Pot, weed, grass, dope, ganga, chronic, skunk. Marijuana is a drug that goes by many names. But despite the popular belief that it’s impossible to become addicted to marijuana, cannabis use disorder (CUD) and marijuana addiction are real. Many long-time users of the drug who started using marijuana during adolescence are especially vulnerable to its negative effects. In these cases and many others, developing addiction is a real possibility.
Addiction is a medical disease, one that requires professional care to treat. While there is no cure, marijuana rehab has been proven to work for countless people. The Recovery Village offers a full continuum of rehab care for those struggling with marijuana use. The Recovery Village can help you find the resources you need to explore your treatment options and get connected to the care you need, when you need it.
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What Is Marijuana Addiction?
While many people believe that marijuana is a harmless drug, it has just as much of a potential for abuse and dependence as countless other substances. Casual marijuana use becomes marijuana addiction when an individual can’t stop using the drug, even when it interferes with many aspects of their personal and professional life.
Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD)
Also referred to as marijuana use disorder, cannabis use disorder (CUD) is the clinical name for marijuana addiction. CUDs can be categorized as mild, moderate or severe depending on the extent of an individual’s addiction.[/x_drug_accordion_item]
Marijuana Abuse Statistics
In a 2013 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 48 percent of Americans reported having tried marijuana. This is the highest percentage ever recorded, with just 40 percent reporting in 2011. With marijuana use on the rise, it’s more important now than ever to understand the potential for addiction and dependence that this drug carries with it.
Some staggering statistics collected by the National Institute on Drug Abuse include:
- Recent data suggests that 30 percent of individuals who use marijuana may have some degree of marijuana use disorder.
- Approximately 4 million people in the United States met diagnostic criteria for a marijuana use disorder in 2015.
- People who began using marijuana before the age of 18 are four to seven times more likely to develop a marijuana use disorder than those who begin using marijuana as adults.
- In the early 1990s, the average THC content of marijuana samples was about 3.7 percent. By 2014, the potency had nearly doubled to 6.1 percent.
Signs & Symptoms of Marijuana Abuse
The first step in recovering from marijuana addiction is realizing that there’s a problem. But often, it can be difficult to stay objective and spot the symptoms of marijuana abuse in yourself or a loved one. By learning more about the ways that marijuana addiction manifests itself, you can notice the signs sooner and seek help when it’s needed.
Some of the most common signs of marijuana abuse or addiction are:
- Tolerance: Needing more marijuana to achieve the same high.
- Withdrawal: Experiencing symptoms like anxiety, insomnia, irritability and loss of appetite after stopping marijuana use.
- Inability to Stop Using: Inability to stop or cut back on marijuana use.
- Using More than Intended: Regularly using more marijuana than originally planned.
- Neglecting Other Activities: Letting go of previously enjoyable hobbies and activities to make more time to use marijuana.
- Needing Marijuana to Relax: Feeling unable to relax or unwind without marijuana.
- Overlooking Responsibilities: Difficulty following through with important personal, professional and financial responsibilities because of marijuana use.
Anyone struggling with one or more of these symptoms may have a CUD. If you or a loved one meet the criteria for marijuana addiction, treatment at a professional rehab center like The Recovery Village may be your best option for recovery. If left unaddressed, marijuana addiction tends to only get worse over time.
Marijuana Addiction & Effects
Marijuana addiction is far from harmless. Both short-term and long-term exposure to this substance can bring about a complex variety of adverse physical and psychological effects.
Shortly after a person ingests marijuana, cannabinoids (chemical compounds produced by marijuana plants) enter the bloodstream and move to the brain. There, they bind to feel-good receptors, boosting dopamine levels. What happens from there varies dramatically from person to person. While marijuana can create feelings of euphoria and well-being, it may also bring about a number of potentially dangerous and unpleasant side effects.
Some of the most common negative, short-term effects of marijuana use include:
- Increased heart rate
- Loss of motor coordination
- Heightened senses
- Slowed reaction time
- Increased appetite
- Distortions in perception
The effects of long-term exposure to THC can vary widely and are largely misunderstood by the scientific community. One study found that using marijuana regularly for 20 years resulted in an increased chance of gum disease. A separate study discovered that middle-age marijuana users had a poorer verbal memory than their counterparts.
While the long-term effects of casual marijuana use can vary, abusing marijuana over long periods of time can have serious physical and psychological side effects. Some of these include:
- Respiratory problems
- Increased risk of heart attack or stroke
- Chronic anxiety
- Increased risk of depression
- Psychological dependence
- Withdrawal (once marijuana use stops)
Tolerance and Withdrawal
Many people with CUDs develop a tolerance to marijuana, meaning that they require increasing amounts of the drug to feel a similar high. This can be extremely detrimental to health and happiness. As more marijuana is consumed, the likelihood of experiencing short- and long-term harmful side effects increases dramatically.
A person who is addicted to marijuana may also experience symptoms of withdrawal once they stop using this substance. These range from mild to severe, and may include:
- Mood disturbances
- Difficulty sleeping
- Decreased appetite
- Stomach pains
- Physical discomfort
These symptoms usually peak within the first week of quitting and may persist for up to two weeks. Because the experience of marijuana withdrawal can be physically and psychologically grueling, many begin smoking again mid-withdrawal. This is why professional care is crucial for those struggling with long-term, severe marijuana addiction. In a marijuana treatment facility, nurses, physicians and clinicians can keep clients accountable during this difficult period, and help them work successfully through detox and into recovery.
Marijuana Treatment Process at The Recovery Village
At The Recovery Village, we understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to marijuana addiction. For the results of treatment to be long lasting, marijuana rehab has to be tailored to each individual’s unique needs. By taking a personalized, comprehensive approach to recovery, we set clients up for success in and out of our center.
Marijuana rehab at The Recovery Village typically involves four phases: evaluation, detoxification, treatment and aftercare planning. During the evaluation process, we create a comprehensive care plan for each new client. Medically supervised detox allows participants to undergo withdrawal symptoms under the care of compassionate professionals. During treatment, clients undergo various therapies that help them reflect on the roots of their addiction, restore their health, and build a fulfilling life of sobriety. Aftercare planning helps solidify the work of recovery by creating a strategy to maintain healthy habits outside of treatment.
Recovery at our center is made possible with a variety of healing amenities. These include*:
- Medication management
- Individual and group therapy
- Treatment for co-occurring disorders
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
- Rejuvenating recreational amenities, including a gym, pool and basketball court
- Reflective activities like meditation, yoga and journaling
*Treatment options vary from center to center.
Available Treatments For Marijuana Addiction & Disorders
The Recovery Village offers a full continuum of care during marijuana rehab. This means that treatment may include several levels, including inpatient rehab, partial hospitalization programming, intensive outpatient care, outpatient treatment, and teletherapy. During each of these programs, clients undergo a variety of healing therapeutic practices, including group therapy.
Online Rehab for Marijuana Addiction
With advances in technology, online counseling, telehealth and teletherapy services are becoming more common and effective forms of mental health treatment. Addiction treatments were once restricted to in-person meetings, but can now happen anytime and anywhere with a reliable internet connection. The Recovery Village offers teletherapy treatment for those who are struggling from substance abuse and mental health issues.
Inpatient Marijuana Addiction Rehab
Inpatient rehab is the most popular level of care offered at The Recovery Village. During inpatient care, patients live at the rehabilitation center full-time. This provides a supportive, drug-free environment to work through treatment and begin recovery. As they make progress, they step down to levels of care, like partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient treatment, with fewer hours of programming.
Outpatient Marijuana Addiction Rehab
Either undergone on its own or as a step down from inpatient care, outpatient rehab is another popular treatment program option at The Recovery Village. Unlike inpatient rehab, outpatient rehabilitation does not involve a residential component. Rather than living on The Recovery Village’s campus, patients commute from their home or sober living housing. By continuing treatment while living off-site, those in outpatient care begin to face real-world triggers on their own, with a strong safety net of support to turn to. For some patients, that programming occurs daily. For others, it might mean attending treatment on weekends while working during the week. Scheduling is flexible and tailored to each individual’s needs.
Marijuana Addiction Group Therapy
With such a stigma surrounding substance use disorders, it’s often difficult for patients to talk about their addiction and mistakes they’ve made while high on marijuana. Many people experience a freeing effect, however, once they’ve begun to share their story with others during group therapy. Group counseling occurs in a safe, confidential space, with compassionate counselors.
Topics that may be discussed during marijuana addiction group therapy include:
- Grief and loss
- Domestic violence
- Family dynamics
- Diet and exercise
- Eating disorders
- Mental illness
Sometimes, group counseling will also take the form of psychoeducation, where patients engage in educational classes to learn more about addiction, its causes, and the science behind it. Having this understanding of how the brain and body function when exposed to marijuana can help patients release feelings of guilt or shame for “not being strong enough” to avoid the drug. Psychoeducation and therapy also teach that addiction is a disease, and not something to be ashamed of.
Paired Dual Diagnosis & Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment
Many addictions occur alongside mental health disorders. Marijuana addiction is no exception to this rule. When this happens, it’s referred to as a paired dual diagnosis, or co-occurring disorders. Because mental health conditions can influence addiction, and substance use can make mental health conditions worse, it’s vital that both of these issues are addressed at the same time. With this in mind, The Recovery Village’s integrated treatment approach was designed to help clients work through psychological struggles they may be facing in addition to addiction. This helps participants improve their chances of success and promotes lifelong recovery.
Paying for Marijuana Addiction Treatment Rehab
Addiction is a disease that requires specialized medical attention, but rehabilitative care can be costly. While it can be difficult to estimate this cost up-front, The Recovery Village provides flexible payment options to help supply care to those in need. Whether you plan on paying through insurance or exploring alternative marijuana treatment payment options, we’ll be with you every step of the way.
Does Insurance Cover Marijuana Treatment?
Because insurance plans vary, it’s important to understand your coverage before beginning treatment at a marijuana rehab center. Intake coordinators at The Recovery Village can contact your insurance company on your behalf, or you can quickly check your insurance coverage for free here. Once you know that you’re covered, you can easily enroll in a treatment program and take the first step toward recovery.
Alternative Marijuana Treatment Payment Options
If your insurance company doesn’t cover the full amount of rehab, or you prefer to avoid using insurance to pay for therapy, you may have access to a variety of alternative payment options. Intake coordinators at The Recovery Village can to help you assess your situation, estimate treatment costs and work closely with you every step of the way. Our primary goal is to connect you or someone you love to the necessary treatment.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.