Marijuana Intervention

Marijuana Intervention

Marijuana is the most abused illegal drug in the United States today. The effects of marijuana are sometimes subtle, but usage can lead to tolerance, dependence, and addiction. Once addicted, drug users will compulsively continue their habit despite the known negative effects on their social, financial, work, and family life. Withdrawal symptoms can include irritability, sleeplessness, decreased appetite, anxiety, and drug craving, all which make it more difficult to quit.

Adverse Effects of Marijuana

Marijuana has many negative effects on the brain. Short-term use of marijuana can include impaired memory and learning, distorted perception, difficulty in thinking and problem solving, loss of coordination, and increased heart rate. Long term use increases chances of chronic cough, bronchitis, and emphysema. It also increases the risk of cancer. Taking high doses of the drug may cause toxic psychosis, which includes hallucinations, delusions, and a loss of the sense of personal identity or self recognition.

Signs of Marijuana Addiction

The following are signs that a friend or family member could be addicted to marijuana:

  • Spending large amounts of time getting high, thinking about getting high, or looking for more marijuana
  • Withdrawing from activities that do not include partying and getting high
  • An unexplainable lack of money
  • Saying that they “need” marijuana to relax or to enjoy themselves
  • Using marijuana to avoid the real problems in their life

Having an Intervention

If your friend or family member is unwilling to admit that they have a problem with marijuana, you may need to have an intervention. Having an intervention means talking to the person that you are concerned about, addressing the problem, and asking him or her to take concrete steps toward getting help. Please do not wait until the person has “bottomed out” to have an intervention. Confronting them now could save them from many dangerous consequences down the road. (See teen marijuana abuse.)

You may choose to have an informal intervention, a one-on-one conversation where you ask questions and voice concerns. Or it may be necessary to have a formal intervention where you bring a group of people together to confront how that person’s addiction has affected everyone’s lives. Formal interventions usually occur when the person has repeatedly refused to get marijuana drug treatment.

Whether you hold a formal or informal intervention, here are some helpful tips:

  • Do not have the intervention when the person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Stay calm
  • Avoid labeling the person an “addict”
  • Cite specific instances that occurred due to the substance abuse
  • Stick to what you know firsthand, avoid hearsay
  • Be supportive and hopeful about change
  • Be prepared for denial and resistance

Treatment for Marijuana Addiction

When having an intervention, you may want to be prepared to give the individual some idea of what treatment looks like. Treatment for marijuana addiction should be comprehensive in its approach. It should offer assistance with withdrawal symptoms and may include group therapy, education, social services, counseling, and a 12-Step program.

Marijuana Intervention Help

If you would like to know more about treatment options for marijuana addiction, our counselors are available 24 hours a day to talk with you. Please call our toll free number today at (877) 714-1320 for intervention tips or to receive more information about how you or a loved one can overcome marijuana addiction.