Once thought one the less harmful drugs, marijuana addiction is becoming a prevalent catalyst to undergo treatment. The withdrawal symptoms experienced by an individual quitting marijuana use are similar to those associated with quitting smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol or other using drugs. Individuals who identify as having difficulty with quitting smoking marijuana typically report feeling aggressive, irritable and anxious.
Most marijuana addicts believe that they can stop their marijuana use without getting help. Research has shown that professional greatly increases the success rate of long-term sobriety. Marijuana use is typically minimized and dismissed when compared to other drugs. Research has shown that long-term marijuana use results in significant changes in brain function that may continue long after the individual stops using the drug.
Marijuana users have long argued that marijuana is not physically addictive. The changes marijuana causes in brain function have behavioral consequences that include the obsession-compulsive use of marijuana.
Marijuana addiction treatment involving professional help can greatly improve an addict’s chance for lasting sobriety. Some marijuana addicts even require enrollment in an inpatient drug treatment center to assist in abstinence.
Harmful Effects of Marijuana Include:
- Difficulty with concentration
- Mood swings, memory loss, and coordination problems
- Depression and anxiety
- Potential for aggression and hostility
- Damage to the pituitary gland
- Brain cell and synapse damage
- Addiction and abuse
- Increased heart rate and increased blood pressure
- Damage to the central nervous system
- Blood-shot eyes, dilated pupils
- Increased risk of cancer of larynx and esophagus
- Risk of developing emphysema and chronic bronchitis
- Increased risk for developing lung cancer
Therapy for Marijuana Addiction
Individual or family counseling with a therapist can help in uncovering underlying issues that support the addiction, raise self esteem and examine motivation to change. Behavior and cognitive therapies can assist in developing new ways to cope with cravings to use marijuana, daily life challenges, develop a relapse prevention plan and offer suggestions on how to constructively deal with a relapse if one occurs.
Counseling or life coaching in a treatment center can also involve an individual receiving input about job challenges, legal problems and relationships. Family therapy can provide family members and loved ones with addiction information and help them to develop better communication skills.
Treatment for Marijuana Addiction
Medication, therapy and attending 12 step group meetings are helpful treatment methods used to prevent a relapse and maintain a lifetime of sobriety. Treatment programs generally include educational and psychotherapy sessions focused on establishing a solid foundation in sobriety and preventing relapse. The program usually consists of a combination of individual, group and family sessions.
Treatment programs are available in various degrees of intensity from outpatient to residential, inpatient programs. Marijuana Anonymous is a 12 step support group that exists to support individuals with a desire to stop using marijuana.
Through addiction treatment, recovering marijuana addicts learn about addiction, recovery and relapse. Attending a marijuana addiction treatment program has helped recovering marijuana users make lifestyle changes, manage their feelings, develop coping tools and learn relapse prevention skills.