Last updated: 04/30/2019
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review
Reading Time: 2 minutes
Drug use and psychological disturbances are very closely related. In fact, addiction is sometimes considered a mental illness. Recent research has shown that there are direct links between the use of certain illicit drugs and specific mental illnesses.
One of these links connects the use of the most popular illicit drug, marijuana, with one of the most common mental issues, anxiety. With the connection between these two things, it only makes sense to treat them at the same time. There are a few things to know to understand how marijuana and anxiety treatment go hand in hand.
Marijuana and Anxiety
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, there is a scientifically known link between regular marijuana use and anxiety.
Many marijuana users, particularly those that start using it at a young age, become dependent on it, leading to prolonged use and a drastically increased chance of developing anxiety disorders.
This is because marijuana changes the way the brain functions by altering brain chemistry and affecting specific chemical pathways that are related to pleasure, higher brain function, and perception.
Seeking addiction treatment is the best way to stop this damage from getting worse, and to address both the dependence on marijuana and the resulting anxiety.
New Treatments for Marijuana Addiction using Anxiety Medication
The newly discovered link between marijuana addiction and anxiety has led to promising research into the treatment of both disorders. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there is currently research going on in the use of certain drugs to aid in the treatment of marijuana use and anxiety.
One of the drugs being researched is Ambien. Ambien is a prescription medication that helps with sleep problems, including those associated with marijuana withdrawal and anxiety.
Another drug being used is BuSpar. This is an anti-anxiety and anti-stress medication that has been used to treat panic attacks and similar disorders for a number of years. It is helpful in treating anxiety related to marijuana addiction because it has relaxing properties.
Anti-epileptic drugs have also shown a promise in the treatment of marijuana use and associated anxiety. In people suffering from these disorders, anti-epileptics help improve sleep and may improve higher brain function.
While all of these drugs are being used in small studies and on trial bases, they are not a solution to marijuana addiction, nor a protection from the damages of continued marijuana use. The only way to truly reduce these risks and get off of marijuana is to seek addiction treatment.