Marijuana is an addictive drug that is actually quite destructive for many people. We have treatment programs here in Orange County California where people can get sober right on the beach while having a great time and learning a lot.
Throughout the last several decades, marijuana has been considered less sinister than other illegal narcotics like cocaine and heroin. While it is true that marijuana is less addictive than substances like crack, ecstasy, and methamphetamine, our experience has demonstrated that clients who arrive at our drug rehab addicted to the harder substances inevitably began their drug use with marijuana. So, the time has long passed that marijuana should be considered harmless.
Marijuana can be psychologically addicting and there have been many men and women who have arrived here in Newport Beach with marijuana as their primary drug of choice. These clients have become emotionally and mentally dependent on marijuana (also known as “pot,” “weed,” “ganja,” or a host of other names). The psychological dependence can take a significant time to overcome, with many marijuana-addicted individuals feeling despondent, depressed, and as though will never enjoy life again without the drug’s effects.
Not only do our marijuana-addicted clients benefit from our thorough clinical regimen, which helps them address the underlying emotions that may contribute to their dependence on marijuana, but their personalized treatment program will include attendance at marijuana-specific 12-step meetings, or MA (Marijuana Anonymous).
Learning to Enjoy Life Without Marijuana
The wide variety of outdoor rehab activities available in our Newport Beach community contribute to building the self-esteem of the man or woman who is in treatment for marijuana addiction by providing a physical outlet which helps manage stress and
invigorates the mind and body.
Some of these activities include:
- Surf Lessons
- Organized Sober Soccer League
- Daily Gym Excursions
The cultural activities our clients partake in introduce them to a social setting with others who are enjoying life without using marijuana. These activities also help build self-esteem and acclimate the person to living a fun life without marijuana.
Some of the social and cultural activities include:
- Beachfront Barbeques
- Sailing off the Newport Coast
- Art Museums
- Movie Night
A Gateway Drug to Harder Substances
For many of our clients, their primary drug of choice is not marijuana but a hard street drug like cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, or crystal methamphetamine. Experience has shown us that quite often marijuana is used as a gateway drug to harder substances. A person who smokes marijuana repeatedly and has other factors that might make them a likely candidate for addiction (such as a family history of addiction, a mood or behavioral disorder, or a history of being prescribed prescription medication) will very likely experiment with other substances that are much more destructive and addictive.
The depressive effects of marijuana lead to withdrawal symptoms. As tolerance to marijuana increases, harder drugs may be sought out for stronger effects. Men and women who enjoy the sensation of being under the influence of marijuana are very likely candidates to experiment with prescription drugs like:
- other opiates/opioids
The phenomenon of prescription drug addiction has growing exponentially in recent years and has claimed many lives due to accidental overdose. We have dubbed this phenomenon the “silent epidemic” in our society because it has not gotten a fraction of the response that it warrants.
The ever-increasing potency or “strength” of the marijuana that is being produced only exacerbates the above effects by increasing tolerance, withdrawal, and the likelihood that harder substances will be sought out by the marijuana user.
More About Marijuana’s Place in Our Society
Marijuana is the most favored and glorified drug of all the illegal narcotics that are being abused in our society. It continues to be a drug of entry for many Americans. Reports indicate that the marijuana available today can be five times more potent than the marijuana of the 1970s and that teenagers can often obtain marijuana more easily than
Marijuana is a greenish-gray mixture of the dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds and flowers of cannabis sativa, the hemp plant. Most users smoke marijuana in hand-rolled cigarettes called joints. Some use pipes or water pipes called bongs. Also becoming popular are marijuana cigars, called blunts, where the tobacco in cigars is replaced with
marijuana and often combined with another drug, such as crack cocaine.
Whatever it’s called, and however it’s used, marijuana can produce adverse physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral changes. Contrary to popular belief, marijuana can be addictive. Marijuana smoke, like cigarette smoke, can harm the lungs. The use of marijuana can impair short-term memory, verbal skills, and judgment and distort perception. It also may weaken the immune system and may even increase a user’s likelihood of developing cancer. Studies also show that the increasing use of marijuana by very young teens may have a profoundly negative effect upon their development.
However, there can be far more sinister effects. In a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a moderate dose of marijuana alone was shown to impair driving performance. Even more significant were findings that the effects of even a low dose of marijuana combined with alcohol – on such activities as reaction time, visual search frequency, and the ability to perceive and/or respond to changes in the relative velocity of other vehicles – were markedly greater than for either drug alone.
Marijuana users who have taken high doses of the drug may also experience acute toxic psychosis, which results in hallucinations, delusions, and depersonalization – a loss of the sense of personal identity, or self-recognition. Although the specific causes of these symptoms remain unknown, they appear to occur more frequently when a high dose of cannabis is consumed in food or drink rather than smoked.
Addiction to marijuana reflects an uncontrollable urge to possess and use the drug. Without the kind of treatment available at Sober Living by the Sea, those addicted to it are
generally unable to halt their addiction even if they want to.