Cannabis Use Disorder Affects Millions of Americans

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Cannabis Use Disorder Affects Millions of Americans

February 8, 2019

It is challenging to find anything humorous about the fact that substance use is associated with an increased risk to your health. The total impact of drug and alcohol use on the global population throughout history is immeasurable. While it is true that moderate imbibing or the occasional marijuana cigarette is unlikely to cause severe harm, it is critical that young people are informed before initiation. A series of wrong turns can easily set individuals on a course toward addiction.

With each passing year, marijuana use laws change; they typically become more tolerant. Citizens have voted in favor of both medical marijuana programs and recreational cannabis use in a significant number of states. As we highlighted in a previous post, Americans generally view “pot” as being less harmful than the gamut of other available drugs. It’s possible that such opinions are valid in some respects, but it is also fair to say that most people do not realize that cannabis use has marked adverse effects. Such cons include but are not limited to the development of cannabis use disorder.

To be sure, the number of states that will adopt more permissive marijuana laws is going to continue to increase. At the same time, the effort to educate people about the dangers of cannabis use must expand as well; not using scare tactics, but rather through aggregating and disseminating the available science. The research is limited, and more is required to create a clearer picture; however, we do know the risks of cognitive dysfunction and addiction are real.

Cannabis Use Disorder

In 2016, Massachusetts voters legalized marijuana for adults, becoming one of only three states in New England to approve legislation. In what can only be described as an attempt to entice people across state lines, the marijuana tech company Weedmaps set up a highway billboard ad in Connecticut. The advertisement reads, ‘weed is legal in 60 miles,’ WTNH reports. Marijuana is legal down the road in Massachusetts.

Earlier in the post, it reads that it is hard to find mirth when discussing substances that can put men and women’s life-quality and future at stake. However, just a short distance from the Weedmaps billboard there is another roadside ad, courtesy of an addiction treatment center. The billboard reads, ‘addiction treatment is closer.’ Touché!

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association includes definitions of substance use disorders (SUD). Cannabis use disorder or CUD is among those conditions. Persistent, heavy marijuana use can result in addiction and dependence.

The most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that about 4 million people 12 and older meet the classification for a cannabis use disorder. The actual number is likely to be significantly higher, owing to the social acceptance of marijuana use. Many Americans do not grasp that they have a condition that is impacting their life.

Habitual users who attempt to quit will often experience withdrawal symptoms, which can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Tremors

Without professional assistance, people experience extreme difficulty when attempting cannabis cessation. The good news is that addiction recovery is possible, particularly when individuals seek detox and treatment.

Denver Addiction Treatment

NorthStar Denver can help you or your loved one break the cycle of marijuana addiction. Please contact us today to learn more about our program and about how we can help you pursue long-term healing from marijuana dependence. Our team of addiction professionals can help you realize a fulfilling and productive life in recovery.


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