Marijuana Addiction Treatment Centers
All over the United States there are now 23 states that have legalized medical cannabis or medical marijuana strictly for medical use. Four states including Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington have thus far passed laws that legalize cannabis for recreational purposes. The medical benefits of marijuana is derived from its superb analgesic or pain-relieving effect. It has also been indicated in the management of emesis or nausea and vomiting. Marijuana is also known as pot, weed, herb, ganja, Mary Jane, grass, and bud and is usually smoked in joints, pipes, bongs, or blunts. When used as a medicinal preparation, marijuana can be served as tea or even mixed into foods.
While almost half of the United States have initiated legislative measures to legalize marijuana, the National Institute on Drug Abuse maintains that teenagers who start using marijuana have a greater likelihood of ending up with marijuana use disorder when they reach their adult years, with the dependency rate significantly rising from 9 percent to 17 percent if started during the adolescent years. There were more than 4 million people in the United States in 2014 who were either dependent or have abused marijuana. The sad fact is that only 138,000 of these individuals ever sought professional help for their marijuana addiction problems.
Sprout Health Group understands what individuals with marijuana use disorders have to go through. With our innovative treatment programs that are based on best clinical practices, and our experience in managing dual diagnosis, we can provide the hope that these individuals need to lead a life that is free from anxiety and free from addiction.
When smoked, the euphoric effects are almost instantaneous, giving the individual an instant high. The problem occurs when marijuana’s THC binds with endogenous cannabinoid receptors in the brain. This greatly disrupts the individual’s ability to think clearly, concentrate, learn, or even perform very simple tasks. This is especially true when the THC alters the function of the orbitofrontal cortex and the hippocampus which are important in the processing and storage of new information as well as shifts in focus. The basal ganglia and the cerebellum are also affected severely affecting balance, coordination, posture, and reaction time. It is for this reason that individuals with marijuana addictions are strongly advised against driving any vehicle as their reaction times may be severely impaired. They are also not supposed to engage in activities or sports that require absolute concentration and lightning-quick reflexes. Like other psychoactive drugs, THC also impairs the reward system of the brain severely affecting responses to normal healthy pleasurable experiences and behaviors.
The effects of marijuana are varied often depending on the potency of the marijuana, the amount of marijuana taken, and the relative experience of the user. Commonly however, marijuana produces very pleasant euphoric effects which can include increased laughter, increased appetite, and heightened sensory perception. There are individuals who may experience the opposite leading to anxiety, distrust, panic, or even fear. In excessively large doses of marijuana, the individual can experience hallucinations, paranoia, loss of personal identity, and delusions to the point that the individual can be characterized as being schizophrenic.
Marijuana use disorders can be managed by detoxification and highly structured treatment programs that are geared towards the management of the psychological and physical dependence issues. Of particular concern is the presence of a co-morbid mental health condition in acute psychosis. Because the individual’s rewards center has been affected by the drug, psychological counselling together with cognitive restructuring should provide a more definitive approach to treatment.
Complementary experiential therapies can provide the necessary activities for the individual to find new meaning in life especially when they hit the bottom, because of the withdrawal from the marijuana that was giving them the high. Group and family therapy sessions can provide and excellent venue for the individual to work out some of their inner thoughts. New coping skills can be learned as well as positive coping mechanisms can be relearned and reinforced. Symptomatic treatment can be instituted in addition to psychosocial and nutritional counseling.