Various Health Effects of Marijuana on the Body

drug use, substance abuse, addiction and people concept – close up of addict hands with marijuana joint

There is a big debate on the health effects of marijuana on the body. We all know that marijuana is one of the famous street drugs all over the world. The other terms that marijuana is known for are the weed, grass, bud, and mary jane. Sometimes it can be used as a medicine, but if taken over and over again, it can be highly addictive to your body.

Related article: Important Facts You Need to Know About Marijuana Addiction

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana is a mixture of greenish flowers of Cannabis sativa. People use it by smoking it like a cigarette. Some people use marijuana and brew it like tea for medical purposes. It can be used as a medicine as long as the doctor prescribes it.

There is a chemical in marijuana called Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol. It has intoxicating effects that most people yearn for after taking it more than the body can take. This chemical is on the leaf that is primarily from the female cannabis plant.

What Are The Chemicals In Marijuana?

Marijuana has 400 latent chemicals that are dangerous to health if people abuse it. As the study of most medical experts for cannabis, there are 66 constituents of list cannabinoids found in cannabis.

It was group into ten categories as other constituents are closely related to each other, and it has the same effects. Here are the ten cannabinoid groups that are in marijuana.

  • Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol
  • Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol
  • Cannabicyclol
  • Cannabichromene
  • Cannabielsoin
  • Cannabidiol
  • Cannabinidiol
  • Cannabigerol
  • Cannabitriol
  • Cannabinol

Among these ten components, the THC or the Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol is the main component responsible for cannabis or marijuana’s mind-altering properties that affect the brain. Consumption of marijuana as a medicine is done to treat symptoms like vomiting and nausea.

Marijuana Use and Abuse

There are a lot of active ingredients that marijuana has that affect our mind and body. THC is the most dangerous chemical that cannabis has. It can affect the brain and can be highly addictive if marijuana consumption is continuous.

If you take too much THC, you can have a psychoactive reaction and can affect how your brain works. Although it is not as strong as methamphetamine, it can be dangerous if you overuse marijuana.

Cannabis can have soothing effects on your body. However, this does not mean that it is safe to use. There are cases of effects of marijuana on the body like heart arrhythmias and cardiac arrest while taking or inhaling marijuana. It can also cause seizures which may be fatal.

These are some of the symptoms that the THC toxicity can cause with continuous use of marijuana.

  • Uncontrollable Vomiting – In the medical field, Cannabis or Marijuana can be used to treat nausea properties. Using too much marijuana can cause uncontrollable vomiting. It can be relieved if you take a bath in warm water.
  • Paranoia – As per cases on cannabis in the medical reports, the user can have hallucinations and moments where they seem detached to reality. There are cases that psychosis develops with constant use of marijuana.
  • Heart Arrhythmias – There are several reports that heart Arrhythmias happen under the use of marijuana. Even though other drugs or alcohol can cause heart failure or cardiac arrest, there are also possibilities that cannabis can be the cause of it.

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How Marijuana Affects The Brain

The usual way to use of marijuana is for the user to inhale it or smoke it like a cigarette. When the user consumes cannabis, it automatically passes to the lungs then proceeds into the bloodstream. THC enters the bloodstream. The blood affected by the chemical will go to the brain and organs, and throughout the body.

It will not take effect immediately as it will take 30 minutes to 1 hour to feel the effects of marijuana. It depends on the user if he or she immediately eats or drinks after taking cannabis; this will make weed take effect faster than anticipated.

Effects and Safety

Cannabis and other drugs are especially unsafe if you are taking too much of it. Taking too much cannabis might cause a disorder called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome. CHS can lead to vomiting, and it can even have a severe complication that might be the cause of death. 

Cannabis can be taken as medicine with appropriate dosage. In Canada and the U.K, cannabis is available as medicine to cure illnesses like nausea. People use it medicinally by spraying a liquid form of cannabis in their mouths. It may have side effects like dizziness, headache, and dry mouth. But the cannabis spray is only available if there is a prescription from the doctor. 

Smoking marijuana can cause wheezing and coughing. It can cause a cavity in the lungs to develop as well. Cannabis if taken too much, can cause an increase in heart rate, increased appetite, and higher blood pressure. The effects of marijuana on the body are serious. If you are experiencing any of these effects, seek medical attention immediately.

Doses

If you take marijuana as medicine, the right dosage would be 2.5mg of tetrahydrocannabinol and 1.5mg of cannabinol. You can only take twice a day for this dosage. You cannot take more than the prescribed dosage.

As for mouth spray marijuana, the standard of tetrahydrocannabinol would be 27mg, and cannabidiol would be 25mg per day. In recent medical research, marijuana is available as medicine for some illnesses. Experts are still experimenting with what kind of diseases cannabis can treat.

How to Know You’re Addicted to Marijuana?

Marijuana is already legal in some countries. Commonly, people do not have a problem with the use of marijuana than with the use of alcohol. But that doesn’t mean the use of marijuana is risk-free. To know if you are addicted or if you are in the stage of beginning to abuse the use of marijuana, it is crucial to know the symptoms of addiction.

The use of marijuana has both short term and long term effects on your body. But the short term effects can still pose some potential danger if you continue using cannabis. Similarly, long-term side effects of using marijuana have not been proven to be as damaging as short-term side effects. But how do you know if you are addicted to it? Here are some signs. 

Related article: Why Do Young Adults Use Marijuana?

Using more marijuana

A way of knowing if you are addicted to using marijuana is if you are using more marijuana than you are intended to. What some people do is they say that they will smoke half of what they have but end up using all of it. If you are addicted to marijuana, it is usually hard to say the amount that you are going to use. 

Since it makes some people feel good, they tend to use a lot of it regularly. If you also find yourself smoking marijuana and spend almost all of your day using it, then you are in the stage of addiction.   

Using it as an excuse to avoid other activities

Using marijuana and getting high instead of doing other activities that could help you to stay healthy indicates that you are addicted to marijuana. You can observe this by looking at your schedule. If you have daily routines that are related to improving your physical activities and replace with smoking marijuana, you are there.

Our daily activities can say a lot about who we are. Some of our daily routines can help motivate and shape us into being responsible persons. You may find yourself slowly begin to stray away from your essential responsibilities and choose to use marijuana.  If so, you are likely to be addicted to marijuana. 

Using it to escape your problems

They are plenty of ways to handle issues. These problems often appear to show that there is something wrong and we need to attend to it. If you think that the only way to handle solvable issues that you encounter every day is to use marijuana, then you are in the wrong spot. Using marijuana to solve your problems is not the answer.

Effects on relationships with people 

When a person becomes heavily addicted to the use of marijuana, they start to be driven to use more and get more. For many, what they think about when their day starts is not the welfare of people they are close to. It is if they have the amount of marijuana they need for the day. Meaning, their relationships could go down before even realizing it. 

There is this thing called an emotional roller coaster. In most cases, it is not possible for a person that is addicted to drugs to care for most of the people that they care about. They start to have secrets and start lying. They also begin to become uncomfortable and aggressive when they do not get enough of what they need or when others ask about their addiction.   

Using marijuana to please yourself

Most of the people tend to depend on marijuana to make them feel good or to relax. But there are also other efficient ways that you can do to enjoy and achieve the same results. Work on relaxing or your body and mind. Activities such as breathing exercises for the mind and yoga or muscle relaxation for the body are excellent.

Continue to use despite knowing the side effects

If you are well aware of the problems that marijuana can cause you but chooses to use them instead is a big sign that you are addicted to it. Using marijuana can cause you problems at work, your school, at home or even with other people. It can also bring you negative consequences that you might deeply regret in the near future. 

Symptoms start to appear

There are specific problems that you might get when you use marijuana. Some of these are problems that can cause psychological disorders such as paranoia or anxiety. Another indication of addiction is overeating, where you feel hungry all the time. It can also affect your motor functions and your cognition. 

Some people who are heavily using marijuana developed some severe mental conditions. Some of them developed short-term psychosis where their thoughts and emotions have a deep connection that they lose the sense of reality. Others, tend to have worse conditions like having suicidal thoughts. 

Affects decision making 

Being heavily addicted to marijuana can also cause you to make bad decisions in your life. You are also not affected if you have made the right or wrong decision and the consequences that come with it. When confronted with a situation that requires an immediate decision, you become less interested in it, which results in bad decision making.

Missing big opportunities

It is also common for a person who is heavily addicted to marijuana to become less interested in what is happening around them. It can even reach up to the point where you lose your job and lose life-changing opportunities. When this happens, you become less concerned about how your life will turn out and continue to keep using marijuana. 

You will know if you are addicted to marijuana if you have the signs listed above. Addiction to marijuana can happen to anyone. It is a choice. It is hard to resist once your body is used to this drug. 

What are the Bad Effects of Marijuana on the Body?

Some people like being adventurous. They want to do exciting stuff, and to do things that they’ve never tried before. Having this mindset can be useful because it can lead someone to success. However, there are times when being impulsive about things won’t lead to anything beneficial. 

One thing that some impulsive people tend to gravitate to is drug use. People do drugs for their reasons, but sometimes they try it because they want to experience what it’s like to get high. The most common drugs that people use are marijuana, heroin, opium, cocaine, methamphetamine, amphetamine, and club drugs. 

If you’re a sensible person, you know that drugs will destroy your life. However, if you’re not familiar with the effects, read on to know about what one of these drugs, namely marijuana, will do to your body. 

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Marijuana destroys your lungs

The effects of marijuana on the body will vary according to how you choose to ingest it, and the most common way is to smoke it through a joint or vape. Now, you can also add weed to your food or drink. However, do you know what pot does to you and your lungs?

Since you inhale pot, it passes through your lungs. Regular smoking of marijuana can lead to an increased risk of bronchitis and can also cause other respiratory problems such as asthma. If you already have lung problems, it can make your condition worse than before. 

Marijuana meddles with normal brain function

Weed can alter your brain. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) triggers dopamine which makes you feel relaxed or at ease. However, your temporary high comes at a price. You might have difficulty in remembering things that you did while you were high. 

Aside from short-term memory loss, you might also experience anxiety and paranoia. You might even hallucinate, and you might not be able to distinguish reality from figments of your imagination. You could also panic because you can’t tell if things are real or not. Your reaction time can also slow down while using marijuana. 

Marijuana affects the body’s testosterone levels

Weed affects a lot of things in your body, even those things that are internal. Testosterone levels drop when a person starts smoking pot regularly., which means that you might feel lethargic at times. You might also gain weight. 

You will also notice that your libido will also drop. The drop can cause sexual problems, mainly for males. It also affects sperm production and even disrupts the menstrual cycle for women. However, things will eventually go back to normal once a person stops smoking pot, but it won’t be easy. 

Marijuana increases the risk of heart attacks and stroke

Smoking pot can make your heart beat faster than usual, which raises the risk of you having a heart attack, mainly if you are middle-aged or older. It increases your heartbeat as fast as 20-50 beats. You’re 10% more likely to experience heart failure. 

Aside from heart problems, people who use marijuana are also prone to having a stroke. Weed users are 26% more likely to suffer from a stroke than those who choose to stay away from the addictive substance. 

Marijuana can affect the unborn child during pregnancy

Weed can affect you and your baby, too. If a mother uses marijuana frequently while pregnant, it can lead to the baby having below-average weight and may also result in brain or behavioural problems. 

Marijuana can cause permanent damage

If you think that marijuana only has short-term effects, you’re wrong. You can suffer from the impact of substance abuse until adulthood. If you started in your youth, heavy use of weed could lead to a drop of at least 8 points in your IQ points.

Recently, THC levels in marijuana are steadily increasing. That means that weed can do more damage to you if you choose to try getting high. Regular use can lead to permanent hallucinations, paranoia, and even heightening the symptoms of schizophrenia. 

Marijuana has adverse effects after you get high

Yes, it might feel great when you’re high on weed. However, what comes after your temporary high? You might feel depressed, and you can also feel like you’re exhausted. Most people also feel great when they use it, but others experience anxiety, agitation, and even insomnia. 

Marijuana leads to Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS)

Long-term use of weed causes a lot of permanent effects. It also exposes you to CHS, a condition that leads to severe vomiting. Experts aren’t sure about what causes CHS, but they have linked this to long-term exposure to marijuana and THC. 

CHS has three phases: prodromal, hyperemetic, and recovery. You’d experience nausea in the morning and pain in the abdomen during the prodromal phase. During the hyperemetic period, you’d experience continuous vomiting. You’d also lose appetite, and weight loss will follow as well as dehydration. You’ll lose all the symptoms during the recovery phase. 

Marijuana can lead to other problems

Using pot can lead to other issues at home, at school, and it can also affect your relationships. If you’re high on most days, you won’t be able to function well. Substance abuse can lead to lower grades at school. You can even get expelled since schools ban drugs on campus. 

It can also affect your personal life. You might have to steal to maintain your drug use, which can lead you to other criminal activities. You’d also use your money on drugs instead of using it for other useful things, and this can lead to financial difficulties. 

Using marijuana can also affect your performance n work. Slower response to things can get you fired in the long run. A study showed that people who tested positive for marijuana use has 85% more injuries in the workplace and 75% more absenteeism. 

Marijuana is a substance that can destroy your life. A few puffs may seem harmless for now, but if you continue to use it, it will damage your body. It will affect your lungs, your heart, and your brain. For pregnant women, even their unborn child is affected by marijuana. A temporary high isn’t worth the risk. It will feel good for now, but your body will pay the consequences for a long time. 

Related article: Long-Term Effects of Marijuana

Benefits of Quitting Marijuana

Smoking marijuana nowadays is becoming more acceptable in many societies. Several countries already legalized the use of marijuana. Marijuana or cannabis is widely known to have a lot of side effects that are harmful to a person when abusing it. The debate on whether it is beneficial to use marijuana or not continues. And what will be the benefits if you stop using marijuana?

Effects of Marijuana Abuse

There are adverse effects of marijuana on the body when a person becomes addicted to using the drug. A person may be affected physically and mentally with cannabis abuse and overdose. There are cases when cannabis available as a medication as advised by some medical experts. More often it is used as a recreational drug.

When you consume more cannabis, then you are more likely to experience its side effects.

A person who smokes marijuana may suffer from respiratory disease and develop lung problems. A heart attack may also occur because marijuana reduces the ability of the blood to carry oxygen. 

Marijuana intake may also affect the capability of a person for normal brain functions. Perception is altered and the user may experience hallucinations and delusions. It may also affect a person’s judgment and he or she can become irrational. According to some studies, marijuana can affect and lower a person’s IQ. It is most likely to happen if the consumption of marijuana is frequent and in high doses. 

Addiction to marijuana can definitely affect a person’s life. When you start to prioritize your drug use than your family, friends, and life goals, then you’re letting the drug control you. That is why before anything severe and irreversible happens, think about quitting marijuana. 

Stopping Marijuana Use

Some say that it is difficult to discontinue using marijuana because it has an adverse effect during the withdrawal stage. But quitting marijuana has a more significant benefit than using it. Marijuana intake, whether it’s for medicinal purpose, recreational or regular use with high dose, has more harmful effects than not using it at all. It is best to quit than abuse cannabis.

Quitting marijuana restores brain functions and improves mental health. Such improvements are the following:

  • Reduced anxiety 
  • Eliminates hallucinations and panic attacks as well as paranoia
  • Avoid having psychotic episodes
  • Improved perceptions of time and space
  • Lesser risk of depression
  • Restored memory function
  • Improved IQ
  • More focus and control in decision making
  • Improvement in sleep and avoid insomnia
  • You will no longer be irrational
  • You will be more motivated
  • Improved social interactions
  • Improved in learning and listening skills

These are the improvements in physical health when quitting marijuana:

  • Healthier lungs 
  • Healthier heart
  • A healthier brain
  • Improvements in breathing
  • More stable heart rate
  • No frequent and severe headaches
  • No more uncomfortable chills and shaking
  • Relief from palpitation
  • No more involuntary muscle twitches
  • You’ll feel more energetic
  • Fairer and healthier skin
  • You’ll have better food digestion
  • Reduce risks of having bladder problems
  • Makes you more fertile
  • Reduce chances of heart attack
  • Reduced negative effects on fetus for pregnant women

Related article: Why Quitting Marijuana is Best for You?

How to Quit Marijuana?

Marijuana is known to many as ganja, mary jane, bud, herb, pot, grass. A dried plant that is green with gray colour and the scientific name is Cannabis Sativa. People use a rolling paper to smoke it just like a cigarette also called joints, and some use water pipes or specialized pipes. Some even use Marijuana to make tea, and others use it for medical purposes.

Some effects of smoking marijuana are getting high or unable to control their senses properly. Others are experiencing great happiness while after using this plant and some are craving for food. Each and everyone has their types of experiences of using marijuana. The problem here is that using marijuana can cause addiction and here are some tips on how to quit.

Related article: Marijuana Addiction Treatment: Most Important Things to Know about Weed

Start Doing Sports

Finding another way to get yourself busy is one of the best ways to quit marijuana. You can try sports which can bring back stamina and provides better health. It can be basketball, volleyball, football, or any team sports. Team sports can help develop self-esteem and confidence towards people, especially if you are using marijuana to beat anxiety.

Anxiety can put someone in depression. That is why you should right away find a way to address this. Using marijuana is not the best option to do it. If you are not physically capable of doing active sports, you can try other games that will not need you to move a lot. It can be Chess, Scrabble, UNO, and more. These activities are excellent and beneficial for you.

Out of the Country Travels

Travelling to other places can be very fun and exciting. And doing this will help you quit your addiction to marijuana. And seeing new areas will also add knowledge and learnings on how pretty our world is. Another benefit of travelling is that you cannot bring your marijuana to other countries. It is not allowed, and you can suffer legal consequences doing it.

These are some best travel places around the world right now that will give you a one of a kind experience. Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, a lovely place, especially their ancient lakes that have unique features. Cape Breton Island of Nova Scotia, perfect for hiking and mountain climbing. French Polynesia, you will enjoy the white sands of their beaches.

Meet New People

Meeting new people is also a meaningful way to quit marijuana. But you should also pick those people that don’t have the same addiction. Meeting new people can provide motivation and share each and everyone’s knowledge about your situation. And being with other people can also be very fun and exciting, which is what you need to quit using marijuana.

Anyone need someone on their side to move forward as the saying goes, “no man is an island.” Being with somebody can inspire and motivate us and being with them, you can do anything. You may feel that it is hard to find someone to be with you. Always remember that there are still people who will help you overcome your situation right now.

Start Doing the “Cold Turkey” Method

It means to stop and never do marijuana again. But doing this is not an easy task; you be mentally and physically ready because there are consequences in stopping. You will experience different types of withdrawal syndromes. It includes irritability, mood changes, losing appetite, and even difficulty in sleeping or insomnia, which will affect your daily activities.

Withdrawals to other people may vary depending on how long they have been using marijuana. Some are severe, and some are just minor, but the thing is you will still experience it. There is no other way to hasten withdrawal symptoms and the only option for it is to face it wholeheartedly with one thing in mind, to survive.

Find Medical Help

Another way to help yourself quit marijuana. There are a lot of medical doctors that you can go to. You ask for suggestions or even alternative things to take for you to stop using marijuana. In this way, you will have a more comfortable withdrawal experience. Although there is no exact medicine to stop the addiction, they can provide you with scientific options.

Medical doctors can also help you with your withdrawal symptoms. Having a severe withdrawal is an uncomfortable experience to have. That is why you should visit your medical doctor as soon as possible to lessen the experience. Some medical doctors will advise their clients to try and do meditation. It will provide better psychological motivation.

Go to a Rehabilitation Centre

It should be the most effective way of all and the last thing you should be doing. Going to rehabilitation centres is for people who are having a hard time stopping marijuana, especially if they are heavy smokers before. Although going to rehabilitation centres can be very expensive and requires significant commitment so that your money will not go to waste.

Rehabilitation centres or rehab can provide intensive treatment for those people who are struggling. They also offer medical help and counselling sessions to monitor marijuana user’s way of thinking and development through the process. And most people who went to rehabilitation centres quit using marijuana successfully.

Takeaway

Quitting marijuana can be tough, but with the right and proper way, you will get out of it successfully. The tips that were said above are the most effective way to do it. Getting into sports can help you build your self-esteem, and you will find a new habit. Travelling out of the country is fun and exciting, and which is perfect, especially you wanted to stop marijuana.

Meeting new people is also a great option to do. And meeting new people you will find new meaning and reason. Going cold turkey can be challenging but seriously effective if you dedicate yourself to stopping your addiction in marijuana. And finding medical help is perfect if you are experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. Lastly, going to a rehabilitation centre will help you find the support and supervision that you need during your recovery.

Related article: Top Benefits of Quitting Marijuana

Negative Effects of Marijuana and Why You Should Stop

Young woman lighting a rolled joint of marihuana, closeup, smoking weed

What are the different effects of marijuana? Many say that it has plenty of benefits. If a person uses it medicinally with the doctor’s instructions, it may be able to help him or her with the treatment. However, if an individual is addicted to marijuana, then there will be negative effects. Let’s take a look at some of these adverse consequences of consuming marijuana. We will begin by learning more about the drug. Let’s begin. 

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What is Marijuana Addiction?

Marijuana is a mind-altering drug with origins from the plant known as cannabis. Users typically dry out and grind the leaves of the plant, and then smoke the dried out and ground leaves using paper and pipe. There are also edible forms of marijuana, such as candies and cookies. They contain the psychoactive ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Some users also consume concentrated doses of marijuana known as “dabs.” Dabs are a resin-like substance or solid, crystallized stuff that contains a high concentration of THC and other cannabinoids. Since they have a high concentration of the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant, dabs produce a more potent effect than other forms of marijuana.

The Endocannabinoid System

A lot of people think that using marijuana doesn’t have adverse effects. But scientific studies reveal that there are risks, especially for teenagers. The drug impairs a person’s judgment and can negatively affect his/her ability to perform tasks such as driving. Regular use of marijuana can also result in poor academic performance or addiction. 

For several decades, researchers have studied the impact of marijuana on the human brain and body. Now, there’s a considerable amount of data that doesn’t only show how the drug works. But they also reveal the vital communication system in the body known as the endocannabinoid system. It is directly affected by the cannabinoids contained in marijuana. 

The knowledge about how marijuana works started in the mid-60s with the identification of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive chemical compound in marijuana. In the 80s, researchers discovered the areas in the human brain and body known as cannabinoid receptors. It is where cannabinoids like THC act. 

Scientists then identified the natural chemicals in the human body (2-arachidonoyl glycerol and anandamide). They also work on the cannabinoid receptors. These natural chemicals and the CB receptors constitute the endocannabinoid system. 

The endocannabinoid system is responsible for many functions of the body. It regulates memory, mood, pain sensation, appetite, and other bodily functions. 

Effects of Marijuana

When you use marijuana, THC reaches the brain quickly and binds into the CB receptors. THC prevents natural cannabinoids in the endocannabinoid system from doing their proper function. It destroys the balance of the whole system. Thus, short- and long-term effects on the brain and body occur. 

Short-Term Effects of Marijuana

  • Memory issues
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Extreme sweating
  • Redness of eyes
  • Mood changes
  • Euphoria
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia 
  • Decreased energy
  • Delayed reactions to stimuli
  • Distorted sense of time
  • Impaired motor function
  • Hallucinations
  • Panic
  • Sexual problems
  • Increased appetite
  • Aggravation of existing lung problems such as asthma

Long-Term Effects of Marijuana

  • Poor academic performance 
  • Higher risk of developing lung problems
  • Higher risk of developing heart problems
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Impaired judgment
  • A decline in cognitive functions
  • Anti-social behaviour
  • Relationship problems
  • Lower life satisfaction
  • Laziness
  • Financial difficulties

Related article: Long-Term Effects of Marijuana

Addiction to Marijuana

Marijuana is considered an addictive substance under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition. According to the DSM-5, people who are using the drug can develop a marijuana use disorder. 

The problematic use of marijuana is on the list of diagnosable conditions in the manual. Furthermore, the DSM declares that individuals who regularly use marijuana may start to show similar symptoms and troublesome behaviours observed in other substance use disorders. 

Most individuals who have a cannabis use disorder don’t develop other forms of problematic drug use. However, some of them may get hooked with alcohol, heroin, cocaine, and other addictive substances. 

Marijuana users often get physically dependent on the drug, and they will rely on it to function in their everyday lives. Once they stop taking the drug or decrease the dose, users may begin to feel withdrawal symptoms, such as cravings, difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, irritability, and anxiety. 

How Addiction Starts

Dependence on marijuana often develops when the user becomes tolerant to the drug. Once tolerance to marijuana develops, the user won’t get the same effects of the same dosage. Thus, he or she will take more doses of the drug to get the feeling of euphoria or high. 

The development of dependence or tolerance to the drug isn’t sufficient to diagnose it as marijuana addiction, however. It’s because not all marijuana users who become tolerant or physically dependent on marijuana will automatically start to take the drug compulsively. However, tolerance and dependence are signs that addiction is already developing. 

One of the most reliable indicators of marijuana addiction is consistent use despite the adverse effects on the person’s health and personal life. The user finds it hard to control his or her marijuana use even though it’s already causing problems. It can be issues such as poor performance in school or work, broken relationships, and issues with the law. 

Current Legal Status of Marijuana

In recent years, we have seen many countries that approve the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana. In some places, the medical use of the drug is legal, while others have both approved the medical and recreational use of the drug. 

Marijuana has some therapeutic benefits, such as reducing pain and stress and treating symptoms of epilepsy. That’s why marijuana advocates have succeeded in encouraging governments in some parts of the world to legalize the drug for medical purposes. For recreational use, marijuana has calming and euphoric effects on users. 

However, despite the drug’s benefits, the risks that come with abusing marijuana are real. Thus, people must read scientific evidence and separate facts from myths that typically surround marijuana use. 

Treatment for Marijuana Addiction

According to research, there’s a significant increase in the number of people seeking treatment for marijuana addiction over the years. Marijuana addiction treatments mostly include therapy and counselling. Here’s the list of treatment options that can help a user recover from marijuana addiction. 

  • Family counselling
  • 12-step community support groups
  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy (individual or group)
  • Motivational enhancement therapy

Although marijuana has some health benefits, marijuana addiction is also real. The drug contains a psychoactive chemical compound known as THC that can cause feelings of euphoria and may lead to addiction. That’s why you should not abuse marijuana. If you think you’re already developing an addiction to it, it’s crucial to seek treatment right away.

Related article: Marijuana Addiction Treatment: Most Important Things to Know about Weed

Negative Effects of Marijuana

Cannabis, which is more known as marijuana, is a controversial plant these days despite it being with us for thousands of years. Its uses are very well known. Many people are using it for recreation, which often leads to addiction. However, some use it for medical purposes, on which grounds they argue for its legalization. However, in many places, this plant remains illegal, and for a good reason.

Marijuana has many adverse effects, addiction, not least of them. Its recreational use is mind-altering. But in the process, it also affects the users’ bodies in the long run. Let’s look at some of these adverse effects a little further, so that you will know better, thinking twice about using weed.

Addiction

THC, the main component of marijuana, triggers the brain to release dopamine. It is known as the happy chemical. It’s the reason why many use marijuana and get hooked. However, continued and frequent use of marijuana will alter the brain’s processes, causing its users to be dependent on it. The extent is such that, if a person quits using marijuana after an extended period of its use, the body may react negatively to the withdrawal.

Related article: Is Marijuana Addictive? What Happened to Users Will Shock You

Impaired Thinking

A very common short-term side effect of the drug and the stimulation caused by marijuana often comes to an excess level. Senses can be heightened, inhibitions lowered, and behaviours are altered as well. 

Some users even forget their identity or also assume another while they are using the drug. Indeed, a person who is high because the drug can act very differently. Users can expect this sort of impairment to last for over 48 hours after consumption. Thus, significantly limiting an individual’s cognitive skills in his or her day to day activity. Its use can also cause painful headaches after use, which can further impair the user.

Mental Problems

Related to marijuana use is increased susceptibility to mental problems. The highs produced by marijuana can also cause paranoia, delusions, and psychosis. Psychological issues can include symptoms very similar to schizophrenia, with individuals perceiving smells, tastes, or even objects that are otherwise not there. Severe cases can also contain dangerous panic attacks which could trigger users to erratic and uncontrollable behaviour. 

Long-term use can produce numerous debilitations, and chronic users are at more risk of developing clinical depression. It can also significantly lower IQ, up to a noticeable decline of 8 points if used very early as teenagers.

It can be very devastating for the adolescent population trying to enter higher education or technical fields. Numerous studies point to decreased retention rate in information and difficulty in learning new skills. It’s not surprising to note that chronic marijuana users have an increased rate of financial problems compared to their non-using peers.

Users usually have a harder time forming long-term relationships with increased rates of abuse between partners. Similarly, there is an increased rate of petty criminal behaviours, such as fraud or small-time theft. It is to sustain their lifestyle and addiction. 

Chronic marijuana users are noted as being more likely to be unemployed and on government assistance. As a result, it can lead to a vicious cycle of substance dependency as users seek more marijuana to provide short term relief for their current life situations.

Brain Damage

As previously mentioned, marijuana alters the brain’s processes, causing addiction. But beyond causing dependence, it also makes it harder for the brain to function correctly. Among the possible effects on the brain is lowered IQ. 

If marijuana use started in the adolescent period, the decrease in IQ could be even as high as 8 points. An indicator of further brain damage in this aspect would be increased difficulty than average in motor responses and accomplishing complex tasks.

Respiratory Illnesses

Often, people use marijuana through smoking, similar to tobacco. However, it does not end there, for as per the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, both have the same range of chemicals when smoked. From there, a user is at more risk for respiratory illnesses.

Heart Problems

Marijuana use also increases a person’s heart rate for at least three hours. The heart rate will increase from at least 50 beats per minute to as high as 120 beats per minute. If that wasn’t enough, this could put users at risk of heart attack, and even stroke. A study also found that people who used marijuana had 26% more chances of getting a stroke than people who did not.

Stomach Problems

It almost seems that no organ is safe from the mind-altering effects of marijuana use. And yes, even the stomach is affected as well. Marijuana use alters the appetite of users, leading them to either more hunger or no hunger at all. Nevertheless, the balance of the body is upset in this manner.

There’s more to that though: the risk of contracting Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome. Sufferers of the disease, caused by long-term use of marijuana, experience recurring cycles of nausea and vomiting. They become dehydrated in the process.

Reproductive Problems

THC also causes, at least in males, the body to produce lower levels of testosterone. Providing lower levels of testosterone usually causes a lessened libido, sluggishness, and yes, even sexual problems. Further, marijuana users are also seven times more likely to contract sexually transmitted diseases than those who don’t. At least one study postulates a possible connection between marijuana and testicular cancer.

Pregnancy Risks

After the discussion about the effects of marijuana on testosterone, let’s discuss the results of the drug on women. Marijuana use for pregnant women increases the risk that their babies will be born underweight or premature. We all know that babies born in those cases are usually susceptible to health problems early on or even later in their lives.

Also, another study has found out that marijuana use not only alters the mother’s brain but also that of the child in her womb. That, at least, puts the child at risk of having problems with brain functions, especially with regards to memory and problem-solving. 

Marijuana can cause a lot of negative effects on your life and in your life. The few negative effects mentioned above are only a few of those negative effects. Keep in mind that even the smallest negative effect of marijuana use can change your life forever. A lot of things can happen to you if you use marijuana. Never forget that there will always be consequences for the actions you take.

Further, it’ll be better for you not to take these drugs since none of these chemicals weren’t meant to be burnt and to be made by your body. The adverse effects of marijuana can seem harmless now. But as you grow older, everything in your life can fall apart. Thus, you should always keep safe and think about the consequences of your actions, especially in taking illicit drugs.

Related article: Common Side Effects of Marijuana to Watch Out For

Why You Should Quit Marijuana

People often believe that smoking marijuana has excellent benefits in their health. There are many arguments and debates about the pros and cons of marijuana use. One of these arguments focuses on the fact that pot is a naturally occurring substance. You can indeed find cannabis in nature, but that doesn’t mean that it’s safe to use. So, here are some reasons why you should quit marijuana.

You’ll Become Financially Stable

Even though you can only find cannabis in nature, it doesn’t mean that it’s cheap. If you tend to smoke weed every day, it might cost you more than you could imagine supporting your habit. Sometimes, people who are addicted to smoking marijuana doesn’t care about their money as long as they can supply their needs.

Perhaps you already calculated your expenses from the day you started until today. If you think about the cost of smoking marijuana, then you might be able to realize that there are more essential things to do with your money. 

You could spend all the money to go on holiday or pay for your utilities. If you’re still a student, you could make good use of your money by spending it on your tuition fees or other school fees. 

Related article: Why Do Young Adults Use Marijuana?

The Use of Marijuana Can Cause Health-Related Problems

One of the primary reasons why you should quit smoking marijuana is that it can cause lung disease. People who often smoke weed are more at risk of having lung damage. Not only it can cause lung damage, but it can also cause other health-related problems. If you’re smoking weed for almost a couple of years, health problems will slowly accumulate. 

There’s a long list of disorders you can get by smoking weed. Some of these disorders are severe such as bronchitis, mouth and lung cancers, respiratory diseases, liver damage, adrenal damage, thyroid damage, and emphysema. This of these disorders as a warning for you to stop smoking marijuana, 

A research conducted in New Zealand shows that the damage in your respiratory system caused by smoking weed is equivalent to the damage caused by smoking five cigarettes. People might not be aware of these problems because most people believe that cannabis can somehow be healthy for them. To avoid these problems, you should think twice before smoking weed.

Avoid Losing Yourself

Constant smoking of weed alters your state of mind or consciousness. When you become high, there’s a high possibility that you might lose yourself in the green haze. When you smoke weed, you’ll get the feeling of becoming passive, emotionally numb, and your reflexes become dull and unreflective. Thus, making you unable to process carefully of what’s happening to your body. 

When you become high frequently, you tend to forget the feeling of being sober, and this altered state becomes your “Normal State.” It’s at this point in your life you stop enjoying the pleasure of smoking weed, and you come to depend on it to feel normal. It’s like your daily routine becomes incomplete without smoking pot. 

The sad thing about this is that you won’t feel that this kind of state is happening to your body as it became a part of your daily life. These patterns have various effects on the ability to gain close relationships with anyone. You become socially unstable, and you can’t express your personality to anyone. 

You can Do Well at Work

Weed smokers often don’t do well at work. They are unable to concentrate on their work, thus, becoming unreliable and apathetic. For these reasons, they become lazy, leading to tardiness, accidents, and absences. If you have a child or a family that you’re supporting, it could significantly help by quitting smoking weed.

This way, you could secure your job, not to mention, a brighter future for you and your family. Don’t destroy your life and become addicted to smoking marijuana. Help your family by helping yourself. If you’re addicted to weed, then maybe now is the time for you to think about what will happen to yourself if you don’t stop smoking. 

In addition to that, some jobs may require you to have a drug test. Being positive to marijuana could cost you your future, and you may end up jobless. This way, you might have to spend the rest of your life atoning for the mistakes you made. 

It’s Illegal in Most Countries

Smoking and becoming addicted to marijuana can destroy your life. It will always start with yourself as you become more socially unstable. You tend to separate yourself from the others, thus making yourself isolated from what is happening in the real world. 

Aside from becoming jobless, you might drown in your debts to supply for your habit. Worst is that you’ll end up in jail if you’re not careful. Just a little reminder for you that the use of marijuana is still illegal to the majority of states around the world. Under federal law, you must control the use of cannabis and only you can legally use that if you have a permit.

If you’re caught using or selling marijuana, you can get your driver’s license suspended. In addition to that, some countries have no bail if you’re caught using marijuana. Therefore, you might end up in prison for the rest of your life. 

You can Have a Better Life

Some people depend on smoking weed to have a better life. Sometimes their reasons for smoking marijuana is that they tend to relax more and get away from their everyday problems. This type of mindset is a big no. There’s no alcohol or drugs that can solve your problems. It will only make them stronger. 

When you use these substances to get away with your problems, you will only make it worse as you have more things you need to think. You have to control yourself as you’re the only one who can help yourself. The sooner you realize that you have to stop smoking weed, the sooner your life will come into pieces. 

You can’t compare marijuana with meth, cocaine, and other evil drugs. If you’re using it, it’s better to stop before it’s too late. You’ll understand the benefits when you overcome the addiction. Make your future better. Think of your family as inspiration, and get it together. Once you’re free of marijuana addiction, you can enjoy your life more than you could imagine.

Activities to Enjoy Without Taking Marijuana

It’s not unexpected anymore when you become bored after quitting marijuana. Although abstinence can be hard for a couple of weeks, surely it will be satisfying than being addicted to it. Get rid of your weed and other smoking paraphernalia, and free your surroundings from all the other things that connect you to smoking.

Fun Stuff to Prevent Marijuana Use

Getting hyped over something or even without any particular reason is familiar to everyone. Some people enjoy having their time spent on beaches, taking road trips, reading books and wander over the thoughts from it. Some listen to their favourite songs while wearing headphones to isolate themselves from others. 

Others enjoy getting buffed and healthy in the gym, while some do the things they love. There are a lot of things to get involved and revel. The thing is that some people put themselves in ecstasy with the help of marijuana. They claim that taking a dose of it would make them livelier and happy. 

To indulge oneself in a joyous mood doesn’t always require to have a taste of marijuana. It is still better to go wild and free without going out of your mind because of drug use. Here are some of the activities you can do without needing marijuana. 

Everyday Activities

Cleaning

If you’re bored, and you don’t know what to do, cleaning helps you clear your headspace and gives you a feeling of fulfillment. Plus having disposed of all your marijuana paraphernalia will prevent your smoking intake in the future. 

Laundry

Like cleaning, getting your clothes washed and folded can help you with your pastime. Having your clothes in place is such an achievement for some. Do this instead of smoking weed to forget the problem.

Cooking

Cooking can help with depression and serves as a stress reliever. Some people say it boosts their confidence and made them a happier person. Also, cooking makes you more creative while having fun messing with different ingredients.

Gardening

If you want to have a healthy lifestyle, gardening can burn calories and strengthen your heart. It always feels good to have accomplishment and happiness in the dirt. According to the study, inhaling M. Vaccae, a healthy bacteria that live in the soil, can increase levels of serotonin and reduce anxiety.

Reading

One of the vital activities you can do to avoid marijuana is reading. It stops your brain from wasting energy by maintaining it strong and healthy. Like any other bodily tissue, the brain needs the practice to keep it firm and safe. Moreover, reading enhances your knowledge, and everything you read fills your head with other pieces of information. 

No matter how you are stressed out with your relationships, countless personal issues, and even at work because of a load of paper works. Everyday activities can help you avoid Marijuana intake.

Related article: Why Quitting Marijuana is Best for You?

Creative Activities

Learn and Play Musical Instruments

It’s not just a beautiful thing to do to boost your mind and learn new stuff. It can also be enjoyable! You may even be seasoned enough with enough exercise to begin or enter a local group. Or maybe you’ve always played an instrument, but never played it. Now is your opportunity to showcase your skills.

Learn Crafts

Choose something that excites you so it won’t feel like a chore. You can choose if you would like woodworking, jewelry making, pottery, crochet, paper crafting, knitting, etc. If you don’t know what you like yet, then try them all. You’ll find out what you love doing by actually trying them out. 

Embrace your Inner Artist

Just like crafting. You can also join some art activities, like painting, drawing, etc. Arts is also an example in connecting with human emotion and has a fundamental purpose common to most forms of art.

Take Photography Class

You can take a photography class as your pastime as a photograph captures every moment in your life. Photography affords immortality because it documents your journey through life. Document your special moments. This is also an example of a stress reliever as it inspires your imagination.

Write Your Story

Your story can inspire a lot of people. Write about your struggles and how you were able to overcome them. It will help other recovering addicts because they can find inspiration from your successful recovery. 

Social Activities

Museum and Gallery Openings

If you are into arts, galleries, and histories, you can go to a museum. Going into a historic place helps you meet new people who have the same interest as you — no pressure at all in talking about yourself. You can talk about a lot of stuff that’s in the museum.

Meetups in a Community Group

Many groups have frequent meetings where you can sit out with your friends and participate in activities that have an impact on your region. These could include community garden projects, charity events, sports tournaments, and meetings.

Volunteer

If you have nothing to do, you can volunteer to any organization to the community. Volunteering can alleviate depression because you can help some issues society has. Everywhere you go, there are numerous possibilities for volunteers, so you can be sure to discover one that better fits you. You can volunteer in a retirement home if you get along well with the seniors. 

Online Gaming

By joining groups, you will meet online people who can become your friends personally. One study has shown that playing online games helps people with dyslexia, and it also improves their reading and understanding.

Physical Activities

Physical activity is any motion that increases the capacity of your pulse and heart rate. Being physically involved enhances your well-being and wellness. It has advantages for all ages, including decreasing your danger of acute illnesses, improving your sleep, increasing your strength, and boost your social and self-confidence. 

In addition to that, more physical activity offers additional wellness advantages. Examples of these activities are running, hiking, meditation, yoga, going to the gym, etc.

Takeaway

If you want to stop your drug use and prevent the negative effects of marijuana, there are a lot of things you can do in your everyday life. Get yourself busy with the small things that can pique your interests. Start thinking about your health, especially to those who suffer from health-related issues. Give us a call today!

Related article: Top Benefits of Quitting Marijuana

Common Side Effects of Marijuana to Watch Out For

There are many common side effects of marijuana use that you should watch out for. If you’ve been using this drug, it is crucial that you are aware of the consequences of taking it.

By understanding the effects of marijuana on your life, you will be able to make better decisions about your drug use, and hopefully, quit altogether. Let’s take a look at what could happen if you abuse marijuana. 

Common Side Effects of Marijuana Addiction

Cannabis also named marijuana, comes from the Cannabis Sativa or Cannabis Indica plant. It contains a substance called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the primary psychoactive part of marijuana that creates mental and physical effects on the user. 

Cannabis is legal in some countries. Many studies claim that marijuana has medicinal benefits. Some people, however, use marijuana recreationally and suffer from addiction to the drug. It is where marijuana use becomes a problem. 

Marijuana Abuse and Addiction

Since there are nations where marijuana is already legal, it has been available to more people. Individuals use it as either medicinally or recreationally.

Addiction to marijuana is a result of abusing the use of the drug. Many who suffer from addiction experience symptoms of withdrawal when they stop using marijuana.

Other than symptoms, there are also common side effects of marijuana addiction. Regular use of marijuana radically affects the brain and body. Signs of addiction will gradually show in a person’s behaviour.

Signs of marijuana addiction include a reduction of cognitive and physical abilities, employment or academic struggles, financial concerns, social changes, and legal troubles. 

Related article: Is Marijuana Addictive? What Happened to Users Will Shock You

Short-term and Long-term Side Effects

There are damaging effects of marijuana addiction. Adverse effects may show during intoxication, after using marijuana, and a long term effect. There are several adverse effects such as hallucinations, an increase in heart rate, and deterioration of attention or judgment.

You may also experience impaired balance, lack of coordination, the inability of the brain to register short-term memory, anxiety or paranoia, and even psychosis. 

There are also long term effects that people who repeatedly use marijuana for years experience. Examples for long term effects are the potential deterioration of the IQ, an increase in risks of developing chronic bronchitis, and impairments of learning and memory. 

Also, users may suffer from an increase in the risk of abusing other drugs and suffering from severe withdrawal symptoms upon stopping drug use. Possible risk of schizophrenia in people with a genetic vulnerability is also one of the long term effects.

Related article: Long-Term Effects of Marijuana

Common Side Effects of Marijuana on the Organs

The organs that are most vulnerable to the effects of marijuana abuse are the lungs, heart, and brain. Research says that it is not uncommon for people with addiction to cannabis to experience heart attacks. The reason for having heart attacks during marijuana use is that the heart rate increases while it reduces the blood’s ability to carry oxygen.

During intoxication, many residues of the substance remain in the lungs and result in lung problems. The person who smokes marijuana can get a chronic cough, chest colds, and regular respiratory infections. It will also affect their breathing and exhibits chest and back pain.

The abuse of marijuana also affects the brain. Marijuana use has several effects on mental health and physical health. The brain becomes disoriented because of the presence of THC. Studies reported that THC over activates brain cell receptors that create the feeling of being high.

Effects on the Brain

Short term effects on the brain usually happen during cannabis intoxication. A person who is high from marijuana experiences impairment of the senses and perceptions.

Getting high from marijuana intake makes a person hallucinate as well. They feel and see things that are not really present or real. Marijuana abuse leads to more complicated effects like being delusional and difficulty in thinking clearly. 

The longer a person uses and abuses weed, the more likely he or she will acquire long-term effects. Researchers also prove that using marijuana during the adolescent years affects brain development and causes a lower IQ as users to begin to approach their adulthood. Those who quit using marijuana when they reach adulthood can no longer recover the affected mental abilities.

Studies are still ongoing to know how long the common side effects of marijuana last and whether the changes in a person’s health will be permanent and irreparable. Studies about the effects of secondhand marijuana smoke are also ongoing. 

Marijuana’s Side Effects on the User’s Life

Marijuana addiction affects a person’s life in many ways. There are reports that most of those who regularly use marijuana suffer from the following:

  • Poor Physical Health – It is when a person develops a physical illness. Poor physical health is among the common side effects of marijuana abuse.
  • Poor Mental Health – When a person becomes mentally ill because of the effects of marijuana he or she will need care and support. The individual may not be able to take care of himself because of mental health problems.  
  • More Relationship Problems – A person may isolate himself from his family and friends. It is because once addicted, marijuana use becomes the priority of the user.
  • Lower Life Satisfaction – When one’s life is under the control of drug addiction, he or she won’t be able to enjoy the other aspects of life. The only focus is on getting high and acquiring more drugs. It will cause how one perceives happiness and life satisfaction to change. Misery and depression are going to be the main problems when one is addicted to drugs.  

Marijuana Overdose 

Overdose in marijuana may cause symptoms that are life-threatening. It is possible to die from marijuana overdose There are no reports yet of deaths because of marijuana alone. However, overdose in cannabis can make a person experience severe discomforts and not being able to breathe well. Many who experience this seek treatment in the emergency room. 

People who know little about marijuana edibles are likely to overdose because they don’t know it takes longer to feel the marijuana effects. They don’t realize that the marijuana effects are slower when the drug is eaten rather than when smoking it. Toddlers and babies too can get ill from mistakenly consuming marijuana or marijuana edibles left unattended in the house. 

Researchers and medical experts are still studying if marijuana intake during pregnancy can affect the baby. Studies are still ongoing as to the relationship of marijuana use to miscarriage. But some reports state that using marijuana during pregnancy can elevate the risks of low birth rate and may affect the future development of the baby.

A person who is experiencing the common side effects of marijuana may be experiencing issues with their family and friends. Aside from possible isolation, they might also have some changes in their behaviour. They become a challenge to deal with because of their mental disorientation. 

Related article: Important Facts You Need to Know About Marijuana Addiction

How Marijuana Addiction can Affect Your Life

Marijuana is also known as weed. It comes from the cannabis plant. Many people smoke or vape it and can also consume it as an ingredient in a food, oils, or brewed teas. Most people use marijuana for recreation or pleasure, and doctors prescribe it for specific medical conditions and symptoms. 

Marijuana has compounds that can affect the brain and body. It can harm people’s health and can be addictive. Heavy marijuana use can also affect a person’s learning abilities and social skills negatively. Studies show that a person that uses marijuana every day has a reduced intellectual level. Here is a list of how marijuana addiction affects your life.  

You Get “High”

Getting high is why people try marijuana. It is out of curiosity about what it feels like to be high.  Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is marijuana’s main psychoactive ingredient that stimulates the part of the brain that is responsible for pleasure. It is the area that craves for things like food and sex. It releases a chemical called dopamine that gives a euphoric and relaxing feeling. 

The THC can get into your bloodstream quickly enough for you to get high in seconds or minutes by vaping or smoking weed. But if you drink or eat it, it may take several hours for you to experience the high. Marijuana’s effects may vary for each person. Not all people may enjoy or feel the relaxing effect of the drug. Marijuana can worsen symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks if the user has them. 

Can Affect Mental Health

Regular use of marijuana can increase your risk of developing a psychotic illness such as schizophrenia. It is where you have hallucinations and delusions. Daily use of marijuana can cause impaired memory. 

The risk of developing a psychotic illness is higher if you use weed for a long time. If you smoke it regularly and start using marijuana at a young age, then your chances of suffering from mental problems are higher.

Marijuana increases the deterioration of the mind people who have schizophrenia and can make psychotic symptoms worse. Marijuana use has an impact on anxiety, depression, psychotic episodes, and people with suicidal ideations.

Can Affect Scholastic Performance

Evidence has shown that students who smoke marijuana have poorer educational outcomes than their non-smoking peers. Because of poor performance and low grades, the student becomes less likely to finish school. Also, students may have impaired skills related to memory, attention, and learning. 

The result of the research of daily marijuana use by students also showed that there is a problem in the ability to organize, register, and use information. Students may have difficulty recalling words from a list even after a week of quitting marijuana. Heavy marijuana use can also be the cause of criminal behaviour and lower life satisfaction.

Can Affect Work Performance

Heavy marijuana users in the workplace tend to have an increased number of absences, tardiness, accidents, and job turnover. Employees who tested positive for marijuana use are more prone to industrial accidents and injuries as well. The use of the drug had adverse effects on their career status, social life, cognitive abilities, physical and mental health. 

Related article: Why Do Young Adults Use Marijuana?

Can Be Harmful to Your Respiratory System

Just like the smoke from cigarettes, the smoke from marijuana is also from a variety of chemicals like hydrogen cyanide and ammonia. It can irritate the lungs and bronchial passages. People who use marijuana regularly are more likely to have bronchitis, where the linings of the lungs get inflamed and irritated. 

You could have the same breathing problems with someone who smokes cigarettes which means ongoing cough with coloured mucus. Your lungs can easily develop infections because tetrahydrocannabinol weakens the immune system. Marijuana can worsen your existing respiratory illnesses like cystic fibrosis and asthma. 

Can Harm Unborn Baby

Marijuana use during pregnancy can affect the baby’s brain development and can increase the risk of the baby being born with low birth weight or premature. It also affects the long-term neurological development of the child. Children whose mothers consume marijuana during pregnancy have poor academic performance and behavioural challenges. 

Can Increase Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke

Marijuana smoke contains many toxins, carcinogens, and irritants found in cigarette smoke that can contribute to heart disease and cancer. People with heart disease develop chest pain more quickly if they have been smoking marijuana. It is because the effect of cannabis on the cardiovascular system makes the heart pump harder. 

The immediate use of marijuana has a link to higher risks of atrial fibrillation or ischemic stroke. The studies found out that using marijuana increases the long-term death rate among heart attack survivors. Marijuana smoke can cause airway inflammation, chest tightness, and wheezing.

Can Affect Driving

It is dangerous to use marijuana before driving. It is because the effect of marijuana includes sleepiness, impaired coordination, and altered perception. It can affect your driving and may lead to an accident, injuries, and even death. 

People who use marijuana before driving may experience lane weaving, slower reactions, and difficulty reacting to sounds and signals on the road. If you drive under the influence of marijuana, you are more likely to be involved in an accident. That is why it is illegal to drive after using marijuana just like drunk driving. 

Can Affect Behavioral Health

When marijuana takes over a person’s life, they may do things they never expected to do. A person under the influence of marijuana may neglect their family and friends in favour of using the drug. Some people may lie and get extremely defensive about their drug use when someone brings it up. Addiction can have a different effect on every individual.

Behavioural changes that are common to an individual with marijuana addiction is the tendency to lie to family and friends, and changing friend groups. They are also at risk of getting into legal trouble, becoming secretive and suspicious, and having debt or spending money unreasonably.

Marijuana addiction is hard to escape. Once you get used to it, your body will crave it. It has adverse effects on your health and your life. If you are planning to try marijuana for fun, think about the long-term effect of it on your life. It can change your life significantly, and not in a good way. 

Why You Should Stop Smoking Marijuana

Marijuana advocates often argue about the drug’s health benefits. That it’s safe and doesn’t cause damage because it’s a plant. It is a naturally occurring substance and a gift from nature. Marijuana has some health benefits, and it’s organic. However, it doesn’t automatically mean that using it has no risks. 

There are also natural substances that can harm the body, and marijuana can also have adverse effects, especially if you abuse it. Let’s get to know some reasons why you should stop smoking marijuana. 

Smoke from Marijuana is Carcinogenic

There are different ways to consume marijuana. But the most common way to use it is by smoking. Whether you use a bong or a joint, the smoke from the burnt marijuana leaves that cause you to feel high can also increase your risk of developing cancer. 

Marijuana smoke contains carcinogens. Carcinogens are chemicals that cause cancer. Indeed, smoking weed is no different from smoking tobacco except for the former’s capacity to make you feel high and that it is illegal in most places. 

Related article: Why Quitting Marijuana is Best for You?

Smoking Weed Can Cause Lung Complications

Regular marijuana users are more at risk of developing lung complications. According to a study, the lung damage caused by smoking marijuana is almost equivalent to the harm associated with smoking five cigarettes a day. 

Respiratory complications, such as bronchitis, asthma, and lung cancer, are possible to develop in marijuana smokers. If you regularly smoke weed and feel breathing difficulties, you should seek medical help and stop smoking this drug. 

Marijuana Depletes Mineral Reserves in the Body

Our body naturally reacts to the dietary mineral known as magnesium. It’s a tranquillizer or an element that helps us to feel more relaxed and prevents us from getting easily anxious to stimuli. 

Regular use of marijuana drains up the amount of magnesium stored in the body, which can, in turn, cause the user to feel more anxious after the sensation of euphoria from smoking the drug. That’s why many users get hooked to using marijuana to maintain the high that they always feel when using it. 

Smoking Weed is Addictive

Many marijuana users and advocates also make the issue of addiction as their point of argument. They will tell you that marijuana is not as addictive as other substances like cocaine. But pot can place users to the risk of developing marijuana use disorder. 

Marijuana use disorder starts to develop when a user becomes physically dependent on the drug. Such a condition can cause a user to have problematic use of marijuana. What this means is that even if it already damages his or her health. Quitting the drug will be difficult because of the withdrawal symptoms that can be very uncomfortable. 

Smoking Marijuana is an Expensive Habit

If you want to stop smoking marijuana, look at it from a financial perspective. Nowadays, weed can cost you around $100 to $350 per ounce, depending on its quality and the place where it grows.

Aside from the price of marijuana, you can also consider the long-term costs that can result from poor performance at work or the complications it may bring to your health over the years. If you’re practical enough, you should quit marijuana now and start saving your money for something more worthwhile instead. 

Marijuana Can Cause Lethargy

Yes, marijuana makes you calm. But calmness can also lead to lethargy or loss of interest in life over time. The frequent use of the drug isn’t stimulating. It will cause them to feel lazy and have poor performance on mental and physical tasks. If you want to achieve your goals in life, you should stop smoking pot and work on being productive instead.

Pot Can Slow Down Your Development

According to research, marijuana users who start smoking heavily and regularly during their teenage years will have low IQ levels as they reach adulthood. It’s because of the psychoactive component in marijuana known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It can slow down the growth and development of the brain. 

The maturity of the brain won’t be complete until your mid-20s. Therefore, smoking marijuana in your teenage years can make you less smart than your peers who don’t consume weed in their teens. 

Smoking Weed Can Change Your Personality

Frequent use of marijuana can deplete the essential nutrients in your body, causing you to feel tense and irritable when you don’t take the drug. Smoking pot regularly alters your brain and may lead you to experience anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations, especially if you smoke weed with a high concentration of THC. 

The anxiety that you’ll feel when smoking marijuana can be the result of paranoid thinking of getting caught by the police. But it can also be purely the psychological effects of the drug on your brain. 

Moreover, the lethargy, unclear thinking, and the loss of interest in many things in life often reflect the significant change in the user’s behaviour due to the regular use of marijuana. Indeed, smoking pot can alter your personality, and mostly the changes are negative. 

Marijuana Can Make You Reclusive

The euphoric sensation that you feel when smoking marijuana can make you more of an introvert. That’s why you see many pot smokers tend to while away the time, sitting alone inside their houses not able to do anything. 

Yes, it can be that you started smoking weed with your friends for fun. But as using marijuana becomes your daily habit, you’ll tend to consume it without company anymore. The nature of your marijuana habit will make you more reclusive. Chances are high that you’ll neglect many of your social relationships. 

Marijuana Prohibition in Most Places

Another reason why you should quit using marijuana is that it might still be illegal in your country. The legal consequences of being caught using or having marijuana in your possession can be severe. It can land you some jail time, cause you to pay hefty fines, and ruin your reputation. 

So, aside from the risks mentioned above, you should also consider the legal consequences of using marijuana. Marijuana may have some health benefits, but using it also comes with risks. This drug can have adverse effects on your health and personal life. 

Withdrawal Symptoms of Marijuana Addiction

There is always a debate about whether using marijuana is good or bad for a person. It may be that there are a lot of positive effects on a person, mostly to those who use it as a medicinal remedy. But others say otherwise, particularly to those who were addicted to marijuana. They say there are more negative effects than positive ones. 

If you have an addiction to marijuana and you want to quit, it is best to prepare. In this section, we’ll look at the withdrawal symptoms that you should anticipate during marijuana withdrawal. 

Marijuana Addiction

Recently marijuana use has been legalized in many countries. There are experts recommending it as medication for certain illnesses. For years, it has already been easy for anyone to acquire it and use it for recreation. Many got addicted to it because of abusing marijuana. 

Side Effects of Marijuana Addiction

Some experts say that using cannabis has a lot of beneficial medicinal advantages. But there are also adverse effects that are very risky for a person using the drug. There are several side effects that are harmful to a person such as developing depression or anxiety, difficulties in concentration, distorted perception, learning problems, slow in understanding and memory loss.

Withdrawal from marijuana isn’t an easy process. Once a person decides to stop using marijuana after heavily using it, their mind and body may have a tremendous reaction from it. Such a phase is called withdrawal. Withdrawal is a natural part of the body’s adjustment from washing out cannabis from the user’s system. It is the first phase in getting out of the addiction from marijuana.

Symptoms of Marijuana Addiction Withdrawal

Addiction is a mental disorder. It means that using marijuana can chemically change the brain to make it think that it is necessary for survival. This alteration in a person’s mind makes him or she crave marijuana. A person with marijuana addiction tends to increase their intake every time they use the drug. 

Symptoms of withdrawal usually start one to three days after stopping. There are several symptoms of withdrawal from marijuana addiction. Such symptoms are the following:

  • Irritability  
  • Depression 
  • Anxiety 
  • Loss in appetite 
  • Losing weight
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Shaking
  • Extreme sweating
  • Restlessness
  • Stomach pain or abdominal pain
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Tiredness during the day

Symptoms may occur depending on how the addiction of marijuana stopped, whether it was abrupt or gradual. It may also differ on the amount of the substance present in a person’s body accumulated during their intake of cannabis. Another reason is how devoted the person in stopping marijuana use. 

These symptoms can make the process of withdrawal more challenging because the person suffering from these tends to go back to using marijuana. It is to ease the discomfort that they are going through. That is why it is advisable to seek help from a facility that can help during the withdrawal stage for proper assistance, guidance and support. 

Related article: Top Benefits of Quitting Marijuana

There are available services for people suffering from withdrawal symptoms of marijuana addiction. These services may include:

Social Support 

Participating in a group that encourages a kind of environment that promotes abstinence. Engaging in a great support circle of friends and family can help you recognize positivity in your life. They will remind you that you can overcome the challenges you are facing regarding your addiction to marijuana.

Psychotherapy 

A few different kinds of psychotherapy are effective in treating addiction to marijuana. An example is motivational enhancement therapy. This therapy is necessary for patients who lack the motivation to quit using cannabis. It decreases uncertainty associated with the recovery and instills confidence in the individual to commit to making a difference.

Medication 

There may not be any approved medications for treating marijuana withdrawal. However, there are some meds like antidepressants that the doctor can prescribe. It is to treat severe mental health problems caused by aggregated discomforts and pains from withdrawal. Also, there are already some sleep aid medicines to treat insomnia that you may experience during marijuana withdrawal.

Cognitive- Behavioral Therapy 

CBT is a type of psychotherapy that examines the connections among behaviours, thoughts, and feelings and how they can relate to marijuana abuse. During this kind of therapy, the person with the addiction will have the chance to learn how to have positive coping skills and strategies to combat their addiction.

Contingency Management 

It is a kind of treatment that uses rewards as an incentive in abstaining from using marijuana. As mentioned, some centres and facilities provide services for recovering addicts. These centres provide treatments as well as proper guidance on how to overcome marijuana addiction.

Dealing with Cravings

When recovering from a marijuana addiction, it is inevitable that you will feel cravings for the drug. There are ways, treatments, and techniques to stop the cravings and cut back from this drug forever.

Stopping the use of marijuana can be such a big problem for users who have been dependent on using it for some time. There are times when the urge to use marijuana can be so strong for those who are trying to stop smoking weed. 

The use of marijuana or cannabis has been one of the heated topics in every debate. It is generally true that there are some diseases and illnesses that can use cannabis as part of the treatment. But with every significant effect also comes a side effect. Cannabis may cure illnesses, but its use should not be used to a maximum extent.

Cravings come at a very inconvenient time and are very persistent when it comes to disrupting your thoughts. Others would say that the only time you can stop your weed or marijuana craving is to roll and smoke some weed. With the right tips and techniques in mind, you can be more equipped to handle your cravings.

Dedicate and Commit Yourself to Recovery

It is important to remember that marijuana withdrawal can draw strong feelings of desire in using the drug. Cravings come more often when there are also others who use marijuana. Peer pressure, when it comes to drug use, can significantly affect a person who is trying to quit.

Recovering addicts must remember that although quitting marijuana is hard, it is not impossible. A strong dedication to saying “no” is vital. It is essential to remind the marijuana users that they will have guidance and support during the withdrawal process.

Engage in physical activities

Engaging in physical activity is a great help when a patient feels the urge to smoke cannabis. Exercise can restrain marijuana use and cravings. It stimulates the brain. It can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression which are main symptoms of withdrawal. Experts in the field of drug rehabilitation suggest that exercise can mitigate drug-withdrawal symptoms. 

Seek medical help before it’s too late

Seeking medical advice is also not a bad thing to do. One can always ask about finding appropriate medical supervision or the best rehabilitation centre. These professionals can help the recovering addict deal with marijuana cravings and replace them with a newfound desire for other activities that are healthier. 

Related article: Marijuana Addiction Treatment: Most Important Things to Know about Weed

Takeaway

It is vital to know the common side effects of marijuana on the user. There are so many negative consequences to deal with once you start using this drug.

If you’ve only started using, then observe yourself if you’re already experiencing the effects of cannabis use. It is never too late to stop. Help is always available for those who want to kick the bad habit of drug use.  Give us a call today!

Understanding Alcohol Addiction and Treatments

Alcohol addiction is a serious problem. If you are dealing with this issue, you can learn a lot by reading this article. Hopefully, you will gain more understanding of this addiction. We will be sharing the available treatments for alcohol addiction.

Also, read along to know about how you can stay clean when you have stopped the habit of drinking alcohol. Let’s begin by understanding what is alcohol addiction

Related article: The Five Common Signs of Alcoholism: Top Five Redflags You Should Know 

What is Alcohol Addiction?

Throughout a heavy intake of alcohol, a person may become reliant on it, and the chances of an individual becoming more and more dependent on drinking alcohol associates with many different determinants. These factors include social status, genetics, the kind of family an individual has, as well as the manner as to how the person grew up. 

A person’s emotional well-being can also play a massive part in the risk of alcohol abuse. Exposure to alcoholism at a very young age or those people with a history of alcohol abuse in the family are likely to be facing a more significant risk of becoming addicted to it. 

Individuals who are suffering from depression or mental breakdown can also lead to considerable risk. It is because these people affected by loneliness or mental illness believe that alcohol assists them to feel at ease.

People with mental illnesses, hence, tend to drink liquor to self-medicate. Any of these circumstances mentioned above can indeed put you at a higher risk of becoming an alcohol addict.

Instant Effects of Alcohol

Known as a Central Nervous System (CNS) depressant, alcohol slows down bodily and mental operations. With the person’s first alcohol drink, he can feel a smooth decline in feelings of stress or anxiety. 

A lot of people praise alcohol and call it a social lubricant. It suggests that people who drink alcoholic beverages tend to feel more confident in meeting new individuals. It is also that they’re not that concerned with how others perceive them.

Since alcoholic beverages are legal and universally accepted in our society, it can be challenging to recognize the difference between casual drinking and abuse. In general, when drinking alcohol results in adverse outcomes, then we can consider it as abuse, and some of these negative outcomes of drinking alcohol include:

  • Physical injury or sickness
  • Struggling relationships
  • Problems at doing the job
  • Financial crisis

However, when alcohol abuse becomes more habitual, then it might escalate into alcohol addiction

Related article: Five Warning Signs of Alcoholism

What are the manifestations of alcoholism?

Symptoms of alcohol addiction can vary between people, but tolerance is usually the initial sign of addiction to alcohol. You need more of your usual drink to feel the very same effects that you used to. Also, you may observe that you can drink much more alcohol than others without that feeling that you’re drunk. 

Another vital sign of alcohol addiction is experiencing withdrawal symptoms the moment you wake up. You might feel that you want to have your first alcoholic drink as soon as possible to calm yourself and help you get through the day.

  • Additional warning signs of alcoholism include:
  • Requiring to drink alcohol to relax
  • Missing time from school or work because of unhealthy drinking habits
  • Exhibiting a lack of enthusiasm in things you enjoyed before
  • Experiencing alcohol blackouts after drinking
  • Developing a considerable tolerance to alcohol
  • Making explanations for your drinking habit
  • Agonizing about running out of alcoholic drink
  • Drinking more alcohol than you plan to
  • Facing legal problems as an outcome of drinking alcohol
  • Lying to your family about your inappropriate alcohol intake
  • Experiencing issues in a relationship due to addiction in alcohol
  • Exhibiting symptoms of withdrawal between drinks
  • Hiding alcohol beverages in many different places in your household or car
  • Performing dangerous acts, such as drinking while driving or drinking alcoholic beverages while pregnant

If you start to display any of these symptoms of alcohol addiction, then you need to seek an alcoholism treatment program as soon as possible to help you defeat the addiction. With proper support, you can move a step closer to a sober, healthy life.

Related article: How Does Someone Become an Alcoholic?

How can alcohol abuse include periods of intoxication and withdrawal symptoms?

It results in alcohol intoxication when the volume of alcohol in your bloodstream rises. The higher a person’s blood alcohol concentration is, then the more damaged a person becomes. Alcohol intoxication creates behaviour concerns, along with alterations in mental health. 

These signs may include unstable moods, slurred speech, inappropriate behaviour, impaired memory, impaired attention, impaired judgment, weakened, and poor coordination.

A person can also experience “alcohol blackouts” in which a person doesn’t remember any events that transpired. Also, take note that extremely elevated blood alcohol levels might lead to a state of comatose or worse, death.

Alcohol withdrawal happens when alcohol drinking has been consistent, substantial, lengthy and is then significantly reduced or suddenly stopped. 

Withdrawal symptoms can happen in several hours to even five days later. The signs can be critical enough to damage a person’s ability to perform at work or even in social conditions, and the manifestations include:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Sweating
  • Hand tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Agitation and restlessness
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Hallucinations
  • Occasional Seizures

Related article: Are You an Alcoholic? Know All the Potential Effects of Alcohol Addiction

Knowing if a person is suffering from alcoholism

You can distinguish a person suffering from alcohol addiction. It is when that particular individual craves alcohol consistently and can’t stop drinking even if it breeds social or personal harm.

Signs of alcoholism include steadily drinking more alcohol than intended, desiring to stop drinking but just can’t, developing an alcohol tolerance, experiencing withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit drinking, letting individual and social responsibilities struggle to drink, and spending a tremendous amount of time striving to get and drink liquor.

High-Functioning Alcoholic

An additional note, there is also a particular kind of alcohol addiction identified as high-functioning alcohol addiction. Individuals who are high-functioning alcoholics can keep their addiction from meddling in their personal and professional lives. 

High-functioning alcoholics realize they have a drinking problem until they suffer from severe alcohol-related outcomes. The threat of high-functioning alcohol addiction is that it can last for many years without a person noticing they have an addiction problem, ever.

As adults, it is indeed a challenge to decline from drinking alcoholic beverages, especially after a long, tiring, extremely stressful day. On the other hand, if your habit of drinking ends in repeated notable discomfort and problems performing in your day to day living, then you likely have alcohol use sickness. 

It might vary from mild to severe, but even a mild sickness has the potential to escalate and lead to grave concerns, so early therapy is of utmost importance. 

Why Do People Get Addicted to Alcohol?

Nearly all adult gatherings provide some alcoholic drink choices. Wedding receptions usually involve proposing a glass of champagne to celebrate the new future of the couple. 

A lot of people also love to celebrate particular events such as birthdays, Christmas, New Year, and many more, with alcohol. Even dinner plans and dinner gatherings often involve at least a bottle of alcoholic drink.

Over time, because of the constant urge to drink, people may become established that any social occasion utterly needs to have alcohol. As an effect, the ideas to drink alcohol can become uncontrollable. And, sadly, boozing to excess usually follows.

It’s not that simple to figure out when your alcohol intake has moved past the line from social or moderate drinking to a drinking problem. Drinking alcohol is so well-known in several cultures. The results differ so broadly from a person to another. It is not always simple to determine if you already have a drinking problem. 

However, if you drink alcohol to avoid feeling awful or to cope with problems, then your risk of becoming an alcohol addict rises significantly.

You may know what alcohol addiction is, but how does it commence? What drives an individual from having casual drinking to full-scale alcohol addiction? Sadly, the explanation is not that easy.

Alcohol addiction is a consequence of a mixture of social, environmental, psychological, and genetic factors. The more risk constituents a person has, the higher the chance that the individual is to become an alcoholic. And usually, those risk determinants are totally out of the person’s power.

Related article: Reasons Why Teens Experiment with Alcohol and Drugs

Why is Alcohol Addictive? 

Physical Aspects

Taking alcohol triggers the release of endorphins and dopamine within the person’s brain. Both of these chemicals are the ones responsible for producing feelings of happiness and pleasure and function as a natural pain reliever. 

Research also reveals that genetic factors play a card when concluding how alcohol acts in the brains of many people. Mainly, the brain of some people released more satisfaction elements in its response to alcohol, and this effect makes them more vulnerable to physical dependency.

Alcohol intake can indeed cause physical modifications in a person’s brain both in functioning and chemistry, which plays a massive component in what makes alcohol irresistible. Alcohol floods the brain’s pleasure and reward centers, and the user feels desires to repeat those experiences of satisfaction. 

Although someone might have the plan to stop, alcohol can still compromise impulse restriction as well as decision-making ability, which causes relapse more likely to happen. What begins as alcohol abuse can swiftly and effortlessly develop to alcohol dependence.

Psychological Aspects

Alcohol addiction, like other obsessions, is eventually a learned response, and an individual’s beliefs and thoughts come to play a role. For instance, someone who doesn’t buy the idea in recovery and treatment is unlikely to establish the effort needed to complete therapy. 

Also, don’t slash out the developmental maturity of a person because it can also be a relevant factor.

Stress and anxiety also play a significant role, particularly in alcohol addiction, with alcohol giving a brief and harmful answer from those uneasy feelings or pressures. This coping process can become a practice that seems extremely difficult to break. 

Additional to drug and alcohol rehabilitation, psychotherapy can assist with the stress-reduction approach and motivation and need to be one component of the healing process. Also, bear in mind that people who are alcohol dependent have higher tendencies of other psychiatric diseases than the overall population. 

Stressful Situations

While not every individual looks for alcohol to reduce stress, some people usually do. When a particular person has a stressful work, for instance, they might be more susceptible to drink alcohol heavily. 

It is frequently the problem with certain professions such as nurses and doctors because their day-to-day experiences can be remarkably stressful. To reduce this risk factor, think about taking the opportunity to de-stress using healthy habits, like exercising, taking a rest, or even reading a book that stimulates your interest.

Family History

In particular situations wherein your parents and relatives are into the habit of consuming large volumes of alcohol, then your risk of becoming an alcohol addict automatically rises. 

A chunk of this theory is because of genetics, but the other aspect has got to do with the environment you are currently in. Spending more time around people who practice heavy drinking or alcohol abuse can lead you to act the same.

Drinking Alcohol at a Young Age

Those individuals who start drinking at an unusually young age have a higher chance to develop an alcohol problem or even a physical dependence on alcoholic drinks as they grow older. 

Not hardly is this because alcohol drinking might become a comfortable practice, but also due to the tolerance levels of the body might increase.

Mental Well-being Issues

Bipolar disorder, loneliness, anxiety, or any other mental health problems can double the risk of alcohol addiction

It is straightforward to look for alcohol when an individual is feeling lonely or anxious, and the fleeting effects of alcoholic beverages may appear to ease those uneasy feelings momentarily. This habit can resort to drinking way much more, which then leads to addiction in alcohol.

Related article: Do Something When You See the Frightening Signs of Alcoholism Today

Withdrawal Symptoms

Individuals who are dependent on alcohol and abruptly stop drinking undergo a process of detoxification that can have many physical and psychological manifestations. These symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Depression
  • Hand tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Insomnia

The process of withdrawal is complicated and very challenging to go through, as the body and brain beg the volume of alcohol they are used to receive. 

Avoiding these withdrawal effects is an excellent motivator for an alcoholic person to continue to drink. This notion can produce a vicious series, where the alcoholic person drinks to dodge the pressure of withdrawal.

Many determinants play a specific role in an individual’s risk of alcohol addiction. Always remember that it is crucial to recognize your chances of becoming an alcoholic. You should also execute those healthy habits to lower those risks as much as possible.

How do You Know You’re an Alcoholic?

Most people enjoy a glass of wine or two at social gatherings or a cold bottle of beer after a workday. However, are there times when you can’t survive a day without alcohol in your system? You’re aware that you’re drinking in excess, yet you still do it anyway. 

In North America, 15.1 million people struggle with alcoholism, with 3.3 million deaths resulting from alcohol abuse. This problem stretches across various age groups, and that makes it very alarming. 

If you do drink alcohol, how can you determine that you’re an alcoholic? An alcoholic, or a person with Alcohol Use Disorder, is someone who can’t control his alcohol consumption. The substance occupies your thoughts, and it causes adverse effects in your life. Read on to know more to know if you or someone you know is an alcoholic. 

Stages of Alcoholism

Alcoholism has phases, and you might not be aware that you have Alcohol Use Disorder. Check the stages and see if you’re on the way to being an alcoholic. 

Stage 1

Do you find yourself drinking more alcohol, yet you don’t get drunk as quickly as before? A higher tolerance can mean that you’re going through stage one, or the pre-alcoholic stage. Assess your reasons for drinking, and this can determine if you’re on the way to stage two.

Stage 2

Have you experienced getting so drunk and blacking out? It is a sign of an early alcoholic stage. You become dependent on alcohol. You know that your growing dependence can cause other people to worry, so you hide alcohol and withdraw from other people. 

Stage 3

If your relationships are affected by alcohol abuse, you’re on the middle alcoholic stage. Your body also changes negatively. You might experience weight loss or weight gain, and stomach bloating. 

Stage 4

Heavy drinking is a part of your life, and this can be your priority. Your life probably won’t be going well by this time. You might have lost your job, or you don’t have a social life anymore. You can also get severe or fatal diseases caused by alcohol abuse at this point. 

Other signs that you’re an alcoholic

If you’re not sure that you’re going through the stages, maybe these other signs will help you. You can determine if you are a social drinker, or you have Alcohol Use Disorder.

You hide when consuming alcohol

Do you prefer drinking alone? Maybe it irritates you when people comment that you’re drinking again. To avoid having people tell you off, you’d rather hide and drink by yourself. You don’t call up your friends anymore because they don’t drink as much as you do.

It can lead you to be isolated from your family and friends. Since you’re alone most of the time, you don’t like spending time with them. It can put a strain on your relationships. Alcohol is now your companion, not the people who love you and care for you. 

You want to drink alcohol frequently

Do you think of alcohol even when you’re doing other things, such as when you’re at work or the gym? It can be a sign of Alcohol Use Disorder. If you do, you’re probably going to make excuses for you to drink.

You’ll think of ways to pass it off as something else. You might say that you need a drink to help you relax because you’re stressed, or you want to feel good about yourself. An alcoholic will never run out of excuses to drink even when other people will tell him to stop. 

You consume alcohol excessively

How much is too much when it comes to alcohol drinking? It varies according to what you regularly drink. A serving is 12 ounces for beer, 8-9 ounces for malted liquor, 1.5 ounces for brandy and similar drinks, 2-3 ounces for a liqueur, and 5 ounces for wine. 

However, it’s not about how much you drink in a day. It can also be how frequent you drink. Maybe you drink in small amounts, but you drink at least five times a day. Perhaps you’ve already noticed that you feel adverse effects but can’t stop drinking even if you want to quit. 

You blackout and you can’t remember what you did

Are there times when you were so drunk, and you can’t remember what you did? You wake up somewhere, and you can’t recall how you ended up in that place. These lapses in your memory should alarm you, mainly if it keeps happening again.

Alcohol causes your blackouts. It can occur when your body’s alcohol content reaches 14% above. When you wake up, you might find it hard to talk or stand. Your vision can also get blurry, and you can’t make sound decisions. 

What’s more alarming is that blackouts can be permanent. If your blackout is partial, things can trigger your lost memory, and you can still remember things. A complete blackout means that whatever you do, you’ll never retrieve your lost memories. 

You include alcohol in your daily routine

Do you include alcohol in your regular activities? You drink when you get home, or after eating a meal. It’s okay if you do this sometimes, but what if you do this every day? You also get annoyed when people tell you that you’re drinking too much. 

It can also affect your relationship with others because your irritation with people can lead to conflicts. You’d say that you don’t need alcohol, but the signs say otherwise. If a day goes by and you can’t stay away from alcohol, that’s a sign. 

You experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms

Withdrawal is a challenging experience. If you tried to stop drinking, and you have experienced some of these symptoms, you can be an alcoholic. Minor hand tremors, sweating, mood swings, headaches, and nausea are signs of alcohol withdrawal. 

Stage 4 alcoholics can experience delirium tremens or severe alcohol withdrawal delirium. It can include confusion, agitation, seizures, mood changes, deep sleep, and even excitement. 

Alcohol Use Disorder affects a lot of people worldwide. If you think that you’re an alcoholic, assess yourself and check if you see any signs. If you do, it’s best to cut back as early as possible before your progress to the severe stages of Alcohol Use Disorder.

Related article: Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal: How Serious are they and How do they Affect You?

How to Stop Drinking Alcohol?

Merely thinking about the idea of having to stop drinking alcohol can be a long and tough scheme. Usually, we may believe that it is impossible, but it is entirely not.

If you are eager to stop boozing and now ready to get the assistance you require, you can heal from alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction. You can do this regardless of how heavy you drink or how helpless you may seem. 

Besides, you don’t need to remain steady until you reach the lowest possible level because you can start a change at any specific period. Whether you desire to quit alcohol drinking altogether or cut down your boozing to healthier volumes, this article can assist you in starting heading to the path of recovery now.

Accept the Drinking Problem

If we put our drinking habits into consideration, we sometimes ask ourselves: Am I an alcoholic, or a casual drinker? As the traditional adage goes, the first step towards acceptance is acknowledging that you have a problem.

Ask the appropriate question. 

Stop questioning yourself as to whether or not you are an alcohol addict. If you are asking yourself this question, then you seemingly are one. Instead, try asking yourself if drinking is stopping you from having the life you desire. If your answer is “yes,” then the first step is over since you admit the problem.

Cease yourself from comparing. 

Noting the similarities and dissimilarities between yourself and others will only cause you harm because their lives are not yours. Bear in mind that you are a person with a different, yet complex experience. Comparing your drinking habits to that of other people will only lead you to self-rationalization.

Picture yourself in the future. 

Imagine yourself several years from now with your current drinking habits. Now, ask yourself, are you okay with what you see? If you think not, then you might have a concern regarding alcohol. It is always better to admit it so that you can start fixing it.

If you don’t have any boozing problem, but your loved one has, then these following approaches might help you. These steps can assist you in shedding light on your loved one’s drinking problem. Written below are some suggestions on how you can support an alcoholic to stop drinking.

Allow them to talk comfortably

Have them feel free to talk about the causes that contribute to their problem in drinking.

It is particularly unlikely for people to drink utterly to drink. Usually, people who have a drinking problem struggle with anxiety or loneliness and they drink to ease their uneasy feelings. 

It is essential to acknowledge that you believe there might be an underlying concern about mental health that results in alcohol drinking. But try not to appear accusatory, particularly if the person doesn’t recognize that he’s suffering from stress or sadness. Instead, kindly ask them if they believe there could be a particular cause that leads them to drink. 

Promote communication with your loved one

This method might cause a difficult discussion for both the drinker and yourself, but it is crucial. You may call this as an intervention, or merely a conversation. Interventions usually are more serious and have more people taking part in it, so it depends on the kind of situation. 

Whether a free conversation or a serious intervention, the aspired result is still the same. It is to bring awareness to a loved one’s unhealthy drinking problem, and wish that the individual can acknowledge where the concern is coming from.

Don’t hesitate to offer support

Sobriety and healing will become a lot less stressful if a person knows he has a reliable support system. Be firm in leading them to a treatment program you believe may be an excellent fit. There is a wide array of information about rehabilitation, and it might be confusing to decide where to begin, particularly in the early phases of sobriety. 

If you can make that assignment a bit manageable, then your loved one will try to encourage themselves. It is to take good advantage of the work you put for the individual’s well-being.

Ask people who had the same problem

In situations wherein you know persons who have happily quit drinking, try to speak with them. Ask these individuals how they eventually came to terms with their drinking issue and how they were able to address it. 

Without a doubt, what goes smoothly to a single person will not certainly go easily for everyone. On the other hand, if you believe their experience seems comparable to that situation of your loved one, then ask them if they would be open to having a talk with that person for you.

Do not pass disappointment or judgment

Making a person with drinking problems feel more regret or lowering their self-confidence will only do no good specifically in a situation like this. Keep in mind that alcohol addiction is a sickness. 

So, if you are fortunate enough to not suffer from any significant loneliness in life, do your very best not to display any judgments or disappointments. Be kind and understanding when someone you love is coping with it. 

Not merely do you not realize it firsthand, but you might also do more injury than good. Humiliating a person suffering from alcohol addiction will only make them return to practices that hide their emotions, which is, of course, drinking. 

Become the positive reinforcement at all times, and never think about the approach of shame and judgment because it will only make things worse.

Nearly all people with alcohol issues don’t choose to execute a considerable change so suddenly or modify their drinking practices overnight. The path to recovery is a slow, continuous process. In the initial steps of change, denial is a huge obstacle, which is why a person must learn to admit first. 

But, even after acknowledging you have a drinking issue, you may create excuses and avoid the problem. It is critical to recognize your uncertainty about quitting drinking. You may not be sure if you are willing to change or you are struggling with your decision. It might help to reflect on the benefits and drawbacks of each choice.

Related article: Effects of Alcohol on Mental Health

What are the Treatments for Alcohol Addiction?

Alcoholism, or alcohol addiction, has been deemed as a brain disease and cannot be treated by willpower. Though it may be possible, the chances are slim because your brain can have changes caused by alcohol that makes it harder to quit. You have to know what kinds of treatments are available and there is a lot to choose from.

Discipline

As the famous line goes, “It all starts within yourself,” and this may also be true with alcoholism. Though again, there might be a slim possibility, at least you’ve got that motivation in you to quit. There are a lot of stories from former alcohol addicts who quit because there was something that motivated them. Maybe you can find yours, too.

Professional Care

Perhaps the best first step in your treatment. You can always go to an expert even for mild cases wherein you abuse alcohol but aren’t dependent on it. Usually, three symptoms might tell you it’s time to seek professional help:

  • The feeling of having to drink
  • Not being able to control how much you drink
  • Not feeling good when you cannot drink

There are a lot of care experts who can help you out with your alcoholism. Be sure to decide whether you want to lessen your drinking habits or completely stop drinking. There are a lot of treatment plans for each alcoholic abuse.

Alcohol Addiction Expert

When thinking of seeking professional care, your doctor would be the first to come into mind. Other than the fact that your doctor can refer you to the most appropriate expert, they can also do the following:

  • Assess the individual’s drinking pattern
  • Construct a proper treatment plan
  • Figure out a patient’s overall health
  • Examine if there are needed medications

Behavioural Treatment Expert

Behavioural treatment, commonly known as alcohol counselling, is a type of alcoholism treatment that includes seeking out help from health professionals. You may go to experts like a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, or an alcohol counsellor. This treatment focuses more on the factors that lead to heavy alcohol consumption, and this includes:

  • Identifying the needed support to stop or lower down drinking habits
  • Creating a better peer support system
  • Setting achievable accomplishments
  • Endure, or better yet, avoiding relapse triggers

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, or CBT, is a type of behavioural treatment that focuses on an individual’s way of thinking and processing of thoughts that lead to excessive drinking. It can be done one-on-one with your therapist or maybe in a small circle. CBT can also help you cope up with your body’s stress that may lead to relapse.

Motivational Enhancement Therapy

From the name itself, it suggests boosting your motivation to stop drinking. It also includes the benefits and disadvantages of seeking treatment and creating an ideal plan in making changes to your drinking habit. Also, a part in boosting self-esteem and identifying factors that can help you stick to the goal.

Marital and Family Counseling

This type of treatment involves the active support of people closest to you who can be of great help with your treatment process. It includes your spouse and other family members who can significantly influence you with your decisions and improve family relationships. With this, studies also show that this is a more effective way of ending your drinking habits compared to people who undergo individual counselling.

Brief Interventions

Brief Intervention treatments are short and time-limited counselling usually one-on-one or small group sessions. This treatment aims to provide you with information on your drinking habit patterns and what the risks might be. After identifying, you will work then with the counsellor to formulate solutions on how you can achieve your goal.

Detoxification

Getting the alcohol ejected from your body is a crucial step when wanting to eradicate alcoholism which usually takes days. It is ideal to go to a hospital or a rehab center because alcohol addicts tend to experience withdrawal symptoms, especially for those who have been drinking for years. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Shaking
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Nonetheless, undergoing detox in hospitals or treatment centers guarantees you a safe journey throughout the process. Doctors and other experts will keep an eye on you and give you certain medications to help you.

Medication

If there’s one thing about drugs, it’s that there’s no “cure” to alcohol addiction. However, medicines can undoubtedly help you in recovering. Currently, there are three medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help you combat alcohol usage disorder.

Acamprosate (Campral)

Acamprosate makes the maintaining of abstinence easier by repairing the natural balance of chemicals in the brain, or so-called neurotransmitters. However, before taking this medication, make sure that you are under counselling and is no longer drinking alcohol. Though, if in case, you’ll start drinking alcohol again, do continue taking the medication and tell your doctor promptly.

Disulfiram (Antabuse)

Disulfiram is an effective medication that makes you feel sick when indulging in alcohol. This drug aims to stop the breakdown of alcohol in your body. In turn, this causes unpleasant effects on your body as it is rejecting alcohol. This include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Chest Pain
  • Anxiety
  • Breathing Difficulty

Naltrexone (Revia)

Naltrexone should also be available for recovering addicts along with counselling and support. This medication should also not be used as treatment if you still are a heavy drinker. What Naltrexone does is that it decreases the craving for alcohol and the satisfaction you get from consuming one. It somehow reduces the “good feeling” you get when you are drinking.

Generally speaking, there certainly is never an easy way out of alcohol substance abuse and addiction. Always be mindful of the symptoms and observe yourself. Seek out the help of other people and get treated. Don’t wait for the time when everything’s too late, or a relationship with someone suffers from brokeness.

You can go to care experts and professionals who can tend to your needs. Yes, recovery may take a long time, but it will always be fulfilling to finish the process and tell yourself you’ve succeeded. Get help now.

Related article: The Most Important Truth About Alcohol Abuse That Will Make You a Victim

How to Stay Clean and Sober from Alcohol?

Every alcoholic who is new to recovery knows that there’s a struggle after quitting the addictive behaviour of drinking alcohol. Even if you want to stop your alcoholism altogether, there are withdrawal symptoms that push you into relapsing. 

According to research, 80 percent of alcoholics who have been sober for a long time had at least one relapse in their recovery process. The rest had many relapses before they find long-term sobriety. 

The good thing is that you can do something to avoid having a slip back into your alcohol addiction. If you want to stay clean and sober from alcohol, you must follow these tips for your freedom from alcohol addiction. 

Related article: Choosing an Addiction Treatment Centre

Stay Away from Your Old Habits

Getting rid of your old bad habits is difficult. However, you can do it if you have the willpower to change for the better. Just keep in mind that you need to adopt a new lifestyle now and that you don’t want to be dependent on alcohol anymore. 

One step that you must take is to stay away from past routines that enable you to remember and crave for alcohol. Also, you must avoid your old drinking buddies who are obstacles to your recovery. 

Try to make friends with people. 

Do so with those who are taking the same path to recovery. It is so that you can share experiences and you won’t feel alone in your journey. Being with your family can also help in making some changes in your lifestyle.

Moreover, you must develop a structured schedule every day or every week to make your life more organized. Make sure to create short- or long-term goals so that you have something to focus on in life. Experts say that having a secure way of life paves the path to long-term sobriety. 

Do Some Physical Workout

Many people who become addicted to alcohol for a long time have poor health and are not in their best physical shape. If you’re one of this group, it’s time that you do some exercise and workout to get yourself physically active. 

Becoming physically active is an excellent way to help you have a healthy lifestyle after alcohol addiction. It also helps you reduce stress and withdrawal symptoms after quitting alcohol, which are primary triggers for relapse. 

Get a Job or Do Something Meaningful 

If you’ve struggled with alcohol dependence for a long time, you’re likely in financial ruins right now. In this case, it’s time to get back on track and find a job that will help you recuperate financially. 

Getting a job and having something meaningful to do in life also helps you avoid relapse. Many alcoholics who always fell into the trap of going back into drinking had work-related problems and financial issues, which are triggers for slipping back into old drinking habits. 

Likewise, finding a job is essential in recovery as it helps you to focus on something. Aside from the fact that it helps you get your finances in order, having a meaningful job enables your mind to get rid of your former cravings. 

Just keep in mind that you don’t have to hasten things to find a job. Sometimes the process can add up to your stress and possibly contribute to your relapse. Take it one step at a time until you find work that fits for you. 

Join a Support Group

It’s an excellent idea to join an alcohol abuse support group to help you in your recovery. When you find a connection with people who are going the same path to recovery as yours, you will find the journey immensely comforting and worthwhile. 

Joining a support group for people who are struggling with alcohol dependence will allow you to learn experiences and strategies to cope with the problem. It’s also an excellent way to get rid of emotional baggage within yourself by sharing with them your experiences. And they will understand you because alcoholics go through similar experiences as yours. 

The most popular support group for recovering alcoholics is Alcoholics Anonymous. However, you can find other available support groups that will help you in your recovery. 

Seek Out Long-Term Treatment

Seeking out long-term treatment can help you face and understand the reality of alcohol addiction. Also, learn coping skills to help manage your cravings and avoid dealing with self-destructive behaviours. 

For a long-treatment of your alcohol addiction, you need to undergo therapy sessions with qualified mental health professionals. They should have experience dealing with patients struggling with substance abuse and addiction issues. 

Deal with Your Past Failures

A lot of people who are going through recovery are carrying emotional pain and suffering from their past mistakes. Their past failures can often cause them to feel guilty and ashamed. Feelings of shame and guilt can be toxic and destructive when you’re trying to stay clean and sober. Most of the time, they can also be the reason for relapse. 

Recovering alcoholics can experience negative feelings about their past behaviours as well as negative beliefs about their self-worth. They may suffer thinking about the people that they have harmed in the past because of their addiction. 

If you want to have long-term sobriety, you need to learn from the past but not dwell in it. Live in the present moment, and think of the better things that you can do now to live a life that’s worth living. 

Keep Calm

Many recovering alcoholics have some problems dealing with anger. They may feel restless and emotional at times that can be destructive to themselves and the people around them. Having emotional and anger issues is one of the symptoms of withdrawal. 

So, if you want to get on the path to recovery, you must learn to manage your destructive emotions. Stay cool and keep calm when stress hits you. Learn coping techniques on how to deal with anger appropriately to make your recovery process successful. 

Takeaway

Staying clean and sober is not easy for many recovering alcoholics. But some ways can help them overcome their addictive impulses to help them change for the better.

Getting rid of old habits, finding a balanced lifestyle, getting a meaningful job, joining a support group, seeking out long-term treatment, dealing with past failures, and staying composed are the ways to successful recovery from alcohol addiction.

Related article: Alcohol Addiction Treatment: Is There a Way to Change?

Dangerous Cocaine Effects on Pregnancy

The cocaine effects on pregnancy are dangerous, both for the mother and child. The number of pregnant women taking this drug has been increasing at an alarming rate.

There is a great need for more information to be available and added education as to the many ill effects of taking cocaine. Here, we have an extensive article on what cocaine is, its physical and psychological effects, cocaine effects on pregnancy, and treatment options for cocaine addiction

Related article: What are the Potential Effects of Crack/Cocaine Addiction to the Body?

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a highly addictive drug that belongs to the class known as “stimulants.” As a stimulant drug, cocaine increases the levels of activity between the brain and the body. But this drug also has anesthetic properties that can be useful for some surgeries. Although the recreational use of cocaine is illegal, it is still available for valid medical purposes.

One can extract cocaine from coca leaves, a plant that is native to western South America. Indigenous people chew coca leaves or brew it as a tea. Drug dealers, on the other hand, make and sell cocaine in powder or crystal form. 

Drug dealers often mix the drug with other substances such as amphetamines and synthetic opioids. They also “cut” cocaine with talcum powder, glucose, or lactose to make more profit by selling less of the actual drug. 

How Does It Look Like?

Cocaine hydrochloride is the form of this drug that is considered the most common. It’s a powder that has a white, crystalline colour and a bitter taste. One can further process cocaine hydrochloride to produce cocaine varieties, known as “freebase” and “crack.”

Freebase cocaine is nearly 100 percent pure, meaning it almost doesn’t contain the drug’s hydrochloride additive. This form is heat-soluble, which one can produce by converting powder cocaine into cocaine sulphate. 

Crack cocaine, on the other hand, is another cocaine variety which is considered the most addictive. It is in rock-like or crystal form and comes in colours ranging from creamy or white to transparent with a yellow or pink hue. Crack is a result of combining and boiling powdered cocaine with water and sodium bicarbonate. 

Cocaine has a variety of names, including, coke, C, snow, Charlie, toot, nose candy, stardust, white dust, blow, and white lady. Crack is also known as wash or rock, and freebase as merely base. 

Related article: Signs of Cocaine and the Most Revolting Things that Will Make You Explode 

How Do People Use the Drug?

Some users snort powdered cocaine through the nostrils or rub the substance onto their gums, while others inject the dissolved drug into their bloodstream. Hardcore users combine cocaine and heroin and inject the mixture into their bloodstream to feel “high.” 

Another common way of using cocaine is by smoking it. Heat-soluble forms of the drug, such as freebase and crack, are heated and inhaled into the lungs to produce euphoria. Some cocaine users also sprinkle cocaine on tobacco or marijuana and smoke the substance like a cigarette. 

Since cocaine is highly addictive, some people take the drug in higher doses to maintain the feel-good sensation it brings. 

How Does It Affect the Brain?

Cocaine boosts the levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is responsible for sending signals between different neurons of the brain. Dopamine also plays a role in activating pleasurable feelings and reward-motivated behaviours. This interaction between cocaine and dopamine is the reason why the drug is extremely addictive. 

In the normal function of the brain, the nerve cell releases dopamine, and the latter recycles back into the cell where it originates, blocking the signals between nerve cells. However, during cocaine use, no recycling of dopamine happens. Instead, the dopamine accumulates in the area between two nerve cells, resulting in the cessation of standard transmission of signals.

This build-up of dopamine in the reward circuit of the brain causes people to get addicted to cocaine. Once this area of the brain gets used to the flood of dopamine induced by cocaine, the person will become tolerant to the drug. In consequence, the user takes higher doses of the drug within a short period to keep the high and to fight off withdrawal symptoms. 

Related article: Cocaine Addiction: How it Works in Canada and How it Affects the Life of a Person? 

Short-Term Effects of Using Cocaine

Cocaine use produces short-term effects on users, such as:

  • Boost of energy
  • Mental quickness
  • Feelings of happiness
  • Hypersensitivity to touch, sight, and sound
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Restlessness
  • Increased blood pressure and body temperature
  • Constriction of blood vessels
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Nausea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Muscle twitches

Since cocaine boosts energy and mental alertness, some users report that they do psychological and physical tasks more quickly. Others find that cocaine makes them unable to perform tasks correctly. Also, higher doses of the drug can result in unpredictable, strange, and violent behaviours. 

The effects of cocaine happen almost once a person consumes it and go away within several minutes to an hour. The intensity and duration of the impact will depend on how the user takes the drug and its dosage. 

The effects of snorting cocaine may last up to 20 to 30 minutes. While the feel-good sensation of smoking may last up to 5 to 10 minutes. However, smoking the drug produces faster and stronger effects than snorting it. 

Long-Term Effects on Health

Using cocaine can take a toll on your health. Some of the health problems may last for a long time, depending on how the person uses the drug. 

  • Smoking. Cough, asthma, pneumonia, and respiratory problems.
  • Snorting. Loss of smell, runny nose, nosebleeds, and difficulty swallowing. 
  • Oral intake. Intestinal ischemia or severe bowel decay due to the reduced blood flow to the intestines.
  • Needle injection. Scarring or collapsed veins, skin tissue infections, and increased risk of getting, hepatitis C, HIV, and other blood-borne diseases. 

Moreover, even the consumption of cocaine without using needles can cause users to be at higher risk of contracting HIV. It’s because using the drug impairs judgment, which can result in risky sexual interactions with infected individuals. 

Motor function disorders, malnutrition, hallucinations, severe paranoia, depression, and violent behaviour are also among the long-term effects of cocaine use. Consumption of the drug can also lead to overdose, which can be life-threatening and fatal. 

Treatment Options for Cocaine Addiction

There are treatment options available for people who have a cocaine addiction

  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy
  • Group-based therapy
  • Community-based recovery 
  • Motivational incentives 
  • Contingency management

Everyone must know the health and social effects of cocaine addiction. Cocaine is an extremely addictive drug, and it can bring severe health effects and even death to the user. That’s why we should stay away from using cocaine to prevent these unfortunate things from happening. 

If you have a cocaine addiction, you should see to it that you get the necessary treatment. There are treatment options available to control the withdrawal symptoms of the drug and help you recover from it. 

Related article: Cocaine: The Surprising Facts that You Need to Know About 

What is Cocaine Addiction?

One of the main concerns with talks about substance abuse is the emphasis on the drug rather than the history and mental well-being of the person using it.

When describing the addiction potential of cocaine, the most precise explanation is that cocaine is extremely addictive. However, not everyone who indulges in the flight of fancy-like effects of cocaine becomes addicted. So the preferable and most ideal response is that a lot of factors affect whether someone who uses cocaine will develop a specific addiction.

In brief, cocaine stimulates a person’s central nervous system. The mode of action of cocaine impacts how users can develop a disorder of stimulant use. 

Cocaine takes effect instantly but also wears off immediately, and this prompts the users who take the drug to tend to crave and take more usually over a short period. 

How does cocaine impact a person’s system?

For a temporary period, cocaine produces stimulating effects on the user’s body. It generally taps the brain to increase the concentration of dopamine in the brain. This action generates feelings of satisfaction and happiness. Cocaine impacts the user’s system to elevate the dopamine levels causing the individual to feel a sense of euphoria.

Cocaine inhibits dopamine, along with other neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine, from being brought into the nerve cells. This mechanism enables enormous amounts of the neurotransmitters to gather and stimulate the neighbouring nerve cells, and this action intensifies the gratifying pleasurable sense of euphoria.

Also, cocaine can minimize your desire for food and sleep. Some individuals claim that cocaine helps them to think better and execute tasks more efficiently. Hence, a lot of users start to crave the effects and feelings that cocaine produces.

Constant use of cocaine may cause you to develop a higher tolerance to the drug. It means you’ll be needing more amount of cocaine for you to experience its euphoric effects. This outcome will lead the user to take higher quantities of it, which can influence the user’s physical and mental health, and this is where the word “addiction” comes into the picture.

Physical Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine dependence is the result of physical addiction to cocaine. As the body and brain adjust to the chemical alterations that cocaine effects, they begin to need cocaine to maintain their normal function. 

This demand can lead to symptoms of withdrawal when cocaine use ceases. The body, since it demands cocaine to sustain healthy functioning, it produces cravings for cocaine that a lot of people find utterly irresistible.

Physical impacts of addiction to cocaine addiction:

  • Chest pain
  • Increased cardiac rate
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Heart attack
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Unhealthy weight loss
  • Seizure
  • Stroke

Psychological Cocaine Addiction

When cocaine meets a psychological desire, it is when mental addiction to cocaine transpires. The heightened stimulation and energy that cocaine causes may affect the user using the drug to feel better about socializing in particular situations. The “high” feeling that cocaine generates may help a user overcome feelings of hopelessness or inadequacy. 

There are several psychological wants that someone might try to treat with the use of cocaine. The common determinant will be that cocaine is going to be the one to help a person cope with a particular psychological desire. This commonality suggests that the user needs cocaine to assist them to continue to manage with the psychological need.

Psychological impacts of addiction to cocaine include:

  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Aggression
  • Panic
  • Repetitive or abnormal behaviours
  • Impaired judgment
  • Hallucinations

Diagnosing a Person with Cocaine Addiction

A licensed physician will take a series of specific factors into consideration upon diagnosing a person with cocaine abuse.

Eventually, the physician will likely apply particular criteria out the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition) to decide if the user has a specific addiction to cocaine. Usually, the diagnosis depends on possessing at least two of the criteria mentioned below:

  • Cravings
  • Perilous use of the drug
  • Interpersonal or social problems associated with the use of the drug
  • An excessive period allocated using the drug
  • Physical or mental challenges associated with the use of the drug
  • Experiencing the symptoms of withdrawal
  • Activities exchanged by cocaine use
  • Developing a cocaine tolerance
  • Using larger amounts of cocaine
  • Repeated struggles to control or quit the use of cocaine
  • Neglected significant obligations to use the drug

Preventing Cocaine Abuse

Prevention must begin early in the preadolescent ages for all kids but specifically for those individuals who are at risk of using the drug. This scenario would include kids who belong in families with a history of addiction, such as excessive drug use or alcoholism. 

Teaching the young generation to say “no” to drinking alcohol, using tobacco products, and drugs are already an excellent prevention practice. 

We need to continually keep the kids as well as our upcoming generations from the gateway drugs of nicotine, marijuana, and alcohol. We are capable of preventing the escalation to more stimulating drugs like cocaine and hence protect many people from the long-term impacts of excessive drug use.

Related article: You’ll See What Really Happened with Cocaine Addiction

How is Cocaine Abuse Treated?

Cocaine abuse is a complicated disease, with physical, environmental, familial, social, and psychological factors. There are several treatment approaches for cocaine abuse that address all these elements.

Medications

There are no specific medications produced to treat cocaine abuse. But there are other kinds of medicines which can be valuable, such as antidepressant medications.

Behaviour Therapy

Behaviour therapy shows assuring effects for assisting people through cocaine abuse. Institutions can perform the treatment as an outpatient basis or even as a component of a residential therapy program.

Behaviour therapy includes awards for meeting objectives related to stopping the use. CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) teaches learning methods that support you to remain not using.

Treatment Centers

Residential therapy programs serve to cover all aspects of abuse. These programs can continue for many weeks to a year, and this program usually includes support groups, therapy, or vocational rehab.

Cocaine addiction is, indeed, a complicated sickness that needs thorough treatment. Cocaine abuse has a severe impact on a person’s physical and psychological health and can end in premature death.

If ever you have a loved one who is addicted to the drug, don’t hesitate to reach out to a physician. It is to help you explore treatment alternatives and find additional support sources.

Why Do People Get Addicted to Cocaine?

Cocaine is one of the most addicting drugs on the market. This drug can sell up to a million-dollar within a week in America. People of varying ages and occupations can be vulnerable to this drug. 

One of the reasons why most individuals opt to use this drug is because of its stimulant properties. Celebrities are one of the most vulnerable individuals prone to choosing cocaine to push their bodies beyond what it can do. People who work in the most stressful environment are also common victims of this drug.

Coca plant comes from South America, and the USA is the country with most buyers of cocaine. The youngest recorded user of cocaine was as young as eight years old. Depending on the availability of the drug, anyone is susceptible to the addictive trap and nature of this drug.

Cocaine came from coca plants which are common in South America. It is a stimulant drug that can boost your attention span, alertness, and energy. Cocaine has many colloquial names. The famous names are Coke, Snow, Rock, Crack, etc. 

It is famous among elixirs and medical back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Later on, research revealed that cocaine has dangerous, addictive components that can make the brain malfunction under constant use.

Usage of cocaine is permissible inside the medical institution administered by a professional doctor. With that, the usage of this product is not for recreational purposes. Illegal usage of this drug has repercussions both by-laws and health terms. 

It is important to note that recreational cocaine is available in the underground market. In such instances, drug dealers commonly mix this drug with cornstarch or something of equal to gain more profit. To clarify, even more, this is not hygienic and safe.

Cocaine has an addictive component, namely, benzoylmethylecgonine. This component in the coca leaves produces the stimulant effect of the brain. Although directly chewing the leaves of the coca leaves doesn’t emit any harmful side effects, it’s a different story when the leaves undergo a process.

When do people use it?

Cocaine users abuse this drug in generally two forms – in its freebase form and its powder state. Snorting the powder form of the drug is the most basic way to do it. Others would be injecting the drug into their arms. The freebase form is the local type of drug in the streets. 

Cocaine undergoes a process of mixing it with ammonia or baking soda and water. As heat produces a smokable substance, it creates a crackling sound upon smoking – thus, the name crack.

When people are in a desperate measure to push their bodies beyond their boundaries, they tend to opt to cocaine. Social pressure is also one of the causes as to why individuals use cocaine. 

To try living up to the expectations of society or to escape the sad reality of being less, users opt to cocaine to stimulate themselves and do more. But then again, the repercussions of this action can be gravely dangerous in the near future.

What makes it addictive?

The cocaine sold by the underground markets and street drug dealers is not pure. The drug itself is a powerful addictive material. It is so addictive that it can change the brain structure. As a result of repeated usage, disorientation of the brain functions occurs.

This drug also has a psychoactive numbing effect. What makes this drug more addictive is due to dopamine which is a pleasure chemical to the brain. The overproduction of dopamine then increases an individual’s adrenaline.

Abusers, under the influence of cocaine, feel an intense surge of unnecessary happiness. They also tend to be more inhumane as they become more sensitive with their senses.

In most cases, abusers are addicted to cocaine because of the beaming happiness and boost that the drug offers. People who also want to escape a sad reality tends to rely on the drug to reimagine their joy. Individuals who are desperate to divert their attention from reality are the most vulnerable folks with the addictiveness of cocaine.

How can you avoid being addicted to cocaine?

In the early 1900s, surgeons used them to filtrate pain and to make surgeries bearable. However, as research regarding cocaine advances, it is now legally acknowledged as an anesthetic for eye, ear, and throat surgeries. When cocaine is used otherwise especially for recreational purposes, it is illegal.

Self-medication with cocaine to ease the feeling of numbness will not do you any good. It will suppress the feeling of any pain at the moment, but it will consequently bring forth more problems. 

Addiction is one of the many pressing issues that cocaine can give you. Coke is obviously not available in a local drug store. So you will be forced to buy it from drug dealers. And of course, their sources are questionable.

Peers are the most significant contributors to drug addiction. Most of the time, due to peer pressure, the person gives in to the usage of an illegal substance and later on gets addicted to it. You have to choose your friends wisely. 

Friends who lead you a destructive life path are not real friends. Those who bring your destruction and distractions are people that you should strip off your life. These kinds of people are not only toxic to your health but are also poisonous to your lifestyle.

The repercussions of cocaine addiction can alter lives. To avoid addiction, it is essential to remind yourself of these basic principles in life. Sometimes, it just takes guts to say no to prevent further life destruction.

Understandably, people want to escape pain which is why they opt to use drugs. The perfect feeling that illegal substance promises to its users is the main booby traps to destruction. While we think that we are doing things for our good in committing such decisions, we are doing more harm to our already broken selves.

Cocaine is a dangerous addicting substance. If you or a loved one is having a problem with drug addiction, always seek professional help. Self-medication or listening to people with no lenient background regarding the issue will only worsen the situation for the recipient. The case is already problematic; the least that we want for the person is to have a worse condition.

Effects of Cocaine on the Body

Whether in crystal or powder form, cocaine produces an extreme impact on a user’s body, particularly the brain and heart. Using cocaine can instantly damage a person’s brain cells, even after short periods of heavy use.

Cocaine creates a momentary, intense high that is then instantly followed by the exact opposite, and the user suddenly experiences severe loneliness, anxiety, and a longing for more of the euphoric drug. 

Cocaine users usually don’t sleep properly or even eat. They will experience an immensely increased cardiac rate, muscle contractions, and seizures. The drug can also make the users feel paranoid, anxious, angry, and hostile, even when they are not under the effects of cocaine.

Most users are careless of how much cocaine usage, or how often they take the drug. Cocaine at least doubles the risk that the user will suffer from a heart attack, convulsions, stroke, or breathing (respiratory) failure. Any of these can result in a person’s sudden death.

How does cocaine particularly affect the brain?

Cocaine stimulates the amount of dopamine, which is a natural chemical present in a human’s brain. Limited amounts of dopamine travel through the brain cells to provide happiness or satisfaction.

But when a person is using cocaine, dopamine floods the brain cells, so swamped that it doesn’t have anywhere else to travel. Therefore, these excessive amounts of dopamine inhibit your brain cells from properly communicating and functioning with one another.

In the long run, cocaine causes the brain to become less receptive to the effects of dopamine. This scenario signifies that larger volumes of cocaine are now necessary to deliver similar results of a dopamine high.

Eventually, as a user consistently flood the brain with dopamine, it will slowly damage its structure leading to convulsions and other neurological problems.

Using cocaine slows down the metabolism of glucose in the brain as well. This effect can cause the neurons present in the brain to function at a very slow pace and start to die.

Damage to the structures of the brain will trigger addiction, which is a condition affecting the dopamine systems and reward circuits. And abusing this potent drug can cause other sets of long-term suffering as well.

Effects on Mental Well-Being and Mood

Both powdered cocaine and crack (freebase) can cause damage to the user’s mental well-being for over a long period. It takes shape in the form of emotional disturbances or mood alterations. Since cocaine interferes explicitly with the neurons’ reabsorption of dopamine, one of the hallmark signs of cocaine’s rebound effect is severe depression.

If the brain doesn’t reach its original balance, then a person who has suffered cocaine addiction for an extended period may acquire permanent depression and need continuous mental health therapy.

Other severe long-term alterations to mood and mental well-being include:

  • Restlessness
  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis
  • Auditory hallucinations
  • Schizophrenia

Cocaine increases the levels of cortisol (stress hormones) in a person’s brain, which can, in turn, permanently increase the blood pressure, harming our cardiovascular system. Even if the users don’t develop paranoia or psychosis, they still experience panic disorders, anxiety, or problems with violence and aggression.

How does cocaine particularly affect the heart?

Since cocaine is a rapid-acting drug, it causes many types of harmful effects on the person’s body. This effect puts a higher degree of pressure or stress on your cardiovascular system. Your heart will force itself to pump harder to circulate blood throughout the different parts of the body, and this results in elevated blood pressure. 

Outlined below are some of the effects that cocaine can have on a person’s blood vessels and heart.

Atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries

Frequent cocaine use might lead to the hardening of capillaries and arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis. This problem is not instantly noticeable, but both the short-term and the long-term harm caused by the particular illness can lead to cardiovascular disease and other probably life-threatening issues.

Aortic dissection

The sudden rise in pressure and added stress on the muscles in your heart can lead to an unexpected tear in the aortic wall. It is the main artery in a person’s body. Hence, the term aortic dissection (separation), and this disease causes severe chest pains. Aortic dissection is a painful and life-threatening condition that needs urgent medical treatment. 

Inflammation of the cardiac muscle

Using cocaine can cause swelling in the layers of your cardiac muscles. Throughout the condition, the swelling can lead to the hardening of a person’s heart muscles. This concern can make the heart less effective at pumping blood through the different body parts. It can lead to severe and life-threatening problems, and of course, it includes heart failure.

Disturbances in the cardiac rhythm

Cocaine can meddle with the electrical system of the heart and disturb the signals that inform each of the heart’s portion to pump with the others together. This condition leads to cardiac arrhythmias or irregular cardiac rhythm.

Cocaine-induced heart attacks

The variety of effects on the heart and blood vessels from cocaine use increases the risk of a heart attack. Cocaine use can lead to elevated blood pressure levels, hardened arteries, along with thickened cardiac muscle walls, which can eventually cause a heart attack.

Signs of cardiac problems related to cocaine use

Constant use of cocaine can lead to sudden cardiac-related signs and symptoms. These include sweating, increased heart rate, palpitations, along with severe chest pains as well. This scenario may lead people to seek immediate treatment at a hospital’s emergency department.

Continuous cocaine use, as per evidence, increases the risk of suffering from stroke or a heart attack. That particular event happens because cocaine can induce damage to the heart almost instantly after a person starts using it. And what’s more, is that the damage accumulates and builds up the longer a person uses the drug.

Quitting cocaine does not quickly minimize a person’s risk for cardiovascular well-being problems because much of the damage caused by the drug can be irreversible or permanent. On a brighter note, quitting cocaine can stop additional loss, which reduces the risk for cardiac-related health problems, such as myocardial infarction or heart attack.

Cocaine Effects on Pregnancy

Cocaine use during pregnancy can have long-term adverse effects on both mother and baby. However, statistical data reveals that a significant number of people who are using cocaine are women of childbearing age. It also shows that five percent of pregnant women use addictive substances, and 750,000 pregnancies are exposed to cocaine every year. 

For pregnant women, taking care of your baby is a must. You should know the harm that cocaine and other substances can bring to you and your baby, and seek out help treat your drug addiction immediately. Here’s what you need to know about cocaine effects on pregnancy. 

Health Risks of Cocaine Use on Expectant Mothers

Women who are using cocaine during pregnancy may increase their risks of malnutrition, anemia, and different types of skin infections. After pregnancy, women who are struggling with frequent cocaine use may also increase their chances of having severe postpartum depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideations. 

Cocaine use of the mother can also lead to respiratory health problems, cardiovascular diseases, and blood-borne infections, such as HIV and hepatitis. Moreover, using cocaine during pregnancy can also result in high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmia, acute pulmonary edema, seizures, and sudden death of the mother and the baby. 

The mother’s and baby’s lives will more likely be exposed to dangers and neglect if the mother doesn’t seek help to treat her addiction. Unless the mother finds treatment for her addiction, self-harm, violent incidents, involvement in hazardous situations, and legal troubles are not impossible to happen. 

Effects on Pregnancy

Cocaine addiction in pregnant women has also had a connection to poor pregnancy outcomes. A variety of problems that may occur as a consequence of cocaine use within and around the delicate stage of pregnancy include:

  • Preeclampsia
  • Placental infarction 
  • Placental abruption
  • Low birth weight
  • Impaired fetal growth
  • Ectopic pregnancy 
  • Intrauterine growth restriction
  • Small size for gestational phase
  • Miscarriage
  • Premature rupture of membranes
  • Reduced head circumference
  • Congenital malformations
  • Perinatal cerebral infarction
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • Premature birth
  • Stillbirth

Using cocaine during pregnancy may also affect the mother’s likelihood of carrying the unborn child to full-term. Having a full-term pregnancy, which means birth between 39 and 40 weeks, is essential for the baby’s brain development. A shorter pregnancy, on the other hand, can lead to problems in the child’s development.

Premature birth is the term used when the baby is born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. This kind of delivery is the leading cause of death among children ages five and younger. Most premature children can also have hearing and visual problems and can struggle from lifelong learning disabilities. 

Another unfortunate pregnancy outcome caused by cocaine effects on pregnancy is a miscarriage or spontaneous abortion. Pregnant women who use cocaine during early pregnancy can be at risk for miscarriage because the drug interrupts the blood flow to the placenta. 

A study also shows that the intake of drug stimulants like cocaine can increase the risk of stillbirth by 2.2 times. Moreover, the trauma of stillbirth can lead to long-term psychological problems on the mother. For instance, the mother may experience post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety. 

Negative Impact on a Developing Child

Drug stimulants like cocaine interact with the central nervous system. It can also reach into the placenta and then into the fetus. The drug’s adverse effects on the development of the fetus can result in congenital disabilities and abnormalities, such as congenital heart diseases, limb defects, and cleft palate. 

The effects of cocaine when it reaches the uterus may also lead to neurodevelopmental issues for the child that can contribute to the following problems.

  • Impaired procedural learning and perceptual reasoning
  • Impaired adolescent functioning
  • Behavioural issues
  • Attention deficit disorder (ADHD)
  • Oppositional defiant disorder
  • Poor memory 
  • Difficulty in learning languages

Studies also show that using habit-forming substances like cocaine can lead to the mother abusing the child because of the drug’s capacity to impair the psychological function of the mother. 

Furthermore, exposure to cocaine in utero can increase the child’s inclination to use tobacco and addictive drugs and to develop substance use disorders in his/her teenage years. The child can also have problems with controlling their emotions, difficulty in problem-solving, and trouble in managing stress. 

Scientific evidence also points to the cocaine effects on pregnancy as one of the causes of a child’s incapacity to handle different types of stress in the environment. This problem can lead to anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation on the part of the child in his/her teens. Likewise, the child is also more likely to be aggressive and violent when he/she grows up. 

The chemical interactions of the drug on the child’s development during pregnancy and exposure to the stress of living with a mother who has a cocaine addiction, are very detrimental to the part of the child. Thus, at all costs, you should stay away from addictive drugs like cocaine and seek out help if you have already developed a dependence on it. 

How to Treat Cocaine Addiction

There’s still a chance that you can overcome cocaine addiction. You need to get some medical help to treat it. If you’re hooked on cocaine while you’re pregnant, early medical intervention can prevent you and your child from experiencing the problems mentioned above. 

You can find a variety of options that can help you understand the nature of drug addiction as well as learn ways on how to overcome it. Typically, a person who uses drugs like cocaine has underlying triggers, such as psychological trauma, which makes that person resort to using drugs. 

Most drug addiction treatments help you cope with such triggers without resorting to drug use. You will also participate in individual counselling, group-based therapies, and detoxification treatment to help you deal with your cocaine addiction. 

Takeaway

Using cocaine during pregnancy can result in a lot of health complications on the mother and the baby. So, if you’re pregnant, you should always stay away from using any addictive substances like cocaine if you want to have a healthy pregnancy.

The cocaine effects on pregnancy are not only dangerous. They can be fatal. If you need help with your addiction, don’t hesitate to contact us for the treatment options available for your recovery.