Addictions we Treat


Marijuana is a drug made from the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds of the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plant. The plant contains a chemical called THC, which alters the mind, and similar compounds. Extracts can also be made from the cannabis plant. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, cannabis is one of the most commonly used drugs in the United States, with a large number of young people reporting using it in the past year. As marijuana can be addictive, Achieve Whole Recovery provides marijuana addiction treatment in Colorado in Denver, Westminster, and Colorado Springs.

People use marijuana by smoking it in joints, pipes, bongs, or blunts. To avoid inhaling smoke, some people use vaporizers to inhale the vapor instead. Marijuana can also be mixed into food or brewed as a tea. A new method of use is smoking or eating different forms of THC-rich resins. The legalization of marijuana for medical or recreational use in some states may affect people’s views towards the drug. In response to these challenges, Achieve Whole Recovery has developed comprehensive marijuana addiction recovery programs, tailored to meet the needs of individuals affected by prolonged marijuana use.

As the use of marijuana becomes more prevalent, the need for effective marijuana addiction treatment in Colorado becomes increasingly important to address its effects on mental and physical health. Marijuana can have both short-term and long-term effects on the brain. THC, the chemical in marijuana that causes the “high,” quickly enters the bloodstream and affects the brain and other organs. Smoking or eating marijuana can alter senses, time perception, mood, and impair movement, memory, thinking, and problem-solving. High doses of marijuana can lead to hallucinations, delusions, and psychosis. Long-term marijuana use can impair brain development, especially in teenagers, affecting their thinking, memory, and learning functions. Studies show that people who start using marijuana heavily as teenagers and continue to use it as adults can lose IQ points, and the lost abilities may not fully return if they quit using marijuana. However, it is unclear whether the IQ decline is directly caused by marijuana or other factors like genetics and family environment. Researchers are conducting the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study to better understand how marijuana and other substances affect adolescent brain development. Understanding the risks associated with marijuana, especially for adolescents, is a critical aspect of the marijuana addiction treatment in Colorado offered by Achieve Whole Recovery. These serious implications underscore the need for effective marijuana addiction recovery strategies.

Marijuana use can have physical and mental effects on the body. The physical effects of marijuana use include breathing problems such as a daily cough, phlegm, frequent lung illness, and a higher risk of lung infections. Although researchers have not found a higher risk of lung cancer in people who smoke marijuana, those who smoke marijuana frequently may have the same breathing problems as those who smoke tobacco. Marijuana also raises heart rate for up to three hours after smoking, which can increase the chance of a heart attack in older people and those with heart problems. Achieve Whole Recovery’s approach to marijuana addiction treatment emphasizes the importance of early intervention and personalized care for those experiencing marijuana-induced health issues. Pregnant women who use marijuana may face problems with child development during and after pregnancy, such as lower birth weight and increased risk of brain and behavioral problems in babies. Additionally, marijuana use during pregnancy may affect certain developing parts of the fetus’s brain, which may lead to problems with attention, memory, and problem-solving compared to unexposed children. Moderate amounts of THC are also excreted into the breast milk of nursing mothers, which can affect the baby’s developing brain. Regular, long-term marijuana use can also lead to Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome, causing users to experience regular cycles of severe nausea, vomiting, and dehydration, sometimes requiring emergency medical attention. These health issues are important considerations in our Marijuana Addiction Treatment.

Long-term marijuana use has been associated with mental illness in some people, including temporary hallucinations and paranoia. It can also worsen symptoms in patients with schizophrenia, a severe mental disorder characterized by hallucinations, paranoia, and disorganized thinking. Additionally, marijuana use has been linked to other mental health problems like depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts in teenagers. However, research findings on this topic have been inconsistent. Recognizing these mental health risks is a pivotal part of marijuana addiction treatments, where specialized programs aim to address these complex challenges.

The use of a drug is considered an overdose when it produces life-threatening symptoms or death. While there have been no reports of marijuana causing deaths among teens or adults, there have been cases where people experienced very uncomfortable side effects, particularly when using products with high THC levels. These side effects include anxiety, paranoia, and, in rare cases, psychotic reactions that require emergency medical treatment. Psychotic reactions can happen regardless of the method of use, but there has been a growing number of cases involving marijuana edibles. This is especially true for preteens and teens who may not realize that the effects of edibles take longer to feel and consume more to get high. In addition, there have been cases where young children have ingested marijuana or marijuana edibles and become seriously ill. In light of these risks, especially among younger users, Achieve Whole Recovery emphasizes the importance of education and intervention in their marijuana addiction recovery programs.

Marijuana use can lead to a substance use disorder, which is a medical condition where a person is unable to stop using even if it causes health and social problems. Research shows that between 9 and 30 percent of marijuana users may develop a use disorder, and those who start using before the age of 18 are at higher risk. Quitting marijuana use can be challenging as many long-term users report mild withdrawal symptoms such as mood changes, sleeplessness, and anxiety. Currently, there are no medications available to treat marijuana use disorder, but behavioral support has been proven effective. Therapy and motivational incentives, such as rewards for remaining drug-free, are examples of marijuana addiction treatment options. Ongoing research may lead to new medications to ease withdrawal symptoms, block the effects of marijuana, and prevent relapse.

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