Withdrawal Symptoms from Marijuana?

Some People Still Don’t Think They Exist

teen pot userWill marijuana cause withdrawal symptoms if a person quits using it, like other drugs do? There are many people who claim that there are no withdrawal symptoms and that the drug isn’t addictive. You may have heard these two claims repeated over and over again.

However, both of these claims are false. There is plenty of documentation that marijuana is, indeed, addictive and that one does experience withdrawal symptoms after quitting use.

Here’s why you may have heard both claims in the same breath, so to speak. The classic definition of addiction includes compulsive use of a drug despite all the harm and destruction that results AND the presence of withdrawal symptoms when a person quits using that drug. The third characteristic of addiction is that a person will develops tolerance, which means that more of a drug must be consumed to get the same effects as before. When these points exist related to the use of a drug, then addiction exists.

Can marijuana create this condition?

Yes on all counts.

In 2012, more than 300,000 people were admitted to treatment programs to get help for marijuana addiction. (Actually, it was more than this because this number only includes people who went into publicly-funded programs.) These are people who needed support to stop ruining their lives with marijuana consumption. Since only about one person in ten who needs treatment gets it, this means that more than three million Americans were addicted to this drug in 2012.

The Arapahoe House is a treatment facility that accepts teens for treatment. They recently reported that the number of teens being admitted for treatment of marijuana addiction has risen 66% between 2011 and 2014. It’s important to note that marijuana is far more addictive for a young person than an adult. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has calculated that 9% of all people using marijuana will wind up addicted. But when use starts in the teenaged years, that number jumps to 17% – something parents should realize.

Recent Studies Provide Proof of Withdrawal Symptoms for Marijuana

There have been a couple of significant studies in the last few years that provide insight into the phenomenon of marijuana withdrawal.

In 2012, an Australia study monitored the effects suffered when 49 people addicted to marijuana quit using the drug. This group reported: “irritability, sleep difficulties and other symptoms that affected their ability to work and their relationships.”

The study also isolated the symptoms that interfered the most with their daily lives. These problematic symptoms included:

  • physical tension
  • sleep problems
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • mood swings
  • loss of appetite.

Then, in 2014, a study followed the symptoms of 76 teens admitted to a substance abuse clinic for treatment of marijuana addiction. Of these, 36 experienced the withdrawal symptoms listed above.

What Conclusion Would You Draw?

Gradually, our society is coming to grips with the fact that this drug is addictive. Perhaps the most important element of addiction to consider is the compulsion to continue to use this drug, even though bad things are happening in your life. A common phenomenon experienced by a chronic marijuana user is seeing the harmful effects happening and not even caring, as heavy marijuana use tends to create a numbness or apathy.

Hopefully, this will clarify the subject for you. If you are using this drug, you now know what to expect when you quit. If you need help quitting and just as importantly, getting your life back on track, call us. We help people recover their ability to live productive, enjoyable lives every day.






Addictive, Damaging Party Drug Ketamine as Fast Treatment for Depression?

Sounds Way Too Good to be True

10 things about ketamine bookletDid you ever hear that saying “If something sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t”? That could apply to plans to use the party drug ketamine to treat depression. In an article published on the website www.nature.com, it’s reported that doctors have been trying out ketamine to treat those struggling with depression. Here’s one reason why ketamine has caught the attention of medical practitioners: doctors may have to wait weeks for there to be any change at all in patients after a drug is prescribed for depression but ketamine’s impact is very fast.

Some doctors think that ketamine should not only be used to treat depression, but also someone who is suicidal. Dr. Zarate of the National Institute of Mental Health has even stated that a person who has just tried to commit suicide may be able to be treated with ketamine and then be released within hours. When a person may have taken years to get so upset with life that he wants to kill himself, it could be deeply irresponsible to just give this person a drug and then send him on his way.

Why Ketamine is a Drug to be Taken Seriously

  1. Ketamine is mainly used as an animal anesthetic. It is occasionally used as an anesthetic for humans and in fact, was frequently used in field hospitals in Vietnam. But the aftereffects of the drug were sufficiently alarming that it has mostly dropped out of use except for specific situations where other drugs can’t used. What were those alarming aftereffects? Hallucinations, delirium, bizarre and frightening dreams that may even occur later, after the drug has worn off.

Continue reading

The Difficulties in Finding Substance Abuse Treatment

searching netThe latest estimates hold that there are roughly 20 million people across the United States whose drinking or drug use is serious enough that they meet the criteria for having a substance abuse disorder. These people, men and women from all social strata and all walks of life, share one thing in common: Their struggles with substance abuse are out of control and they are losing a battle with addiction. Of these, around 1 in 10, or 2 million people, make it into treatment for their addiction in a given year.  Continue reading

10 Ways to Curb the Adolescent Heroin Epidemic

heroin epidemicNearly 50 years ago, a retired bishop of the Catholic Church in Albany, New York, founded a drug rehab center, naming it the Hope House. His purpose was to help the large numbers of African-American men whose lives had been devastated by the epidemic of heroin addiction. Recently, the center has had to double its capacity in response to a major increase in the rates of heroin abuse, with large numbers of people getting hooked on this powerfully addictive and dangerous drug in the past few years. The Albany Times Union reports on this news, including mention of the fact that the Hope House has not only had to double its capability of serving clients but has also made preparations to expand at the beginning of 2015 to open another facility dedicated exclusively to treating adolescents. The new facility is planned to treat youths no older than 21 and as young as 12. It has been determined to be necessary for the center, since they currently have a long waiting list for adolescent treatment. There has been a considerable increase in the rates of adolescent heroin abuse in recent years, and it is now time to take effective action to get the problem under control and save young lives threatened by this drug.  Continue reading

Five Top New Year Wishes for 2015

support for recoveryIt’s natural to feel like we have a new shot at all our goals and dreams when one calendar year flips over to the next. So we resolve to lose weight, talk to our parents more, clean out those closets or get a better job.

When you work in a life-or-death field like drug rehabilitation, it’s possible that the things you wish for at this time are a little different. They might reach a little deeper. Mean a little more.

Addiction is a problem that directly affects more than 20 million Americans. Indirectly, of course, it affects tens of millions more. Alcohol is more often the culprit than any other drugs – the World Health Organization estimates that more than two million people a year die as a result of their alcohol consumption. In some parts of the US, however, opiates like hydrocodone and heroin are competing with alcohol for first place in the contest to send people to rehab.

Be that as it may, here are our top five wishes for New Year’s 2015 and what we are working toward throughout the year. Continue reading

The Vicious Cycle of Addiction

With horror, families of an addicted person watch their loved one destroy himself (or herself) with drugs or drink.  The damage is obvious to them. His health is declining. His morals and ethics are gone or nearly gone. Many times, there have been criminal acts such as selling drugs, thefts, assaults or worse. His family may be gone or about to go or the children may have been taken away. Everything valuable is long gone. “How can he do this to himself? And us?” they ask.

description of the cycle of addiction

So how can he keep taking the drugs or drinking? There have already been overdoses or blackouts or perhaps his life is just passing him by, neglected.

This deterioration is painful, as is the fear that something more dangerous will happen.

How can he possibly do this to himself? He was so bright and his life held so much promise. Doesn’t he see what he is doing to himself?

That’s the problem. To a marked degree, he doesn’t. Why is this? Continue reading

Goals for Getting Help Over New Years for Drug Addiction

new yearsNew Year’s Day is right around the corner, and millions of Americans will be setting goals for themselves to pursue in 2015. What will your New Year’s resolutions be this year? To lose weight? Make more money? Improve your relationships? Travel more? Quit drugs and alcohol? This last one may not be the most common, but it is certainly one that many people from all walks of life will be making. Continue reading

Narconon Arrowhead Issues New Message in Remembrance to Those Lost to Addiction

lossDuring the holiday season this year, the staff and students of Narconon Arrowhead are busy celebrating Christmas with a variety of activities. They kicked off the holidays with a Deck the Halls party, where everyone helped to decorate the building and hang ornaments on the large Christmas tree in the lodge. They helped to decorate and run a float in the Christmas parades in two nearby communities, celebrating the season. Continue reading

Do’s and Don’ts for Dealing with an Addict in Your Life

14 Rules you must never break when dealing with addictionSince there are more than 23 million Americans struggling with drug or alcohol abuse problems, there are many millions more family and other loved ones suffering right along with them. This could make this problem one of our country’s most pervasive ills.

One survey reported that 64% of people have experienced addiction in someone close to them. A father, mother, child, uncle, close friend – it’s not hard to find someone who has lost control of their drug or alcohol consumption.

So it is both important and useful to have some guidelines when you’re dealing with an addicted person. To help you in this crisis situation, here are some Do’s and Don’ts.

Do: Maintain your own balance and integrity. Don’t let the addicted person draw you into using drugs or alcohol with him/her. Also don’t let him convince you that you’re wrong for seeing the problem.

Don’t: Expect results just by asking him/her to quit. It will seldom (if ever) do any good to say, “If you loved me, you’d quit.” The compulsion to get more alcohol or drugs is bigger then he is and it’s usually bigger than his love for his family. It’s just flat-out overwhelming. If you accept this, you can get started on the solution. Continue reading

The Special Addiction Problems of the Aging and Elderly

elderly woman prescription drugsFor a decade or more, businesses have been modifying their products and services to suit the needs of the growing number of Baby Boomers. And with good reason. At this time, there are about 41 million adults 65 and older. But in 15 years, that number is expected to increase to 73 million. When the elderly are addicted to either drugs or alcohol, there are often special considerations that must be taken into account for rehab to succeed.

Addiction among the elderly is increasing but not just because we have greater numbers in that age group. The rate of illicit drug use is also increasing. In 2002, only about 2.7% of people in their 50s used illicit drugs. By 2011, that number had more than doubled to 6.3%. Among men aged 50 – 59, the rate of illicit drug use reached 8%.

Today’s elderly were in the first large wave of Americans trying illicit drugs in the 1960s and may return to this practice if their later lives prove too stressful or lonely. The loss of a spouse or close friends may trigger drug abuse even if the person has been sober for decades. A person who is forced to give up their home and move into assisted living may use more pills than prescribed to cope with the stress. Continue reading