Many state governments are choosing to legalize the use of marijuana. There are good reasons for this. But legalization won’t fix the problem of marijuana abuse.
Yes, marijuana, like so many other drugs, can result in substance abuse. Marijuana abuse in teens is a challenging issue, as this drug is among the most popular for young people.
Marijuana abuse in teens causes problems in school and at work; it can also interfere with your ability to receive student aid to attend college. If you or someone in your family is struggling with marijuana abuse, Insight Recovery Centers substance abuse treatment can help.
Marijuana Abuse in Teens
Recreational use by teens remains illegal as always. And that translates into problems with addiction or abuse, even if you think marijuana is a mild drug. The consequences can be severe and long-lasting.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the use of marijuana under the age of 12 increases the risk of serious mental illness. Symptoms of marijuana abuse include:
- Secretive, nervous, or paranoid behavior
- Fits of hunger — increased appetite, leading to weight gain
- Eyes are bloodshot
- Increased heart rate
- Problems with memory
- Uncharacteristic problems in school
- Poor coordination
Seeing these symptoms in clusters may indicate a substance abuse problem.
Treatment for Marijuana Abuse
One of the big dangers of marijuana abuse in teens is the increased risk of co-occurring disorders. Co-occurring disorders involve the existence of a substance abuse and mental health challenge at the same time. In that instance, treatment becomes even more involved.
Treatment of marijuana abuse depends on counseling. Teens spend time with a trained addiction therapist, seeking answers for the dynamics that led to them abusing their use of marijuana. Often successful is the application of cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques, which seek to reframe perceptions and cognitive reactions to stressors in one’s life. By developing better reactions for dealing with stress, it reduces the risk of use or abuse of marijuana. Some of the therapies offered at Insight Recovery Centers include:
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Family therapy
- Group therapy
- Individual therapy
- Motivational interviewing
Other approaches to therapy are designed to recognize and reward the “proper” behavior — setting up motivations for choosing sobriety, for instance. Intervening in a young person’s life regarding marijuana abuse is not an easy thing to do. But it is the right thing to do, to ensure a continued life of promise.
When Is Marijuana Abuse an Addiction?
When does a drug used for recreational purposes become an addiction? It’s important to realize that addiction is not judged by quantity or frequency. You can become addicted to using just small quantities.
The key measurement of addiction is based on the problems it causes in your life. If you use drugs or alcohol, and it causes legal, financial, career, or personal problems — and you continue to use nevertheless — medicine describes you as having “use disorder.”
Drugs and alcohol trigger chemical changes in the brain that lead to this type of behavior. It happens because your brain begins to expect the drugs as a part of everyday normalcy. But that can’t happen, and when the quantity in your system falls below a certain level, you begin experiencing withdrawal.
It is as possible for this to happen with marijuana as it is with any other drug. Marijuana abuse and substance abuse remains a significant challenge for our country. Treatment can help.
Rehab for Substance Abuse at Insight Recovery Centers
Though to some, it may seem harmless. Marijuana is a drug that can be abused. And marijuana abuse, in fact, is widespread among teens. If someone in your family is struggling with marijuana or other substance abuse, turn to Insight Recovery Centers for help. We treat individuals and families struggling with substance use disorders, process addictions, and other mental health concerns. We will provide your teen with an individualized treatment plan that works and provide treatment that is safe, comfortable, and private. Seek help for your teen today by contacting Insight Recovery Centers at 703.592.6946 to schedule an appointment.