Substance Use

Marijuana Addiction Treatment: What Are the Options?

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Treatment Options For Marijuana Addiction

As most states have now legalized marijuana, or cannabis, people sometimes forget that it is an addictive substance. However, marijuana abuse is common and can cause many problems. These include lung infections and mental health conditions.

Treatment options for marijuana addiction vary, depending on the severity of the addiction but can include individual counseling, group therapy, and medication management.

Some people also find help through support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous or community-based organizations that provide education and resources to assist in recovery.

If you or a loved one think you may be struggling with dependence on marijuana, Zinnia Health is here to help. Our knowledgeable staff is equipped to provide comprehensive services, including both inpatient and outpatient treatment. Contact us through our helpline at (855) 430-9439 to get a treatment plan today.

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Treatment for Marijuana Addiction

Marijuana use disorder is a very real issue that can affect anyone, including children and adolescents. If you or someone you know has become addicted to marijuana, it’s important to seek professional help to identify the best approach for recovery.

Treatment options include detoxification, medications, and behavioral health therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and contingency management.

With these strategies, individuals can learn about the risks and effects of marijuana use, build upon their coping skills to resist cravings, and develop new ways of managing stress.

Types Of Treatments For Marijuana Addiction

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a dependence on marijuana, which is known as marijuana use disorder, can develop when the drug is used excessively. In some cases, this can lead to an addiction that requires professional intervention.

Recent studies have indicated that marijuana use disorder may affect as many as 30% of cannabis users. Research has also revealed that those who initiate marijuana use before their eighteenth birthday are up to seven times more likely than adults to develop a dependence on the drug.

1. Detox

A study published in the National Library of Medicine notes that for those with severe intoxication or withdrawal symptoms due to cannabis use disorder, the objective should be to abstain from using the drug altogether.

Tapering off slowly is likely to reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms and minimize the chances of relapse. A tranquil, low-stimulus environment is beneficial for those seeking medical care.

Doctors at detox treatment facilities may prescribe medication such as:

  • Benzodiazepines for panic attacks
  • Off-label first-generation antihistamines for restlessness and anxiety
  • Neuroleptics for psychosis

It is critical to monitor psychological symptoms, which might be manifestations of withdrawal or a pre-existing mental health issue.

2. Medications

NIDA states the FDA has not sanctioned any drugs to treat marijuana use disorder. However, research into this area is ongoing. Since sleep difficulty is a common symptom of marijuana withdrawal, research has been conducted on the effectiveness of sleep medications in treating cannabis addiction.

Early studies and small clinical trials have yielded promising results for these medications which help with the effects of marijuana use:

  • Zolpidem, which assists with sleep
  • Buspirone, usually prescribed for anxiety and stress
  • Gabapentin, an epilepsy treatment

Scientists are also reviewing the potential of a dietary supplement called N-acetylcysteine and FAAH inhibitors to lessen withdrawal symptoms.

3. Behavioral Therapies

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, evidence-based treatments for cannabis use disorder include:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on identifying and challenging distorted thoughts associated with substance use. For example, a person might be taught to recognize and challenge their beliefs about marijuana as “good” or “safe.”

Motivational Enhancement

Motivational enhancement therapy is conducted in brief sessions. It focuses on helping individuals explore, articulate, and resolve internal conflicts related to marijuana use. For example, a person might discuss the pros and cons of marijuana use or how it affects their work, family, and finances.

Contingency Management 

Contingency management strategies provide incentives for engaging in desired behaviors instead of using marijuana. This can include providing vouchers or other rewards contingent upon verified negative urine screens or evidence of participation in treatment.

Other forms of behavioral therapy that may be helpful include:

Family Therapy

Family therapy can be beneficial for those with marijuana use disorder as well. It helps family members understand how the addiction has affected them and how they can help create a healthy environment for recovery.

Group Therapy

Group therapy helps people with marijuana use disorder meet and socialize with others who are going through similar experiences. It can be helpful to discuss strategies for remaining abstinent, relapse prevention skills, and other topics related to recovery.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

DBT teaches individuals how to manage their emotions and navigate difficult situations in a healthy way. It combines skills-building with mindfulness, emotion regulation, problem-solving, and interpersonal effectiveness.

4. Aftercare

Once treatment has been completed, it is crucial to maintain a strong aftercare plan. This might include attending support group meetings such as 12-step programs or seeking counselors specializing in substance use disorder.

Developing healthy hobbies and activities that reduce the likelihood of relapse can also be helpful. Exercise, mindfulness practices, nutrition, volunteering, and creative outlets can all assist in the recovery process.

Finally, it is important to stay connected with those who are supportive of sobriety and avoid triggers or people associated with drug use.

Zinnia Health is here to help if you or a loved one may be struggling with marijuana addiction. Our facilities provide professional, compassionate inpatient and outpatient treatment to those suffering from drug addiction. Our helpline is available 24/7 at (855) 430-9439, so give us a call today.

When To Seek Treatment?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists the signs of marijuana use disorder as including:

  • Using more marijuana than intended
  • Trying but being unable to stop using marijuana
  • Spending a lot of time using marijuana
  • Experiencing cravings for marijuana
  • Continuing to use marijuana even when it causes problems with family, school, or work
  • Giving up activities that one used to enjoy in favor of using marijuana
  • Putting oneself in risky situations while using marijuana (such as driving while under the influence)
  • Continuing to use marijuana despite it causing physical or psychological issues
  • Needing more and more cannabis to maintain the same effect

If you notice any of these symptoms, seek treatment immediately.

How to Find a Treatment Center

Reach out to family and friends for referrals, or do an online search for specialized treatment centers in your area. Make sure that any treatment center you choose is accredited and provides evidence-based treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational enhancement therapy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions frequently asked by those seeking support for cannabis addiction include:

1. Does Insurance Cover Marijuana Addiction Treatment?

Most major insurance companies will cover some or all of the costs associated with marijuana addiction treatment. Check with your individual health insurance provider to find out what type of coverage is available to you.

2. Are Medications Used in Marijuana Treatment?

Currently, there are no medications approved by the FDA specifically for treating marijuana use disorder. However, certain drugs can help manage withdrawal symptoms.

3. Are Drug Treatment Programs Effective for Marijuana Addiction?

Yes, drug treatment programs can be effective for marijuana addiction. The most successful treatments are those that are tailored to the individual and focus on underlying issues such as trauma or mental health disorders.

4. What Are the Dangers of Marijuana Addiction?

Marijuana addiction can lead to a range of health and social issues. These include:

  • Decreased academic performance
  • Relationship problems
  • Legal trouble
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory issues
  • Psychosis

Long-term marijuana use can also have a negative effect on the brain’s reward system and lead to physical dependence.

If you feel like marijuana has gotten the better of you or a loved one, you don’t have to go through it alone. Zinnia Health offers comprehensive treatment that is tailored to your needs and goals. Don’t hesitate to take the first step. Call our helpline 24/7 at (855) 430-9439 for more information on how to get help.

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