What to Know About Marijuana Addiction Treatment

Marijuana (grass, weed, pot, 420, joint) is one of the most widely used illicit substances in the United States. The legalization of medical marijuana in some states and medical as well as recreational marijuana in others has led to an increasing social acceptance of this drug. Polls have shown that 6 out of 10 Americans are in favor of legal marijuana. As a result of this increasing acceptance, many people don’t realize that marijuana can be addictive and may require treatment at a professional marijuana addiction treatment center Washington. In this article, we talk about marijuana addiction and some of the signs and symptoms that indicate a person needs treatment. We also help you find the best marijuana addiction treatment center Washington offers.

Marijuana Addiction: An Overview

Although the recreational use of marijuana has been legalized in many US states, it is still not acceptable in some. Approximately 3 out of 10 marijuana users are reported to develop marijuana drug addiction. This is due to the fact that people will often start using the drug unaware that they can quickly become addicted. As much as marijuana can leave you feeling a sense of euphoria, there are other effects that are not so pleasant. These effects can vary from person to person and may include anxiety, restlessness, panic, or fear. Fortunately, there are accredited addiction treatment options available to tackle a growing dependence on the drug. However, not every treatment plan will be suitable for everyone.

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana is a psychoactive drug that comes from the Cannabis Sativa plant. Although the plant has over 500 chemical compounds, the main chemical compound is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which causes the “high” effect many people like. Colloquially, this drug is known by many names—weed, pot, grass, ganja, Mary Jane, etc., and it is available in many forms on the market.
While some people like to inhale the smoke from dried flowers, either in hand-rolled joints, pipes, bongs, or blunts (wrapped in cigar wrappers), many will consume it as edibles in the form of tea or baked goods like cookies. Marijuana can also be inhaled using vaporizers, also known as vapes or weed pens, and it also comes in the form of concentrated resins, which are potent and can be heated and smoked. Despite its various forms, marijuana is identified and classed as a Schedule I drug, which means that there is no acceptable medical cannabis use yet, and it carries a significant risk of misuse.

What are the Effects of Marijuana?

The effects felt after the use of marijuana are determined by how the drug has been taken. If an individual smokes marijuana, chemicals like THC enter the bloodstream through the lungs, quickly spreading throughout the rest of the body. In this case, the effects are felt immediately. However, when the drug is taken as tea or eatables, the same chemicals will first pass through the digestive system, delaying the onset of effects for 30-60 minutes.

When THC and other chemical compounds come in contact with the body’s chemical transmitters, they activate the brain regions that regulate sensations like pleasure, movement, memory, sensory perception, and time perception. Individuals who use the drug will often say they’re “feeling relaxed.” Although marijuana can make you feel relaxed and happy, the effects can be damaging, too. For instance, if you ingest marijuana in the form of foods and beverages, you are likely to become restless and consume more. When this pattern of use continues, it can trigger a feeling of uncomfortable high. Other symptoms include:

  • Impairment of mental health
  • Confusion and paranoia
  • Panic
  • Changed heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Decreased appetite

If left unchecked, these effects can lead to injuries, often resulting from motor accidents, falls, or poisoning.

Can I Become Addicted to Marijuana Use?

The legalization of marijuana use in many states does not rule out the possibility of harm, abuse, or addiction resulting from its uncontrolled use. Although many medical professionals believe the drug has therapeutic properties, its adverse health effects are still a matter of concern, especially for young people and adolescents who are easy victims of addiction. When someone uses the drug in a “problematic manner,” they develop what is known as marijuana/cannabis use disorder. Although it is not classified as an addiction, individuals who suffer from cannabis use disorder exhibit addictive behaviors. So yes, unchecked marijuana use can potentially end in you becoming addicted.

Signs and Symptoms of Marijuana Abuse and Addiction

The compulsive and frequent use of marijuana drug characterizes marijuana use disorder. Individuals who use the drug on a regular basis have higher chances of developing marijuana use disorder. Research has shown that prolonged use of marijuana changes brain activity, and THC is the chemical responsible for this.

Although only healthcare professionals can diagnose marijuana use disorder in an individual, many clinicians use the criteria laid out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition, for diagnosis. These criteria are as follows:

  • Prolonged use of cannabis in large amounts
  • A persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control cannabis use
  • Time spent obtaining, using, or recovering from cannabis use
  • Uncontrollable cravings for cannabis
  • Abdominal pain and dehydration
  • Recurrent cannabis use interfering with life at work, school, or home
  • Compulsive cannabis use despite persistent social or interpersonal problems
  • Recurrent cannabis use resulting in behavioral health issues
  • Continued cannabis use despite recurrent physical or psychological problems
  • Developing a cannabis tolerance, meaning a higher dose is administered to achieve the same desired effects
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop or cut back on their cannabis use

Do I need marijuana addiction treatment?

Marijuana is one of the most difficult drugs to quit. This is because many people with marijuana addiction are in denial and don’t believe they have a problem. What’s more, oftentimes, their family and friends don’t think the person needs help at a marijuana addiction treatment center Washington either.

However, in truth, people who use marijuana on a daily basis often have all the symptoms of addiction. In other words, they cannot stop using marijuana and continue using the drug despite negative consequences on their health, work, family, and relationships as well as legal and financial troubles. Despite multiple attempts to quit, they are unable to stay clean and suffer repeated relapses. Such individuals can greatly benefit from professional help at a marijuana addiction treatment center Washington. Discover Recovery is a leading Washington drug rehab center that provides the ideal environment in which to quit marijuana and achieve lasting recovery.

How Does a Marijuana Addiction Treatment Program Work?

Marijuana use disorder is often seen existing concurrently with other co-occurring disorders and behavioral or mental health problems. Individuals who struggle with marijuana use disorder, especially those with severe forms of the condition, will endure mental disability, which often persists even after the treatment for marijuana use disorder.

Treatment for marijuana use disorder can take place in an inpatient treatment setting or through participation in an outpatient treatment program under the supervision of a healthcare provider. These programs typically start with a detox treatment and progressively include individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy sessions, in addition to education about addiction, recovery, and relapse prevention imparted through support groups. Depending on the treatment option you choose, its duration, and the location of the treatment center, the cost can vary for each individual. Insurance companies may or may not cover the expenses of these treatments, and those that do might just cover a portion of it.

Marijuana abuse in Washington

Why do we even need a marijuana addiction treatment center Washington you may ask? It may surprise you to learn that the prevalence of marijuana use within Washington adults in the past 30 days is approximately 14%, with a higher prevalence in males and younger adults under the age of 35. This means 14 out of every 100 adults reports using marijuana within the past month. Even more worrisome, the Department of Health reports that one-third of teenagers in Washington perceive weekly marijuana use to be associated with little risk.

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To address marijuana misuse and abuse, the state has undertaken several measures, including establishing a public health hotline, expanding youth treatment options, running educational campaigns, and increasing access to a marijuana addiction treatment center Washington for adults and adolescents.

Marijuana withdrawal

Marijuana is not as physically addictive as some other illicit drugs like cocaine and heroin, or even alcohol. However, the psychological dependence on marijuana can be intense and can prevent a person from quitting the drug without interventions at a marijuana addiction treatment center Washington. Roughly 9% of people who try marijuana become addicted to it. Some people are surprised to learn that trying to quit marijuana can lead to withdrawal symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms of marijuana withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Irritability, restlessness, agitation
  • Insomnia or other sleep difficulties
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss
  • Mood swings
  • Cravings

The occurrence of these withdrawal symptoms is the biggest reason marijuana addicts suffer a relapse. By seeking care at a marijuana addiction treatment center Washington, recovering addicts can give themselves the best chances of long-term success with overcoming cannabis withdrawal syndrome and quitting the drug for good.

Marijuana Withdrawal Timeline

Individuals who are trying to cut back on or give up marijuana use after prolonged periods of heavy consumption may encounter acute withdrawal symptoms like mental health conditions more quickly than others. Symptoms typically start showing:

  • Within 1-2 days: Common symptoms like anxiety and restlessness emerge
  • Within 2-6 days: These symptoms will begin to intensify
  • Within 3 weeks: The most common symptoms will taper off, while acute ones like confusion may persist

Psychological symptoms can last up to 5 weeks after stopping marijuana use. Of these, sleep disturbances, particularly insomnia and vivid dreams, prove to be the most challenging in the first few days of abstinence, which can often result in relapse or have long-term effects on the individual’s psychological health.

CBT and MET for marijuana addiction treatment

People who have developed an addiction to marijuana continue to use the drug despite physical, psychological, and social problems. A marijuana addiction treatment center Washington can help such individuals reduce drug use or stop it altogether.

Two of the most common therapy modalities used at a marijuana addiction treatment center Washington include CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy) and MET (motivational enhancement therapy). MET is used to motivate people who are ambivalent about seeking help at a marijuana addiction treatment center Washington. Therapists use non-confrontational counseling to encourage the client to make a commitment to quit. CBT at a marijuana addiction treatment center Washington focuses on teaching clients the skills they need to quit marijuana and prevent relapse. Clients learn to manage cravings, depressed mood, cope with triggers, refuse marijuana, and problem-solve in a healthy way.

Marijuana addiction in young adults

Roughly half of all individuals who enter treatment at a marijuana addiction treatment center Washington and elsewhere are young adults less than 25 years old. This age group is at increased risk of adverse effects from marijuana addiction due to additional risky behaviors because of their age. That’s why it’s important to have a program for young adults at a marijuana addiction treatment center Washington. Such a specialized program addresses the unique issues of this age group. A comprehensive approach that includes family therapy and support groups has been found to produce the best results in terms of a significant reduction in marijuana use.

Marijuana and poly-drug abuse

Substance abuse experts at a marijuana addiction treatment center Washington will tell you that marijuana is commonly used in conjunction with other drugs like cocaine. Because the other drug has severe harmful effects, many addicts do not consider their marijuana addiction to be a problem, and therefore, are not motivated to go to a marijuana addiction treatment center Washington.

Various strategies are used to address this problem. For example, a marijuana addiction treatment center Washington may first address addiction to the more harmful drug such as cocaine and then target marijuana once the person has achieved abstinence from cocaine.

Discover Recovery Marijuana Addiction Treatment Center Washington

Discover Recovery is a top-rated marijuana addiction treatment center Washington that is staffed by an experienced team of board-certified addiction medicine experts, masters’ level counselors, and registered nurses. We offer multiple levels of care to meet the needs of each client. Our marijuana addiction treatment center Washington offers a medical detox program as well as a range of behavioral therapies and complementary addiction treatments for a holistic approach to recovery.

Keeping in mind that marijuana addiction is especially prevalent in young adults, we offer a young adult program at our marijuana addiction treatment center Washington that has been optimized for millennials in recovery.

If you or or a loved one could benefit from care at a marijuana addiction treatment center Washington, talk to us at Discover Recovery today and find out more about our immersive addiction recovery program designed by experts.

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