Treatment for Marijuana Use in Denver County

Marijuana (i.e. THC or Cannabis) has become gradually legalized around the country and with greater accessibility comes greater risk for abuse. Cannabis is typically used to help cope with various mental health disorders and difficult emotions. Researchers suggest that individuals most commonly use marijuana to socialize with others, cope with stress, treat depression, panic disorder or anxiety, and cope with PTSD. When used in small doses, it’s relatively harmless. But similar to any drug, it has the potential to be abused. According to a 2019 SAMHSA study, approximately 3.3% of Coloradan’s ages 12 and older qualify as having Marijuana Use Disorder (MUD). This number is slightly over 2x the national average for individuals with MUD.

How Does Marijuana Affect The Brain?

As with any substance abuse, marijuana works by over stimulating the receptors in the brain. When someone takes in cannabis, the THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) binds to cannabinoid receptors, which are located throughout the brain. In the long run, the main effects of THC vary greatly based on where cannabinoid receptors are heavily populated. While the cannabinoid receptor regions of the brain may differ by person, THC usually affects vision, memory, risk and reward circuits, personality and more. After persistent marijuana use, one’s brain will stop naturally producing the chemicals that typically bind to cannabinoid receptors because it’s receiving stimuli from an outside source. Because your brain stops producing the chemicals that bind to these receptors, your brain will create withdrawal effects when you stop using cannabis. This in turn creates craving and physiological dependence on cannabis.

Cannabis dependency can form regardless of potency. But fortunately, neuroplasticity allows us to recover from our MUD, even after prolonged abuse. Withdrawal symptoms are unpleasant and vary by person but it’s not fatal. Most people typically report feeling a difference after 3-6 months of not using. Regardless, Marijuana Use Disorder is a treatable and recoverable condition.

If you’re unsure of whether or not you or someone you love struggles with Marijuana Use Disorder, please consider some of the most common symptoms below.

  • Changes in mood
  • Altered senses (taste, time, vision)
  • Inability to stop using despite several attempts
  • Increased social isolation
  • Lying or deceiving others about the your marijuana use
  • Decline in decision making abilities
  • Impaired memory, body fatigue
  • Decreased ability to concentrate
  • Delusions or psychosis (when taken in high doses)

If you or someone you love is showing these signs and symptoms, please consider reaching out for help. Marijuana Use Disorder is treatable and our team is here to help you in your recovery journey!