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Marijuana Addiction Treatment

Marijuana is a widely used drug in many parts of the world. It is derived from cannabis plant material and contains psychoactive compounds that produce mind-altering effects.

While some people use marijuana for recreational or medical purposes, others may develop an addiction to it. The chemical compounds in marijuana can lead to changes in brain chemistry, ultimately resulting in addiction. This can be a challenge, especially for individuals who have struggled with substance use disorders with an illicit drug in the past.

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Understanding Marijuana Addiction

Marijuana addiction, also known as cannabis use disorder, is a chronic and relapsing condition characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior and continued use despite negative consequences.

Like any other addictive substance, it affects the brain’s reward system and can lead to changes in behavior, cognition, and emotional regulation. The drug’s intoxicating effects can make it difficult for individuals to stop using it, even if they want to.

Symptoms of Marijuana Addiction

It can be difficult to identify marijuana addiction, as the symptoms may vary from person to person. However, some common signs and symptoms of marijuana addiction include:

  • Uncontrollable cravings for marijuana
  • Difficulty in controlling the amount or frequency of use
  • Spending a lot of time obtaining, using, or recovering from marijuana
  • Neglecting responsibilities at work, school, or home due to marijuana use
  • Using marijuana despite knowing its negative impact on health
  • Withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, and insomnia when attempting to stop using marijuana

What are the Negative Effects of Marijuana Abuse?

While marijuana may have short-term effects such as relaxation, altered senses, and euphoria, it can also have long-term negative effects on both mental and physical health. These include:

  • Respiratory issues: Marijuana smoke contributes to lung irritation and can lead to respiratory problems such as chronic coughing, bronchitis, and increased risk of lung infections.
  • Memory and cognitive impairments: Marijuana smoking contributes to issues with memory, attention, and other cognitive functions. It may also lower IQ levels in adolescents who use it regularly.
  • Increased risk of mental disorders: Long-term use of marijuana has been linked to an increased risk of developing mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and psychosis.
  • Social and relationship problems: Marijuana addiction can strain relationships with friends, family, and romantic partners due to changes in behavior and priorities.
  • Effects on the central nervous system: Marijuana can affect brain development in adolescents, leading to impaired decision-making skills and an increased risk of addiction.
  • Mood-impaired coordination difficulty: Marijuana use can affect coordination and reaction time, making it dangerous to operate heavy machinery or drive a vehicle.
  • Immune system suppression: Frequent marijuana use may suppress the immune systems of certain individuals, making them more susceptible to infections and illnesses.
  • Temporary psychotic reaction: High doses of marijuana can cause temporary psychotic reactions in some individuals, characterized by hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia.

While some states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, it does not mean that the drug is completely safe. The long-term effects of medical cannabis use are still being studied, and it can also lead to addiction and potential negative consequences and health risks.

Additionally, self-medicating with marijuana may prevent individuals from seeking proper medical treatment for underlying health conditions. Even if an individual is legally using marijuana, it is essential to monitor use and discuss any concerns with a medical professional.

weed addiction

Can Smoking Marijuana Regularly Lead to Withdrawal?

Contrary to popular belief, individuals who smoke marijuana on a regular basis can experience physical withdrawal symptoms as well as psychological ones when attempting to quit. Marijuana withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Irritability, mood swings, and anxiety
  • Insomnia or sleep disturbances
  • Decreased appetite or weight loss
  • Strong cravings for marijuana
  • Restlessness and physical discomfort

Seeking treatment from a healthcare professional if you or someone you know is struggling to stop using marijuana can help ease withdrawal symptoms.

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Get The Care You Need and Deserve

Woburn Addiction Treatment is a leader in the addiction treatment field, with proven success in facilitating long-term recovery. Our team of top clinical & medical experts specializes in treating addiction coupled with mental illness, ensuring that each person receives individualized care. Call us – we’re available 24/day, 7 days/week.

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Marijuana Addiction Treatment

Marijuana addiction treatment may involve a combination of therapy, support groups, and medication. The first step towards recovery is acknowledging the problem and seeking help from a healthcare professional.

Inpatient Treatment vs Outpatient Treatment

An inpatient treatment program involves staying at a rehabilitation center for a designated period, while outpatient treatment allows individuals to receive addiction treatment for drug use while living at home.

The type of treatment recommended depends on the severity of addiction and individual needs. Factors that may contribute to the decision of whether inpatient or outpatient services may be a better treatment for marijuana use disorder include:

  • The level of support marijuana users have available at home
  • Co-occurring mental illness
  • History of chronic relapse

Therapeutic Services

Therapeutic services for marijuana users may include individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy. These sessions aim to address underlying issues that contribute to addiction and help individuals develop coping mechanisms to manage cravings and negative emotions.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a commonly used therapeutic approach for marijuana abuse. Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) may also be used to help individuals build motivation for change and engage in treatment.

Aftercare Services Can Prevent Relapse

Completing a marijuana treatment program is an important step, but staying sober in the long run requires ongoing support. Aftercare services may include continued therapy, support groups, and sober living arrangements. These resources can provide individuals with the tools and support they need to maintain their sobriety long-term.

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Drug Abuse Resources For Cannabis Use Disorder

There are various resources available for individuals struggling with marijuana addiction and their loved ones. These may include support groups, counseling services, and treatment facilities specializing in drug addiction. Here are some commonly used resources for cannabis use disorder:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

SAMHSA is an invaluable resource for addiction education and support. SAMHSA provides a wealth of educational resources and data about substance use disorder, including marijuana addiction, aiming to equip individuals, families, and healthcare providers with the necessary knowledge and strategies to tackle substance abuse. They offer comprehensive information on the signs and symptoms of addiction, treatment options, and prevention methods.

SAMHSA also provides a facility locator tool. This tool is instrumental in connecting individuals suffering from addiction with the help they need. By simply entering a zip code or city name, users can quickly locate nearby treatment centers, making the path to recovery more accessible than ever.

Marijuana Anonymous (MA)

Marijuana Anonymous (MA) is a 12-step program that provides support to individuals struggling with marijuana addiction. It follows the same principles as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, focusing on complete abstinence from drugs and personal accountability for recovery. MA offers regular meetings, sponsorships, and online resources for those seeking help.

MA also emphasizes community and peer support, highlighting the importance of sharing experiences and learning from others who are also on the path to recovery. Members can find solace in knowing they are not alone and can draw strength from a community that understands their struggles.

Additionally, MA provides literature on marijuana addiction, offering further insight and tips to handle cravings and avoid triggers. Importantly, MA also offers virtual meetings for individuals who cannot physically attend or prefer the privacy of online communication.

Cannabis Addiction and Mental Health

Cannabis addiction may often co-occur with a mental disorder, presenting a complex interplay that intensifies both complications. Research suggests a bidirectional relationship, with mental health disorders predisposing individuals to cannabis use and vice versa.

Depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are among the common conditions associated with cannabis addiction. Individuals with these conditions may resort to marijuana use as a form of self-medication, seeking temporary relief from their symptoms. However, over time, this can lead to dependency and addiction.

Conversely, regular and heavy cannabis use, particularly during adolescence when the brain is still developing, may increase the risk of developing psychiatric disorders. This especially holds for individuals with a family history of mental illnesses or those at risk due to environmental factors.

Who is at Risk For Cannabis Addiction?

While anyone can develop an addiction to marijuana, certain factors may increase one’s risk. These include:

  • Genetics: Research and clinical evidence suggest that genetics plays a role in vulnerability to addiction. Individuals with a family history of drug or alcohol abuse are at a higher risk.
  • Age of first use: Early exposure to marijuana, particularly during adolescence when the brain is still developing, increases the risk of developing an addiction.
  • Co-occurring mental health disorders: Individuals with preexisting mental health conditions are more likely to develop a cannabis addiction.
  • Tobacco smokers: Studies show that individuals who smoke tobacco are more likely to develop a marijuana addiction.
  • Individuals with a history of drug use: A history of substance abuse, particularly with other drugs, can increase one’s likelihood of developing a marijuana addiction.

Addiction Treatment for Chronic Marijuana Use and Addiction

If you or a loved one is struggling with marijuana addiction, it may be time to seek treatment. At Woburn Addiction Treatment, our team of addiction specialists is dedicated to helping individuals overcome their drug addiction and achieve lasting recovery.

Our treatment programs are tailored to meet each individual’s unique needs and address any co-occurring mental health disorders that may be present.

Reach out to us today so we can provide more information about our marijuana addiction treatment approaches and help you or your loved one take the first step towards a healthier, drug-free life. Recovery is possible with the right support and guidance. Don’t wait any longer – start your journey to recovery now.

Sources:

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Principles of drug addiction treatment: a research-based guide (third edition).
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2022, September 27). Learn About Marijuana Risks.
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019, December 24). Cannabis (marijuana) drugfacts.
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Medically Reviewed By

Inessa Maloney, MS, LMHC Clinical Director
Learn about Inessa Maloney

Inessa Maloney, MS, LMHC has been dedicated to the mental health and substance abuse field for a decade, providing her expertise to guarantee quality and accuracy.

  • Specializes in outpatient services with a focus on substance abuse
  • Expertise in reality-based therapy, CBT/DBT, and motivational interviewing
  • Holds a Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling
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