Marinol is the brand name for the generic drug, dronabinol, which is a man-made form of cannabis. Marinol is used to treat loss of appetite in people suffering from AIDS. Marinol is also prescribed for those who experience severe nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy in the treatment of cancer.
One of the most common drugs in the U.S., cannabis is being smoked more and more often among citizens in all demographic sectors. It is not commonly considered an addictive drug, although it is estimated that 10% of all users are in fact addicted. There is still some debate over the seriousness of such an addiction.
As a medication, Marinol offers specific challenges as it is easily abused. It is a controlled substance, a Schedule III under the Controlled Substances Act. Individuals who receive the drug for treatment have been known to report both psychological and physiological dependence. Addiction to Marinol is still considered to be uncommon and can really only arise after prolonged high dose administration.
The abrupt discontinuation of Marinol can cause abstinence syndrome. Withdrawal symptoms as a result of this abrupt cessation can occur within 12 hours of discontinuation of the drug. While the symptoms can be unpleasant, they do tend to disappear within 48 hours of their onset.
Symptoms often associated with the withdrawal from Marinol include, but are not limited to:
- Hot flashes
- Loose stools
Marinol addictions are considered to be rare, but they still occur. In addition there are still instances where an individual will develop a tolerance, then a dependence and finally an addiction due to long-term use or higher than prescribed doses. Those with an addiction to Marinol report a tendency to feel isolated and withdrawn from social contact. It is important for users at any level to remove the drug from their system slowly and within a treatment environment.