Marijuana Treatment

Marijuana Treatment

Cannabis has been around for centuries and the plant has been used to make rope, thread, and clothes and has even smoked for its psychoactive properties and medicinal purposes. The drug has been widely used in America for more than 40 years. It is estimated that close to 5 million Americans regularly use marijuana. In the last two decades, surveys reveal that the use of marijuana among the younger population of school and college students has widely increased.

Marijuana Use

Marijuana is obtained from the dried leaves and flowers of the hemp plant. The potency of marijuana depends on the method of preparation. Although marijuana is usually smoked, there other types of marijuana. It can also be eaten or mixed in beverages like tea, coffee and in very rare cases, it is also injected. Analysis of marijuana has revealed that the content of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is currently much higher than in the past two decades. THC is the primary psychoactive component of marijuana. The intoxicating effects of marijuana usually last two to three hours. Long-term marijuana use can lead to addiction for some people; that is, they use the drug compulsively even though it often interferes with family, school, work, and recreational activities.

Treating Marijuana Substance Abuse

You need to watch for the signs of marijuana abuse in friends, loved ones and teenagers. This is especially important amongst young adults, since this is the group most susceptible to marijuana use. Some of the signs of marijuana substance abuse include:

  • Blood shot eyes
  • Clothing and hair frequently smell like smoke
  • Drug paraphernalia in the room, or carried about (most notably a bong)
  • Memory seems to be deteriorating
  • Starts to lose interest in outside activities, including work, family and school
  • Dramatic changes in weight and/or sleeping habits

Treating marijuana abuse with medication is a relatively new development. Generally, pharmacological substance abuse treatment has been reserved for “harder” drugs. However, as marijuana has proved itself a difficult addiction to break for some, and as marijuana has become more potent over the last quarter of a century, different medications have been tested for use in treating marijuana drug abuse.

  • Rimonabant is a drug that blocks the effects that marijuana has on the mind and body. The idea is to help make cravings for the drug more manageable. It is not widely available for marijuana abuse treatment, and is only used in research so far. But it has been tested in Europe and is used for weight loss and is being tested with tobacco addiction.
  • Lithium has been used in some cases to control withdrawal symptoms in those with marijuana substance abuse problems. It is considered an anti-stress medication, and can help relieve some of the anxiety and other symptoms that come with quitting marijuana use.

Behavioral Treatment for Marijuana Abuse

There are a variety of methods that are designed to help those with marijuana substance abuse problems overcome their cravings. These behavioral methods have been used with varying degrees of success.

  • Support groups are common in many substance abuse treatment situations. And now, rather than simply sending the person to a common program, there are marijuana specific support groups. It is possible to go to such a support group and receive help in overcoming a marijuana addiction.
  • One on one counseling can be very effective in situations of marijuana substance abuse. In these treatment settings for marijuana, a counselor works at an individual level with the addict. Rational reasons for quitting are given. On top of that, the counselor talks with the addict about what to expect when he or she quits using marijuana. This allows the marijuana user to prepare him or herself for the withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, the counselor may help prevent relapse, and offer suggestions of what the person could do.

There aren’t any specific residential treatment facilities for marijuana use. However, if someone has an intense addiction that he or she is having difficulty with, a detoxification facility may help. This removes the marijuana user from the environment of drug use and helps him or her get clean. And, because residential treatment facilities include medical and psychological professionals, it is usually helpful in terms of preventing depression and other issues from gaining a hold.

It is important to remember that marijuana is a gateway drug. This means that the person may be using other drugs as well. And many people who start using marijuana already have a substance abuse problem with alcohol or tobacco. Sometimes, other drugs, like cocaine, are mixed in the marijuana cigarette. It is important to remember that treatment for other substances may be needed in addition to treatment for marijuana use.

Marijuana Help

Please contact our toll free number at (877) 714-1320 if you or someone you know needs marijuana drug treatment. Also if you are in need of one on one counseling or a residential facility we would be glad to help in your search.