Learn More About THC, The Effects Of Marijuana And Addiction

Marijuana Addiction

Colorado residents voted to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012. Since then, various organizations estimate that the number of teens in the State of Colorado using marijuana has stayed relatively consistent. However, a study by the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System determined that adult marijuana use in the state of Colorado increased from 13.6 percent in 2016 to 15.5 percent in 2017, driven by what they believe to be “a significant rise in marijuana use among 18 to 34-year-olds.”

Nationally, according to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 2 million young adults aged 18 to 25 in 2018 met diagnostic criteria for a Marijuana Use Disorder in the past year, equating to roughly 5.9 percent of young adults. The same study found that roughly 1.9 million adults aged 26 or older met criteria for Marijuana Use Disorder in the past year, or approximately 1 percent of adults in this age group.

Along with the rise in the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado and other states, has come the rise in the potency of new strains of cannabis. Dr. Elizabeth Studt, MD writes in the Journal of the Missouri State Medical Association that “The primary problem with the current available cannabis in dispensaries in Colorado is that the THC content is not like it used to be.” She writes that prior to the 1990s the THC content in marijuana was less than 2%, which steadily grew throughout the 1990s. Dr. Studt’s research found that between “1995 and 2015 there has been a 212% increase in THC content in the marijuana flower. In 2017 the most popular strains found in dispensaries in Colorado had a range of THC content from 17–28%.”

Such high potency marijuana, along with the various ways in which it is now available in edible form, makes the potential for problematic use of cannabis an ever growing issue for many communities of people.

How to tell if you or a loved one is using marijuana problematically?

The following criteria come from the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) released by the American Psychiatric Association in 2013:

  • Marijuana is taken in larger amounts or over a longer period of time than was intended.
  • A persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control marijuana use.
  • A great deal of time is spent in activities, necessary to obtain marijuana, use marijuana, or recover from its effects.
  • Craving or a strong desire or urge to use marijuana.
  • Recurrent marijuana use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school or home.
  • Continued marijuana use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of marijuana.
  • Recurrent marijuana use in situations in which it is physically hazardous.
  • Marijuana use is continued despite knowledge of having persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problems likely to have been caused or exacerbated by marijuana.
  • Physical or psychological issues that are likely to have been caused or exacerbated by marijuana use.
  • High tolerance for marijuana.
  • Withdrawal symptoms experienced without using marijuana.

If you or a loved one’s marijuana use meet at least two of these criteria in the past 12 months, then you may be suffering from a substance use disorder requiring treatment.

Speak With A Professional

If you would like to reach out to a substance abuse treatment professional at Flatirons Recovery
call us at 303-219-8571

Marijuana Treatment at Flatirons Recovery

Those wishing to engage in treatment for Marijuana Use Disorder at Flatirons Recovery may engage in a medical detoxification program for a clinically determined period of 2-7 days to ensure that a client is medically stable. However, if a potential client is using marijuana exclusively, a period of detoxification may not be necessary due to the relatively mild withdrawal symptoms that are typically associated with its use.

Treatment for Marijuana Use Disorder at Flatirons Recovery typically begins in our PHP/Day Treatment program for a period of at least 4 weeks, the details of which can be found here.

From there, clients often step-down into our IOP for a period of 4-12 weeks, while continuing to work with their therapeutic team on a plan to address support needs that will be crucial to maintaining recovery after structured treatment ends.