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Cannabis Use Disorder

  1. What is cannabis?

Cannabis is classified as cannabinoid drug which is derived from cannabis sativa plant. It primarily contains THC (delta9 tetrahydrocannabinol) and the non-psychoactive cannabidiol (Alcohol and drug foundation, 2020). It is often smoked or eaten to create sense of euphoria. Other names are marijuana, weed, pot, hash, ganja etc.

  1. Why do people use cannabis?

Cannabis is used for medical (recommended by doctor) as well as recreational purposes, which is illegal at some places (Lin et. al., 2016).

  1. What are the main causes of taking cannabis?

For medical usage the main causes are (Lintzeris, 2018):

  • Anxiety
  • Back pain
  • Depression
  • Sleeping disorder
  • Neck pain
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

For recreational purpose, the main cause is feeling of euphoria and addiction.

  1. Cannabis use in the community? (Berwick suburb)

Easily available and prevalent in young people.

  1. What are the risks of using cannabis?

The people are using cannabis for medical purposes as well as recreational purposes share the common such as (Alcohol and drug foundation, 2020):

  • Feeling of ecstasy
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased appetite
  • Memory loss
  • Increased heart rate
  • Slower reflexes
  1. How do people get addicted with it? As a medicine (legal/illegal)

The main reason behind addiction is said to be regular use of high potency marijuana and its addictive chemistry (Lintzeris, 2018).

  1. How people misuse cannabis?

Those who use cannabis for medical purpose, gets addicted to it and start consuming high potency drugs more often than the prescribed frequency. Those who use it for recreational purpose also have similar misuse behaviour (Lin, 2016).

  1. What is CUD? (Cannabis used disorder)

Cannabis use disorder (CUD) can be defines as a problematic pattern of cannabis use leading to clinically substantial injuries or distress, exhibited by two or more symptoms occurring within the period of one year (Kimmel & Lopez, 2018).

  1. Side effect of CUD? (Cannabis used disorder)
  • Important social, professional or other recreational activities are skipped or reduced because of cannabis use.
  • A desire or urge to use cannabis. 
  • Regular cannabis use results in failure to fulfil responsibilities at work, school, or home (Patel & Marwaha, 2020).
  1. Sign and symptoms of cannabis used disorder?
  • Development of tolerance towards the effect of the substance
  • Continuous urge to use cannabis
  • Falling mental and physical health
  • Sleeping disorder
  • Panic attacks and anxiety
  • Hallucinations and delusions
  • Feeling physically ill when not using the substance. (Patel & Marwaha, 2020).
  1. Management of CUD (Treatment)?

Supportive environment such as calm, non-simulating surrounding may help the person in managing CUD. Monitoring psychological symptoms (Patel & Marwaha, 2020). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET), and combination of both, may be used as treatment methods (Kimmel & Lopez, 2018). Although there is no FDA approved medication available, specific symptoms can be targeted for treatment.

  1. Who can help?
  • Directline is a 24*7 online counselling service.
  • Australian Drug Information Network provides details about places across all states and territory in Australia where one can seek help and information.
  • National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline connects one to the Alcohol and drug information service of their state or territory.
  1. Recreational use of cannabis?

Around 180 million people use cannabis for recreational purpose throughout the globe (Bonomo et. al., 2018). Some states in Australia have legalized the recreational use of cannabis within limited amount. But, it prohibited in most of the territories (Department of health, Australian Government, 2019).

  1. Treatments for withdrawal cannabis?

Detoxification centres, rehabilitation programs, support groups and positive environment along with regular clinical help are the treatments for withdrawal of cannabis. (Brezing & Levin, 2018; Kimmel & Lopez, 2018)

  1. Problem caused by withdrawal.
  • Aggression and irritability
  • Anxiety and nervousness
  • Insomnia
  • Weight loss
  • Fever, chills, headache
  • Depressed mood (Patel & Marwaha, 2020).
  1. Where to seek help for withdrawal, and how?

Cannabis withdrawal management program run by Government of South Australia, can be contacted through telephone or email. Contacting rehabilitation centres or health care centres of your territory via phone call or email.

  1. Consider the nature of public attitude towards diagnosis of CUD With an addicted problem how you break the barriers?

A CUD diagnosed person often faces humiliation and disrespect from the public. This further degrade the person’s problem. Instead of mocking and shaming that person, they must be motivated and provided care and calm environment.

  1. Problem associated with lifestyle dependence.

The social activeness is adversely affected. A person feels hard to maintain kinship and personal-professional ties. This also effects their working efficiency, hence leading them to a life of poverty.

  1. How can counselling help?

Counselling gives that person moral encouragement and mental support. Along with medication proper counselling and support programs is the most proficient way of treatment.

  1. Tips for avoiding cannabis use/or stay away from cannabis use?
  • Avoiding company of cannabis addicts.
  • Focusing on positive recreational methods
  • Maintaining physical health
  • Avoiding places where cannabis is easily accessible.
  1. How to make positive change in some’s life?

Talking with them about those topics which keeps them calm. Asking them to go for a walk. Encouraging reading habit.

  1. Physical wellbeing for people having cannabis disorder?
  • Drink water at regular interval, stay hydrated.
  • Eat healthy foods, avoid greasy oily food.
  • Exercise daily for at least 30 minutes.
  1. How cannabis cause mental disorder?

The cannabis affects mental health, the person suffers from anxieties, hallucination, sleeping disorder etc. This may lead to an unpleasant lifestyle.

  1. How people can control over cannabis use?

Take clinical and medical help. Do not hesitate in asking for support from friends and family. Keep good care of mental health. Avoiding all those things, people, place which reminds them of cannabis.

References for Cannabis Use Disorder

Bonomo, Y., Souza, J. D. S., Jackson, A., Crippa J. A. S & Solowij, N. (2018).Clinical issues in cannabis use. British journal of clinical pharmacology, 84, 2495– Doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/bcp.13703

Brezing, C. & Levin, F. The Current State of Pharmacological Treatments for Cannabis Use Disorder and Withdrawal. Neuropsychopharmacol, 43173–194 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/npp.2017.212

Kimmel, H. L., & Lopez, M. F. (2018). Cannabis Use Disorder: Recent Findings and Future Directions. Current Addiction Reports.Doi: 10.1007/s40429-018-0223-x

Lin, L. A., Ilgen, M. A., Jannausch, M., & Bohnert, K. M. (2016). Comparing adults who use cannabis medically with those who use recreationally: Results from a national sample. Addictive Behaviors, 61, 99–103. Doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2016.05.015

Lintzeris, N., Driels, J., Elias, N., Arnold, J. C., McGregor, I. S., & Allsop, D. J. (2018). Medicinal cannabis in Australia, 2016: the Cannabis as Medicine Survey (CAMS-16). The Medical Journal of Australia, 1.doi:10.5694/mja17.01247 

Patel, J. & Marwaha, R. (2020). Cannabis Use Disorder. Statpearls publishing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK538131/

Alcohol & Drug Foundation Australia. (2020, June). Cannabis. https://adf.org.au/drug-facts/cannabis/

Australian Drug Information Network. https://www.health.gov.au/contacts/australian-drug-information-network-adin

Department of health, Australian Government. (2019, October). Drugs laws in Australia. https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/drugs/about-drugs/drug-laws-in-australia

Direct line. https://www.directline.org.au/

National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline. https://www.health.gov.au/contacts/national-alcohol-and-other-drug-hotline-contact

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