Although many believe that marijuana isn’t addictive, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that marijuana use can cause the development of problem use. This is known as a marijuana use disorder. According to data, an estimated 30 percent of individuals who use marijuana have a marijuana use disorder to some extent.
When an individual isn’t able to stop using marijuana, even when it interferes with his or her life, a marijuana use disorder becomes an addiction. Marijuana addiction happens when the brain gets accustomed to excessive amounts of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which reduces the production of the body’s own endocannabinoid neurotransmitters.
Marijuana addiction is often associated with withdrawal symptoms when an individual tries to quit. These could include difficulty sleeping, irritability, poor appetite, cravings, and physical discomfort. These symptoms typically peak within one week and last about two weeks after quitting.
In 2015, there were about 4 million individuals in the United States who met the criteria for having a marijuana addiction or a marijuana use disorder. Of these individuals, 138,000 sought addiction recovery treatment. In addition, the National Institute on Drug Abuse explained that the amount of THC in marijuana has increased over the past few decades. In the 1990s, the average THC content found in marijuana was 3.8 percent. It has increased to an average THC level of 12.2 percent as of 2014.
Marijuana and its Affect on the Brain
The active compound in marijuana is THC. If an individual smokes marijuana, the THC quickly passes from the lungs to the bloodstream. THC eventually makes its way to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, which can influence memory, pleasure, concentration, time perception, and coordinated movement.
What are the Treatment Options for Marijuana Addiction?
There are certain behavioral treatments that have been promising for treating marijuana addiction that include:
Motivational Enhancement Therapy
This is a form of treatment that involves intervention that sparks an internal change through motivation. This treatment focuses on mobilizing an individual’s internal resources for change.
This is a therapeutic management approach for marijuana addiction. With this treatment, an individual will be monitored for a target behavior. When the target behavior is reached, he or she will be provided with positive rewards.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
This treatment is a type of psychotherapy that helps individuals learn coping techniques to deal with their addiction. In addition, this also teaches individuals to recognize and correct behaviors that will lead to sobriety and improve self-control.
Many think that rehabilitation of an addict is short and straightforward. Those that think like that don’t understand what addiction is and how hard is to treat it. The actual treatment is long and hard, and the success isn’t always guaranteed.
Every addiction is a debilitating and chronic condition. People who have one can’t get away from the cause of the same. Proper rehabilitation facilities are there to offer right treatment that depends on the cause of the addiction. The important thing for those addicts is to understand what kind of help rehab facilities provide and how long it takes to treat them. This prevents the abandonment of the treatment and all chances to go clean.
The primary duty of any rehab facility is to cure physical symptoms of an addiction. Every type of substance abuse (along with other things that can get you addicted) will produce some form of physical dependence. This is what makes the withdrawal process so much hard. An addict can feel extreme discomfort and pain if they don’t abuse the substance they are on, and that forces many of them to start abusing it once again.
Rehabilitation process has to last at least two or three months. It is this long, and the patient will experience pain and discomfort that comes from the lack of substance consumption. The need for the substance (or any habit you can get addicted to) will last for a lot longer. Some people get the need to take on those substances even after several years since their last dose.
So, the secondary duty of a rehab center is to convince addicts not to turn back to old habits. The majority of them fail to achieve this because they approach all patients in the same fashion. Every patient comes from a different background and thus the cause of their addiction is different. The best way to convince them to stop doing drugs, alcohol and other harmful habits is to approach every individual differently and find out what can be done to remove the cause of their addiction.