Marijuana Addiction Treatment

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Marijuana use and abuse

Marijuana is considered the “gateway” drug because of its strong addiction potential. The increase in dopamine when inhaled will cause a decreased response over a long term and, over time, a tolerance will develop. When an addiction potential increases, individuals may experiment with other drugs. Although, marijuana use does not directly lead to the use of other illicit drugs, the addiction potential does meaning sometimes users may need assistance in gaining recovery through rehab for weed dependence.

Legalizing this drug has created ambivalence among teenagers and many adolescents admit to using marijuana, which has been shown to cause long-term memory and learning deficits over time as well as blunted emotions and behavior — especially in the younger population, as the brain does not fully develop until approximately 23 years of age.

Legalization of marijuana

Although marijuana has addictive potential, this drug is not considered life threatening. Withdrawal symptoms rarely exist, but may include agitation and nervousness. Additionally, this drug has been used in medical practices to help alleviate many common medical conditions. This is the most common illicit substance used in the United States and the laws and regulations have become more relaxed over the past couple of years.

To date, 25 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of medical marijuana and recreational marijuana is legal in four states and is up for election to be legalized in 11 additional states including California and Maine. Twenty states and the District have decriminalized marijuana, meaning that there is no prison time, arrests or documented criminal records for first-time possessions carrying a small amount of marijuana. Even though the legalities of marijuana have become more widespread, it is still considered a Schedule I drug and users may need help overcoming addiction to the substance through cannabis rehab.

What is Addiction?

Addiction is a disease that manipulates a person’s sense of reward, motivation, memory and a number of related neurological functions.

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Ingredients in marijuana

Marijuana is a naturally occurring plant from the genus Cannabis. More than 60 types of cannabinoids have been identified, but two main ingredients in marijuana have been studied: delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Both of these ingredients are known to produce different effects on the mind and the body.

Marijuana can be inhaled or the active ingredients, THC and CBD, can be baked into food known as edibles. Street names for marijuana include weed, grass, dope, ganja and Mary Jane. Hashish is a related form of marijuana made from the resins of the Indian hemp plant. It is commonly referred to as hash and, on average, is six times stronger than marijuana.

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Effects of THC and CBD

THC, one of the main active ingredients in marijuana, is responsible for the “high” produced from marijuana. Symptoms of THC use include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Increase in appetite
  • Decreased coordination and balance
  • Decreased concentration
  • Euphoria
  • Decreased mental stimulation
  • Decreased motivation

Cannabinoids (CBD) are known to produce some beneficial effects in patients who are prescribed medical marijuana for medical conditions. These common medical conditions include anorexia, chemotherapy side effects, chronic pain, inflammatory bowel disorders, movement disorders, multiple sclerosis, nausea, neuropathic pain and rheumatoid arthritis.

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Marijuana addiction treatment

Marijuana treatment centers, marijuana rehabilitation centers and marijuana detox programs can provide behavioral tools to help the individual break the addiction. Because marijuana does not have severe withdrawal effects, it is not as addictive as other drugs. Therefore, acute treatment for addiction is generally not needed but the help found at marijuana rehab centers can still be important. Acute symptoms from marijuana use usually last four to six hours and if severe anxiety is still present, then low stimulation is recommended.

The use of benzodiazepines for anxiety-related marijuana withdrawal is very controversial since this class of medication is extremely addictive. However, many individuals who use marijuana may also use other, more dangerous drugs such as opioids or cocaine and, therefore, should seek therapy.

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Sovereign Health’s marijuana treatment centers

Sovereign Health’s marijuana rehab centers provide treatment programs that focus on both the physical and psychological effects of marijuana withdrawal. Marijuana abuse can take months or even years to develop into dependence, which is why a user may not even realize that he or she has become addicted to marijuana. Hence, we aim to educate and inform not just our patients, but the general public as well about the hidden consequences that marijuana abuse brings with it.

Withdrawal symptoms may not be too severe, depending on the severity of addiction. In most cases inpatient rehab for weed may not be required unless there is a co-occurring addiction or mental illness. Our intensive outpatient rehab combines counseling and therapy as per the patient’s needs and focuses on wellness, recovery and resiliency. Cognitive behavioral therapy will allow the patients to look outside of their addiction and view their life with a more constructive perspective. We want our patients to recognize their weaknesses and embrace them to emerge stronger in the process. For more information about our treatment programs, please call our 24/7 helpline.