hether marijuana is a medicine or a drug in recent years. Some states, like California and Colorado, have legalized medicinal marijuana. These developments may have led many users of marijuana to believe they are not truly addicted to a dangerous drug. It must be noted, however, that the determination of whether marijuana is or is not an addictive substance is less important that the fact that abuse of marijuana is a dangerous endeavor. Prescription drugs are legal, for instance, and even so, one can still become addicted to them and suffer many ill effects.
Marijuana rehab is available for those who have become addicted to marijuana. Their lives are adversely affected by their use of the drug yet they just aren’t able to stop using. Drug treatment for marijuana has some aspects in common with treatments for other addictions, and there are also a few differences.
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How many times have you heard the argument that marijuana is a natural substance so therefore it must be good for you or — at least — not bad for you? If doctors around the world are prescribing it, it must have some benefits, right?
This type of thinking is the main difference between treatment for marijuana addiction and other types of drug addiction. Since many individuals who enroll in marijuana treatment programs are there not of their own volition, but because their loved ones or the courts have required them to be there, it is important to educate the individual about their disease before real treatment progress can be made.
Motivational Enhancement Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Contingency Management Interventions and Motivational Incentives
Everyone one likes to win a prize. When a marijuana user participates in the rehab technique that includes motivational incentives, they can win much more than they may have thought. They can successfully banish drugs from their life.
Contingency management incentives and motivational incentives work to reward an individual addict with prizes or rewards when they provide a drug-free urine sample during an outpatient rehab program. Outpatients who are undergoing drug rehab are not under supervision at all times. They are free to come and go as they please from the rehab facility, and they reside in their own homes — surrounded by the same temptations and distractions they had before they entered rehab.
By offering physical incentives, the recovering addict has an immediate and physical reward for maintaining their sobriety. A few examples of the kinds of rewards one can expect are:
- Food items
- Coupons for goods and services
- Movie passes
- Concert passes
- Other low-cost items
Because marijuana addiction is a psychological addiction, these kinds of programs have been shown to be beneficial when it comes to keeping individuals in treatment programs and helping them withstand the temptation to use drugs.
Similarities in Drug Addiction Treatment Programs
Drug rehab is hard work and can take weeks or months of intensive therapy and commitment before the recovering addict begins to feel more normal. Rehab can be accomplished in various settings, such as:
- Inpatient residential care
- Inpatient hospital care
- Individual outpatient counseling
- Intensive outpatient counseling programs
For the marijuana addict, the decision to enter an inpatient or outpatient treatment program should be made with family, therapists and medical providers. Factors such as employment, frequency of drug use, the level of addiction, and family responsibilities will come into play.
In many cases, an individual who uses marijuana to the point of addiction may have other conditions which need to be addressed. A dual diagnosis treatment program will accomplish this by treating the underlying causes and/or effects of the addiction, as well as the addiction itself.
In these cases, inpatient therapy may be warranted more frequently, so the individual can be properly diagnosed and treated. If the person using marijuana has developed the addiction due to a desire to self-medicate for an anxiety issue, there is a good chance that the anxiety will only be amplified when the user stops taking the drug. It might be necessary to prescribe medications to treat the anxiety through traditional and medically approved means before significant rehab work can begin.
During the rehabilitation process, the recovering marijuana addict can look forward to learning new coping skills and fresh ways to see the world around them. They will interact with others with similar drug addiction issues who might be able to share their own experiences and wisdom. As they progress in the treatment program, they will also have a chance to share their experience with others who are newer to the program than they are.
Can an Addict Be Treated for More Than One Addiction at a Time?
In many cases, an individual may find himself addicted to more than one kind of drug. When this happens, the treatment program is personalized to each recovering addict’s needs. For instance, an individual who knows and understands that they need to eliminate heroin from their life may respond very well to a heroin recovery plan. However, when that individual is also addicted to marijuana, they may still be in a position to defend their use of a natural substance versus their use of a chemical, manmade substance.
When one is on a journey to sobriety, it’s important to fully embrace recovery, eliminating all dangerous substances from the body. In the above scenario, medically supervised detox from heroin would be necessary. During this time, the addict may be given medications to mitigate some withdrawal symptoms; however, marijuana would certainly not be part of that regime. Ultimately, both addictions would be treated simultaneously, and the treatment plan would be catered to the individual’s needs.
What About Detox From Marijuana?
The detox process for marijuana addiction is not as severe as for some other illicit or prescription drugs. When an individual stops using marijuana after long-term chronic use, he or she might experience symptoms including sleeplessness, anxiety or agitation, and cravings. Depending upon how severe the symptoms are, the recovering addict may wish to complete the detox phase of marijuana rehab in a facility established to help them through the process. Marijuana detox symptoms will usually begin within a day of drug abstinence. They will reach their apex in two or three days, and should dissipate within one or two weeks.
Some inpatient marijuana rehabilitation centers will require that an individual be on the far side of the detox period before enrolling, and others will establish a detox period in house to help the recovering addict manage their symptoms.
What Happens Next?
Whether the marijuana treatment program was an inpatient or outpatient endeavor, the recovering addict will eventually graduate. Because addiction is a disease without a cure, there is always a chance that an individual will suffer a relapse. It is important to understand that relapse is a part of the recovery process. It does not mean that the addict has failed and the entire process has been for naught.
Rather, relapse gives the recovering addict and their supporters insight into triggers and other influences to avoid in the future. One way to avoid relapse, however, is to recognize common triggers, such as certain friends or locations where drug use is common and eliminate them from daily life.
To accomplish this, the final stage of the recovery process, which can last for the rest of the recovering addict’s life, is continuous aftercare. Support group meetings are a great place to develop safe friendships with individuals who are as dedicated to living drug-free as the recovering addict. Narcotics Anonymous offers meetings around the country on a daily basis, and they have programs for the families and friends of recovering addicts, as well.
If you’d like more information on recovery from marijuana addiction or if you’d like to begin your journey to sobriety, call us today.