What is Marijuana Addiction Treatment?
Therapy is the cornerstone of marijuana addiction treatment. The mission of marijuana addiction treatment will be to provide patients with the ability to cope with or avoid marijuana triggers, so they’re able to fight against relapse when placed in tempting situations. So what exactly is marijuana and how is it used?
Marijuana is a plant that has been converted into dried leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the cannabis Sativa plant, which produces the psychoactive chemical known as delta-nine tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Materials from a cannabis plant can also be converted into a resin known as a hash, into a sticky black liquid known as hash oil, and as a syrup consistency known as dabs.
Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, typically smoked out of a water bong, a pipe, or a hand-rolled cigarette known as a joint. Marijuana can also be broken down and rolled up into a cigar blunt, which is emptied of the tobacco and filled with marijuana. The smoke marijuana produces a distinctive and pungent sweet and sour odor to it.
Why is Marijuana So Hard to Quit?
Due to peer pressure, marijuana has been known as one of the hardest substances to quit. With social acceptance is increasing daily for marijuana use, it is now as easy to receive or be offered the substance throughout households and establishments as alcohol is.
Most addicts feel they do not have a problem, and friends and family members surrounding them will not see a problem either. However, though, a majority of individuals who use marijuana daily will also usually show all of the traditional symptoms of an addict. These are the ones who are unable to control their use, regardless of the consequences.
Patients receiving Marijuana addiction treatment are predominately the ones who have used marijuana chronically daily. These are the individuals who have attempted to quit multiple times and were unable to do it alone. Similar to trying to change any habits, quitting marijuana will be hard, but everything can change instantly. As soon as an individual agrees to receive marijuana addiction treatment, they will soon visually see how their lives are about to change for the best.
Is Marijuana Addictive?
In short, yes Marijuana is addictive. When using marijuana, the active ingredient THC will latch to receptors in the brain that triggers reactions associated with relaxation and bliss. This chemical manipulation makes the brain resist the process by shutting down or turning off receptors. In other words, the brain becomes altered by marijuana, and in time, the mind may only again function and optimal level once marijuana has been ingested.
Marijuana promoters would like people to think that the substance is harmless, safe, organic, and utterly benign. In other words, they want people to believe that marijuana does not cause any addictive patterns whatsoever.
However, the National Institute of Drug Abuse has stated that roughly 9 percent of individuals abusing marijuana will develop an addiction within time. That risk will rise to 17 percent if the individual starts their marijuana habit during their teen years, which also increases to 50% for individuals using marijuana daily.
Statistics have demonstrated that marijuana does trigger addiction psychologically by making chemical changes inside the brain. Behavioral intentions, which include cognitive-behavioral therapy and motivational incentives, have been proven effective, and marijuana addiction treatment.
Individuals who have developed a marijuana addiction will become irritable and restless when trying to quit using it suddenly. Deep cravings for marijuana will be created that will interrupt work, hobbies, and sleep. This is not a staple of addiction symptoms and is a highly known risk of marijuana abuse.
Marijuana Abuse Effects
Once marijuana is smoked, the THC will pass rapidly from the lungs into the bloodstream, and from there carries to the brain and throughout the body. THC becomes absorbed more slowly when ingested through drink or food forms.
Regardless of the way THC is ingested, the substance will act individually on the brain cell’s cannabinoid receptors. Those receptors which are typically activated by THC chemicals produced naturally by the body, which are also a part of the neural communication network, play a vital role in healthy brain function and development.
The greatest density of cannabinoid receptors will be found in sections of the brain that influence thinking, memory, concentration, pleasure, time perception, sensory, and coordinated movements.
Using marijuana will over-activate the endocannabinoid system which gives feelings of being high and other effects users experience which include:
- Troubled thinking and problem-solving
- Difficulty learning and recollection of memory
- Altered mood and perception
- Decreased appetite
- Impaired coordination
Research has stated that abusing marijuana causes or exacerbates issues in an individual’s daily life. Heavy marijuana users will tend to become lazier with their everyday routines and distance with friends who do not use.
Health Risks of Marijuana Abuse
Using marijuana will come with a range of health issues that are related to heart and lung problems and mental health issues. Smoking marijuana irritates the lungs, and frequent smokers could experience respiratory matters similar to tobacco smokers which include:
- Destroys brain cells
- Damages the immune system
- Damages the central nervous system
- Frequently experiencing chest illness
- Daily phlegm production and cough
- Increased blood pressure and heart rate
- Fertility issues
- Higher risk of lung infections
Several studies have linked chronic marijuana usage to mental illness. Higher and more potent doses may produce temporary psychotic reactions for some users. Using marijuana can also worsen the course of disease for patients who have schizophrenia. A series of extensive and longitudinal studies had also shown there’s a link between marijuana usage, causing the development in psychosis.
Abusing Marijuana has also been associated with other mental health conditions which include:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Personality disturbances
- Lack of motivation to engage in usually exciting activities
Research has proven marijuana abuse can negatively affect the brain development of youth who use heavily. Marijuana’s effects on memory and thinking could last an extended period or even become permanent.
A study conducted about individuals who began using marijuana in their adolescence had shown substantially reduced connectivity in parts of the brain which are responsible for memory and learning. Studies have also shown that individuals who began smoking weed heavily in their teens had dropped roughly eight points in IQ between ages 13-40. Any lost cognitive abilities will not fully be restored for individuals who quit using marijuana as adults. As for those who had only smoked weed as an adult, they did not show any significant decline in IQ.
Additionally, because marijuana use can impair motor coordination and judgment, using it contributes to a higher risk of injury and sometimes death while operating a vehicle, especially a motorcycle. Data analysis has suggested that marijuana usage can more than double a driver’s risk of causing an accident. On a related note, combining marijuana with alcohol will increase driving impairment extremely more than either substance does alone.
Marijuana Addiction Symptoms
Individuals with marijuana addiction are usually diagnosed in their adolescence or young adult years. Recently though, there have been trends of greater social acceptance of marijuana usage. With marijuana continuing to become increasingly available in both recreational and medical forms, marijuana addiction treatment cases will also be on the rise. Similar to other forms of substance addiction, marijuana dependency also shows some physical and behavioral signs, which include:
- Coordination impaired
- Perception distorted
- Difficulty problem solving and thinking
- Residual problems with memory and learning
Some other signs of marijuana addiction include:
- Slowed reaction time
- Poor memory
- Red, blurry, bloodshot eyes
- Rapid heartbeat
- Dry mouth
- Anxiety and paranoia
- Mucus-filled cough
- Poor coordination
- Losing control
Marijuana Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms
Some more common marijuana withdrawal symptoms include:
- Decreased appetite or weight loss
- Depressed mood
- Spur cravings
- Mood swings
- Insomnia or extreme fatigue
- Irritability, anger or aggression
- Physical symptoms such as sweating, fever, or chills
- Sleep issues
- Unable to experience pleasure
Most are surprised to hear that marijuana abuse does produce withdrawal effects. Long-term drug usage is associated with multiple symptoms of marijuana withdrawal, which usually develop within the first week of discontinuing use.
Because many of the listed withdrawal symptoms mirror warning signs of other issues, an assessment by an expert medical addiction professional will be necessary to determine if marijuana withdrawal is the cause.
Treatment for Marijuana Addiction
Although Individuals with a marijuana addiction do not exhibit physical symptoms, and they’re able to function at a higher level than individuals with heroin or meth addiction, it doesn’t mean they have not become dependent on marijuana. There are many misconceptions about the addictive nature of marijuana addiction that should not hold individuals who need marijuana addiction treatment from receiving it.
Marijuana addiction treatment options are very similar to other treatment program protocols for addiction to alcohol and other substances. Therapy programs like 12-step facilitation, motivational enhancement therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and different scientifically proven approaches are effective marijuana addiction treatment options. Each patient will be analyzed for information about other drugs that were regularly used and written a customized schedule for their specific treatment needs.
The first option for marijuana addiction treatments available for individuals with a dependency includes support groups in therapy. Many patients receiving marijuana addiction treatment will use behavioral therapy to tackle the psychological aspects of their substance addiction. The amount of time that is spent in behavioral therapy will vary on an independent basis, but those sessions usually last around 12 weeks.
Individuals who undergo behavioral therapy can help themselves in understanding their addictions and motivations more clearly. This is a sure-fire way for individuals to arm themselves against cravings and relapse. When using a primarily psychological drug like marijuana, it is vital to implement cognitive behavioral therapy combined with other therapeutic methods.
Support Groups Help with Long Term Recovery
Support groups are one of the most common ways individuals can receive long-term recovery help. Multiple support groups are available for individuals wishing to kick their habit. Marijuana Anonymous (MA) is the most specific support group for this particular substance addiction.
The group is modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and includes 12-step programs to help patients work through their addiction. Because a majority of communities do not offer MA, most individuals seeking support in the recovery will find Narcotics Anonymous (NA) to be a more viable option.
There are also other support groups that exist like the SMART recovery program, which are for individuals looking for treatment options that are different from the traditional 12-step programs.
Starting Marijuana Rehab Right Now
Beating addiction to marijuana is possible. Many people may believe that such a treatment program is unnecessary, but there are many who have sought this treatment for marijuana. Trying to overcome any addiction alone is difficult. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Here at Ken Seeley Rehab, we believe there’s no “perfect” time to enlist the help of marijuana addiction treatment. This drug is powerful, and it can cause addictions. Those who get help may finally be able to stop their marijuana use. When they do, new vistas of life may open up all around.