How To Treat Marijuana Addiction

Addiction to marijuana seems to be similar to other addictions to substance use, even though in the long run, the clinical results may be less intense. Normally, adults who seek treatment for addiction to marijuana have engaged in the usage of marijuana almost daily for over 8 years and at some point made an effort to quit over four times. Users addicted to marijuana, especially teenagers, very often tend to suffer some psychiatric issues. And very often are addicted to other substances apart from marijuana, for example, alcohol. Studies however, show that treating any mental health issues effectively with standard treatments which could involve behavioural therapy or medications could assist in the use of marijuana, especially among chronic users.

Identifying Addiction To Marijuana

Before any treatment to addiction of marijuana can occur, there has to be acceptance of the actual problem. A lot of users argue that marijuana is not addictive and that it cannot be abused. Usually they don’t understand how the addiction is diagnosed.

If you have a doubt about if you are addicted to marijuana and may be in need of help, some of the common symptoms are listed below:

  • Not comfortable if user is not high
  • Cravings for marijuana when not using it
  • Loss of control over intended use
  • Gradual increase of dose (tolerance to THC is being developed)
  • Staying in the company of people using marijuana
  • Trying to quit, but not succeeding
  • Loss of interest in work or school

Treatment For Marijuana Addiction

There are three stages that marijuana therapy can occur:

  1. Detox
  2. Behavioural therapy or psychotherapy
  3. Continued support from a group

The first phase in the treatment of marijuana starts with detox. Here the body is purged of the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that was accumulated. Marijuana withdrawal is often uncomfortable, especially in chronic users. Admitting the user in the hospital is not usually necessary during detox, but being supervised medically is advised for users who are:

  • Addicted to substances and cannot stop
  • Suffering from co-occurring mental disorders
  • Trying to quit and not being able to do so several times
  • Lacking a secure surrounding to detox

Is it possible to be addicted to weed? It is very possible and this is evident in the manifesting of clinical symptoms during withdrawal. Some users undergo mild marijuana withdrawal symptoms which can be treated in the house with medications from over the counter. However, chronic users are advised to get medical attention.

Presently, no medications are available to treat the symptoms associated with physical dependency of marijuana. However, researchers are currently researching new treatments.

After the detox phase, psychological and behavioural therapy is necessary. The aim of the treatment is to aid the user in maintaining abstinence and also take on a healthy lifestyle. The common behavioural treatment includes:

  • Contingency management: this is a therapeutic management approach which is usually the regular observation of the target behaviour and the elimination of substantial, affirmative treatment when the target behaviour occurs.
  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy: this is a form of psychotherapy that teaches people the approach to recognize and correct difficult behaviours in order to boost self-discipline, quit the use of drugs and also deal with a variety of problems that occur alongside.
  • Motivational enhancement therapy: this is a systematic way of intervening and is intended to create quick, internally motivated change. This therapy mobilizes the user’s internal resources for change and engagement in treatment rather that attempting to treat the user.

Treatment For Marijuana Addiction

Where can you receive the treatment for addiction to marijuana? There are professional settings that refer, assess, offer and manage treatments for addictions. These include:

  1. Detox clinics: these clinics focus on helping users detox from the use of drugs while treating the physical symptoms of withdrawal and giving assistance medically when needed. Chronic cases of anxiety or depression should be managed medically during withdrawal.
  2. Treatment centres for addiction: such centres usually have the outpatient and inpatient clinics respectively. Also referred to as rehab centres, and they offer both pharmacological and behavioural treatments with follow up services.
  3. Clinical psychiatrists and psychologists: specialists in this field have been trained to identify and treat any drug addictions, through psychotherapy and behavioural treatments. Getting the help of these professionals is highly advised for users in denial or chronic users.
  4. Social workers: if you need financial assistance in recovering from addiction, getting the help of a social worker is advised.
  5. Support groups for addiction: you can take some time out to stay around people who are also experiencing the same thing and get their advice on how they stopped.

It is also important to note that in seeking an option for treatment, it is best to think about the user’s need. Therefore, the most advisable form of treatment is one where the user’s preferences and needs are taken into account and are met.

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