Marijuana Addiction Treatment Center
Inspire Malibu specializes in treating marijuana use disorders. Like other drug abuse problems, marijuana dependency needs to be addressed from a psychological, clinical and social prospective.
Marijuana use disorder responds extremely well to both Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as well as Motivational Enhancement Therapy. These 2 types of psychological interventions have been proven to be very effective, according to a recent government survey.
At Inspire Malibu, treatment for marijuana use disorder starts with a full and complete assessment and evaluation. This helps our staff to understand the person’s psychological profile and determine if there are any co-occurring psychological disorders present.
When this is the case, the person might be using marijuana to self-medicate in order to feel relief and appropriate therapies will be utilized for successful treatment.
Treatment for Cannabis Use Disorder
If you, or someone that you care about, is currently struggling with an addiction or dependence to marijuana, it’s important to assess if marijuana use is negatively affecting normal, daily life. Many times people think they’re fine and marijuana is harmless, but a deeper look may show otherwise.
More times than not, heavy users who are being honest admit they were more motivated and focused when they weren’t using marijuana, they did better in school or work activities, and they most likely had more self-esteem and confidence overall.
Admitting that there might be a problem is the first step to successful treatment. Denial is always problematic and is often the biggest hurdle to recovery.
Marijuana is Addictive
While there has been much debate in recent years about whether marijuana is actually addictive, the majority of studies show that frequent marijuana use over the long-term can lead to physical and psychological dependency.
While marijuana may not be as addictive as cocaine, heroin, or crystal meth, long-term use can lead to a dependency to the drug, that affects almost 15% of all regular marijuana users. It is estimated that marijuana accounts for nearly 4.5 million of the estimated 7.2 million Americans dependent on or abusing illicit drugs.
Marijuana addiction is also linked to mild withdrawal symptoms, that can be similar to nicotine withdrawal symptoms when people quit smoking cigarettes. These can include irritability, depression, difficulty sleeping, constant cravings, anxiety, and depression.
While many like to claim that smoking marijuana is practically harmless and it has no serious long-term side effects, this is factually not accurate. While marijuana may not be as dangerous as crystal meth, cocaine, or heroin, it does come with a number of short-term and long-term health effects that potential users need to be aware of. Marijuana can potentially impair the brain’s short-term memory function, making it more difficult to learn and retain information, as well as manage simple everyday tasks.
Frequent marijuana use can also lead to a rapid fluctuation in mood which can lead to depression, increased anxiety, and paranoia. Marijuana has also been shown to increase heart rate by as much as 40 percent, and can increase the risk of heart attack, especially in individuals already suffering from existing heart disease.
Effects of Marijuana Use
When marijuana is smoked, THC rapidly passes from the lungs into the bloodstream, which carries the chemical to the brain and other organs throughout the body. It is absorbed more slowly when ingested in food or drink.
Studies show that of the adults seeking treatment for marijuana abuse, most have used marijuana daily for at least 10 years and have attempted to quit on their own six times. Marijuana dependence is highest among people with other psychiatric conditions, such as depression, bipolar, anxiety or panic disorder.
Marijuana use often occurs while using other drugs, like cocaine and alcohol. Long-term marijuana use can produce physical, mental, emotional and behavioral issues. It impairs short-term memory, judgment and distorts perception.
When a person is using marijuana every day, it can gradually begin interfering with the overall quality and perspective of their life. Often a very slow gradual process, the compulsion to smoke marijuana becomes the most important focal point of that person’s life. Studies connect marijuana use with more absences, tardiness, accidents and turnover at work.
Use on the Rise
In 2012, more than 31 million Americans aged 13 or older reported using marijuana at least once over the past year. While marijuana use, especially among teens, was on a consistent decline for much of the 1990s, and into the early 2000s, this trend has completely reversed in recent years showing a significant increase in marijuana use across all age groups. So what is the reason behind this recent spike in marijuana use and is it really as dangerous as many experts say?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s “2015 Monitoring the Future Survey,” more high school seniors now smoke marijuana on a daily basis than cigarettes.
After the November 2016 election, new marijuana initiatives passed legislation and it is now legal for recreational and medical use in more states than ever before. Before the election, recreational marijuana was legal for 5 percent of the population, but that number jumped to 20 percent after the election. Because it is now legal in more states than ever before, there is also more access to it.
Today’s new strains and ways to ingest marijuana are far more potent than in previous years. Marijuana concentrates, sometimes called “dabs” or “shatter,” can be as potent as 90 percent THC, the active ingredient in pot. Twenty or 30 years ago, THC levels were below 10 percent, making today’s number extremely potent and increasing its addictive properties.
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, long-term marijuana users who try to quit can experience significant withdrawal symptoms, irritability, sleeplessness, anxiety and drug cravings.
Marijuana Side Effects
While there are many side effects from daily marijuana use, some of the most common include:
- Impairs the brain’s short-term memory
- Rapid fluctuation in mood
- Increased anxiety
- Increased heart rate
- Increased the risk of heart attack
If you, or someone you care about is currently struggling with a dependence to marijuana, it’s important to consider treatment as a viable recovery option.
As mentioned earlier, Cognitive Behavioral Treatment and Motivational Enhancement Therapy have both been shown to be successful treatment therapies. These are non-judgmental, evidence-based treatments found in non 12 step rehab facilities.
It’s also important to work in one-on-one and group therapy sessions that can find the core reason(s) for the misuse.
There aren’t currently any pharmacological approaches to treating cannabis use disorder, so behavioral therapies are the most effective approaches to positive results of abstinence and reductions in marijuana use.
For anyone struggling with marijuana dependence, addiction, or misuse, it’s important to know that help is available and treatment does work.