary tools to maintain sobriety and improve overall health.
Access to peer support is also crucial in overcoming marijuana addiction. Studies have shown that support from others experiencing similar challenges can be highly effective in addiction recovery. For example, the peer support provided in a 12-step program in rehab can establish a positive routine for maintaining sobriety. This support is ongoing and can be carried with individuals throughout their life journey.
In summary, marijuana use can have adverse effects on relationships. It can lead to communication breakdowns, trust issues, sexual dysfunction, and difficulties in parenting. However, it is essential to note that marijuana use affects different people in different ways and that more research is needed to understand the impact of marijuana on relationships fully.
MARIJUANA AND RELATIONSHIPS, READ ON…