Marijuana Addiction Treatment

Cannabis, or marijuana, is a widely used and widely available drug derived from the cannabis plant. It’s now legally available for both medical and recreational use in some states, and can be bought from dispensaries. However, like other legal drugs like alcohol, it still carries risks and is highly regulated.

Marijuana

The main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), makes the user feel relaxed and euphoric, and causes mild change in perception. It is generally smoked in a social setting, though some users will consume it alone and more regularly.

How dangerous is cannabis?

Due to the fact that there are no recorded deaths from cannabis use, many are fooled into thinking that it’s completely risk free, but this isn’t quite the case. Cannabis can cause severe mental health problems, and cannabis use by those with existing conditions like schizophrenia can exacerbate their condition.

Regular cannabis use is linked to psychotic illness in later life, as well as poor levels of concentration, memory loss and inertia. There are even studies that show heavy cannabis use can affect sperm count and fertility.
Just like alcohol, it’s illegal to drive while under the influence of cannabis, and when mixed with alcohol, the accident rate can be as high as 16 times more likely.

Social problems linked to cannabis use

A 2013 study conducted by the US drug czar found that cannabis is the drug most commonly linked to crime. A group of men arrested in an area of California for various crimes were all drug tested, and 80% had traces of cannabis detected in their urine. Similar results were found in New York, Atlanta, Chicago and Denver.

These results show a correlation rather than direct causation – cannabis doesn’t guarantee a life of crime. However, there is a strong link to crime and social problems, and it can often make users susceptible to trying harder drugs.

Is cannabis as addictive as other drugs?

Some do become dependent on cannabis, finding themselves unable to function, socialize or work without smoking it on a daily basis. Like any habit, it can be difficult and stressful to break. Cannabis use is heavily linked to mental health issues, so the paranoia and anxiety linked with sustained cannabis use can become a continual problem, causing someone to feel they cannot leave their home without getting high, for example.

Common cannabis withdrawal symptoms:

  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating and shaking
  • Irritability

Cannabis and marijuana addiction treatment

There are currently no specific medications that can treat cannabis addiction, though there are various other options which have been found to make a difference.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a form of psychotherapy which can help people correct their own problematic and harmful behavior. Using talking therapy as well as learning ways to exercise self control over behavior, patients can begin to understand their own way of thinking much better through CBT.

Motivational Enhancement Therapy

This is a form of intervention therapy, which helps people motivate themselves towards recovery. Due to the lethargy and lack of motivation that regular cannabis use can cause, encouraging addicts to gain control of their lives again can be particularly empowering.

Medication to tackle negative side effects

marijuana treatmentThere are a variety of reasons why people use cannabis, and when it reaches the point of addiction, users are likely to find it helps them sleep and keeps their mood more positive. It’s important to tackle these at their root cause, and give former addicts a way to stay positive and sleep well without using cannabis. Sleep aids like zolpidem and anti-anxiety drugs like buspirone, as well as a course of antidepressants, can make recovery easier and relapse less likely.


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