With the growing mainstream acceptance of marijuana culminating in the recent push for legalization, it’s worth taking a deeper look at marijuana usage and what constitutes a problematic habit. After all, marijuana is still a drug and its use, medicinally or recreationally, needs to be taken with an abundance of caution.
Whether your loved one is dealing with what’s termed a marijuana use disorder or not, it’s important to recognize and acknowledge that it is indeed addictive. Some may scoff at that idea due to society’s changing views but the CDC notes 1 in 10 users will become addicted and that number goes up to 1 in 6 for those who start using when under 18 years old. Consider it like you would alcohol in that sense. Yes, people may be allowed to use it more freely at a certain point, but don’t misinterpret that to mean it doesn’t cause real issues.
Additionally, research has long suggested that marijuana use is likely to precede the use of other substances aka a gateway. While this doesn’t happen for the majority of people, the risk is clearly there.
Signs of a Marijuana Addiction
It’s imperative to know what marijuana addiction looks like. Why? Because marijuana is the most commonly used illicit substance in the United States and if you can catch the signs of addiction early, you can right the ship so to speak and avoid the problems that addiction creates.
The most common symptoms of marijuana use to look for are:
- Bloodshot, red eyes
- Excessive eating
- Increased tolerance leading to needing more to achieve the same high
- Constant coughing
- Continually decreasing performance at work or in school
- Failing to meet responsibilities at home, work or in school
- Difficulty with problem solving, memory and thinking
- Dry mouth
- Spending too much time with people who use
If someone you love is spending what seems to be way too much time getting high, a warning sign in and of itself, you need to be paying close attention to the behavior exhibited when they aren’t using too. It’s equally vital because another way to look at addiction is that it ultimately means feeling like you need a substance and end up experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you can’t get it.
Usually, that looks like increased irritability and moodiness as well as having feelings of restlessness and being overly anxious. A person going through withdrawal will very likely experience difficulty sleeping too.
What Is a Marijuana Intervention?
If you’re metaphorically beating your head against the table trying to figure out how to get the usage of a friend or family member under control and are growing increasingly worried about where their drug use may lead, a marijuana intervention might be the right next step for you.
When the use of any substance, marijuana or otherwise, gets out of hand and you feel at a total loss as a family. Not knowing what to do and being seemingly stuck just watching your loved one struggle with addiction is something many go through. Staging an intervention moves you from being reactive to being proactive.
At its core, an intervention is about holding a mirror to someone’s habits and confronting them, in a non-threatening manner, to shine a light on their self-destructive behavior. So they can really see it for themselves and how that behavior has ripple effects beyond just them. How it can and does family and friends alike.
How Footprints of Serenity Can Help with a Marijuana Intervention
When nothing else you’ve tried has worked, it’s time to get in touch with us at Footprints of Serenity. We have decades of combined experience in behavioral healthcare & the intervention process and can help you lead your loved one to make the positive changes necessary to live a healthier, more fulfilling life.