Many people falsely believe that marijuana is a ‘safe’ drug that is not addictive. The truth is, however, that long-term marijuana abuse — just like any other drug abuse — can cause a variety of health consequences and can result in physical dependence and psychological addiction. If you want to seek treatment for marijuana abuse, you’re not alone. A recent study by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that over a million people received treatment for marijuana abuse during their most recent addiction treatment program.
The first step of addiction treatment is to undergo detoxification. Without it, residual marijuana toxins can remain in the body and cause cravings years after drug use has ceased, putting you at risk for relapse. Detoxification flushes out all of these toxins and purifies your body so that you no longer experience the unwanted effects of your marijuana use. Undergoing drug detox at a drug rehab can provide the additional treatment necessary to finally maintain sobriety.
Marijuana Detox: Withdrawal Symptoms
During the initial stages of detoxification, physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms will appear. Marijuana withdrawal is not dangerous, but it can be uncomfortable. For chronic users, symptoms of marijuana withdrawal start to appear within the first 8 hours and are most intense during the first 10 days, which is why marijuana detoxification should be done at a marijuana rehab center so that the individual is kept from outside influences and triggers. The symptoms of marijuana withdrawal include:
* depressed mood
* lack of appetite
* intense drug cravings
Currently, there are no FDA-approved medications for treating marijuana addiction and withdrawal symptoms, but the entire detox period will be supervised by trained medical personnel who will monitor your withdrawal and make sure you are safe and as comfortable as possible.
Marijuana Detox: Getting Treatment
Most drug detox centers simply provide treatment to avoid the physical withdrawal symptoms. If you’re serious about recovery, though, you should find a drug detox center that incorporates counseling and therapy during the detoxification process to help with the psychological components of your addiction as well. Detox alone is not a treatment and is not effective in preventing relapse.
After undergoing a safe and supervised detox, you’ll enter a drug addiction treatment program tailored to your specific needs. The most effective treatment for marijuana addiction is a comprehensive approach that addresses not only the physical effects of the marijuana addiction, but the psychological effects as well. A comprehensive approach that combines behavioral therapy, individual counseling, 12-Step support, drug testing and positive reinforcement has been shown to be the most effective way to reduce marijuana abuse. Some marijuana rehab centers will also introduce holistic therapies such as yoga, acupuncture and equine therapies to help you reconnect your body, mind and spirit — all areas that are damaged by addiction.
When choosing a marijuana addiction treatment center, ask if they offer dual diagnosis treatment. Oftentimes a person will turn to marijuana as a way to cope with an underlying mood or personality disorder, such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), etc. Dual diagnosis treatment will simultaneously treat both the addiction and the underlying disorder so that full recovery is possible.
Marijuana Detox: After Treatment
The point of drug detox and treatment is to rid the body of all residual drug toxins and to treat the person’s physical and psychological addiction to drug. Even after treatment, though, relapse may occur. This is an unfortunate reality of recovery, but it is one that can be minimized through aftercare programs.
When choosing a marijuana rehab, choose one that offers aftercare programs to help you work through the difficult first months of sobriety. Effective aftercare can include continuing outpatient therapy through weekly phone calls or in-person visits, or through joining a support group such as Narcotics Anonymous. Sober living is also a good follow-up to any effective marijuana rehab center. It allows you to live in a clean, sober environment so that you can re-learn how to live a life without drugs and alcohol during the delicate first months of recovery. Sober living is often recommended for people who have just completed residential treatment and are at risk for relapsing if they return home.
Marijuana addiction is real and can cause numerous physical and mental health consequences if left untreated. If you feel like you have an addiction to marijuana and are unable to stop using it on your own, seek professional help at a marijuana rehab.