Recovering From Marijuana Addiction

Contrary to generalizations, marijuana is not harmless. While it often leads to mild physical dependency, it has also been known to cause prolonged health effects and psychological addiction in 9-11% of users.

You will know that you’re addicted if you or anyone close to you notice that you’re starting to ignore important things in your life, or continue to use the drug despite trying to stop because of the obvious dangers to your health. You may also notice an uncontrollable craving, withdrawal symptoms and reduced body tolerance when regular dosage is reduced- consequently increasing the use of the drug.

The good news is that you can safely and completely quit smoking marijuana if you’re determined.

Marijuana's Effects On The Abuser

Available drug statistics prove that marijuana causes distorted perceptions, poor coordination, impaired memory, difficulty thinking clearly, learning or solving problems. The user may also experience a drop in their normal reasoning and intellectual capacity as a result of the side effects of marijuana. Heavy users or people who smoke marijuana with high potency may have mental health issues like psychosis, schizophrenia and depression.

United Nations data suggest that regular abusers of marijuana often earn less, become unemployed or remain unmarried. A National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) research also reports that smokers who rely heavily on marijuana suffered damages to their social life, jobs or careers due to loss or reduced concentration and cognitive skills, work absences, drug-induced accidents and frequent job changes.

The effects of marijuana on the user’s psychological wellbeing are intensified when it is used daily or the dosage is increased. Over the last 20 years, there has been a rising potency of marijuana with the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol –the intoxicating chemical in marijuana) content increasing from less than 4% to more than 10%, and up to 25% or higher in extreme cases.

Marijuana Abuse Treatment

The rehab programme and recovery process for marijuana is similar to the treatment for other drugs. Although there are no specific medications for treating marijuana dependence and addiction, efficient rehab programmes will take the patient through a professional detoxification process which includes psychological and behavioural treatment, sedative medications in case of severe withdrawal symptoms and supportive services to help the individual adjust to normal, happier living.

Marijuana recovery sessions typically follow all or most of these stages:

Initial Evaluation

This is to help determine the intensity and possible reasons for the addiction, and if there are any underlying mental or emotional health problems.

Detoxification, If Necessary

Withdrawal symptoms like agitation, anxiety, insomnia, mood swings, nausea and panic can be identified and individually dealt with.

Psychotherapy

With psychological or behavioural treatments, patients are taught ways to free themselves from the marijuana dependence or enjoying life without the drug. Another method used is learning to replace old thinking patterns with new, healthier thoughts that will ultimately lower dependence problems like depression stress and anxiety.

Education About Abuse

By understanding the effects of marijuana on the body mechanism and their social life, the user can make more informed choices that tend to a healthier, more fulfilling lifestyle.

Support Services

Therapists and support groups can also help make available supportive services like case management, financial assistance and vocational training to ease and facilitate the recovery process and adapt to a drug-free lifestyle.

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