Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit substance in the world. Used for thousands of years by humans, it is also one of the oldest known recreational drugs. A national survey found that just under half of Americans age twelve and older have smoked marijuana at least once in their life. Commonly perceived as a harmless substance, it is by far most popular among teens. Many teenagers surveyed stated that marijuana was the easiest substance for them to obtain. Although marijuana is one of the most common drugs, many people do in fact become addicted.
Marijuana addiction is just as serious as any other drug addiction. Although marijuana may not initially be physically addictive like heroin or cocaine is, psychological dependency is quick to develop. Most experts agree that the psychological addiction is more difficult to overcome than physical addiction. Most addicts begin by experimenting with marijuana, often at a young age. As habitual use begins to develop, the user smokes marijuana on a regular basis. The brain becomes accustomed to having marijuana present, and a physical dependency is taking hold. Psychological dependency develops as a result of repeated use, especially when the user is smoking marijuana in order to escape from their emotions or thoughts. When self-medicating, the person is extremely susceptible to developing a psychological addiction, as the freedom from their negative feelings is addicting.
Marijuana Addiction Treatment
Although chronic marijuana use does not require a medical detox to withdraw, marijuana rehab is still highly recommended. After cessation of marijuana use, one may experience insomnia, restlessness, and anxiety. Being in a controlled, drug-free environment such as a residential treatment center may prevent the addict from relapsing. Marijuana rehab should be taken as seriously as any other drug, and an inpatient treatment program is the most structured type of treatment available. While residing at the treatment center for a period of time, you go through individual and family therapy, group counseling, possible twelve step involvement, and take relapse prevention seminars. Outpatient treatment programs are very similar, with the difference being in the required residence of the clients. At outpatient programs, the clients are permitted to leave during hours that groups are not taking sessions.
Marijuana rehab is not a cure for addiction, but rather a nudge in the right direction. Continuing care is often the deciding factor in the maintenance of sobriety. Some addicts prefer twelve step programs such as Marijuana Anonymous, while others prefer to see a therapist either individually or in a group setting. Still some newly sober addicts enroll at a sober living house. Sober living houses are residences in which a newly sober addict may live with fellow addicts in a drug-free, controlled environment. There is generally a house manager who enforces simple rules such as cleanliness, punctuality, and accountability. Sober living situations are a great way for a newly recovering marijuana addict to reintegrate into society.