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Marijuana Addiction Treatment

About Marijuana

The challenges surrounding marijuana addiction grow with each day, as the use of marijuana, its access, and acceptability in society have grown considerably over the years. For instance, Marijuana is the most commonly used federally illegal drug in the United States, with roughly 48 million people claiming to have used marijuana at least once in 20191. With such habitual use and overwhelming volumes there is a natural inclination to abuse such a substance, and statistics confirm that approximately 3 in 10 people who use marijuana will develop an addiction of marijuana use disorder2. Worse, is that the younger generation would become even more susceptible to marijuana addiction, as their brains are still developing, making the affects marijuana has on the brain, including the areas controlling memory, learning, attention, coordination, emotions and decision-making even more apparent3,4.

The dangers of marijuana use are real, and continue to grow over time. Long-term use of marijuana has been linked to increased risk of psychosis or schizophrenia in some users5,6, whether they have been diagnosed with marijuana use disorder or not. The key is recognizing a problem before it gets to this point and seeking help. Risks will only increase over time, with many users suffering from marijuana addiction eventually expanding to other harmful substances such as alcohol, opioids, cocaine, heroin or benzodiazepines. The combination of multiple substances being abused at once can make it difficult when seeking treatment, but the goal to reach full recovery will remain the same.

How Long Island Center for Recovery (LICR) Treats Marijuana Addiction

There is no formal medical detox period for a marijuana addiction, nor any medication approved by the FDA for the treatment of marijuana use disorder. Although this is the case, stopping use of marijuana after developing an addiction can lead to withdrawal symptoms which can consist of increased anxiety, depression, sleeping issues, irritability, anger or aggressions, decreased appetite, a feeling of restlessness and physical symptoms of abdominal pains, sweating, chills, or headaches. It’s an extensive list, but in our Long Island addiction treatment facility, these symptoms would be managed with medications as needed for the comfortability of our clients.

Since there is no current medication assisted treatment for marijuana addiction, a client’s treatment will focus more on their psychological stability and an understanding to the root cause of their addiction. Counselors will spend time with clients to enhance their motivation for recovery, provide psychoeducation on the effects their marijuana addiction has had on both their body and their life, and cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) interventions. All addictions have their own unique effects on a person’s life, and our counselors will take the time to focus on your own specific experiences, accepting accountability, and moving forward with progressive strategies and coping measures.

There are addition programs offered at Long Island Center for Recovery, which, in conjunction with a client’s cognitive behavioral therapies, should also promote motivation and understanding of one’s addiction. A few of these programs have been listed below:

Meditation Practice

Yoga Practice

12 Step Study Group

Relapse Prevention

These programs at LICR, along with individual and group therapies will prepare patients for sobriety outside of treatment, however the effects of long-term marijuana use can be felt long after the acute rehab period. Therefore, we strongly recommend continuing with outpatient treatment after becoming stabilized and building the foundation of recovery in an inpatient setting.

Frequently asked questions from clients seeking marijuana addiction treatment at Long Island Center for Recovery (LICR)

Marijuana isn’t addictive.

People don’t typical ask this as a question, but rather enter our facility with this proclamation. Despite historical, societal, and comparisons to other ‘harder’ substances, marijuana is in fact, addictive.

The amount of THC in marijuana has increased significantly over recent decades, leading to a more potent drug with more significant impacts on the brain. Marijuana acts specifically on the brain’s cannabinoid receptors that are meant to activate on natural occurrences of THC-like chemicals. These receptors are found in the parts of the brain responsible for pleasure, memory, thinking, concentration, sensory and time perception, and coordination. People who use marijuana are likely to have difficulty functioning in all these areas.

CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Marijuana Data and Statistics

 1Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health,” Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Rockville, MD, 2020.

2S. Hasin et al., “Prevalence of Marijuana Use Disorders in the United States Between 2001–2002 and 2012–2013,” JAMA Psychiatry, vol. 72, no. 12, pp. 1235–1242, 2015.

3M. Filbey et al., “Long-term effects of marijuana use on the brain,” in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, vol. 111, Center for BrainHealth, University of Texas, Dallas, TX 75235 The Mind Research Network, Albuquerque, NM 87106 and, 2014, pp. 16913–16918.

4H. Meier et al., “Persistent cannabis users show neuropsychological decline from childhood to midlife,” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, vol. 109, no. 40, pp. E2657-64, 2012.

5Di Forti et al., “Proportion of patients in south London with first-episode psychosis attributable to use of high potency cannabis: a case-control study,” Lancet Psychiatry, vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 233–238, 2015.

6Di Forti et al., “High-potency cannabis and the risk of psychosis,” Br J Psychiatry, vol. 195, no. 6, pp. 488–491, 2009.M. Di Forti et al., “Daily use, especially of high-potency cannabis, drives the earlier onset of psychosis in cannabis users,” Schizophr Bull, vol. 40, no. 6, pp. 1509–1517, 2014

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