When many states in the US legalized recreational marijuana, we saw a major boost in cannabis use. After all, marijuana contains mind-altering compounds that can cause euphoria and a sense of relaxation.

That’s why people from all over the country rely on cannabis to ease aches and pains and forget about their worries. However, as with all drugs, there’s a dark side to marijuana.

Even though it’s rare, people can develop a cannabis addiction, which can have a significant impact on their quality of life. Luckily, this chemical dependence isn’t a death sentence.

There are many facilities like Recreate Life Counseling that can help individuals overcome substance abuse disorders. So, if you’re interested in learning more about marijuana addiction treatment in Boynton Beach, we can help.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about cannabis and how you can eliminate it from your life.

Marijuana Addiction Overview

Over the past few years, 24 states have legalized recreational cannabis use, while 17 others allow it for medical purposes. Today, people smoke or inhale marijuana to get all sorts of effects.

For instance, many users rely on the drug to de-stress. Other than that, cannabis can relieve symptoms of nausea, ease minor aches, and lower blood pressure.

That’s why it’s incredibly popular with cancer patients. Marijuana can help them deal with the pain of chemotherapy, as well as maintain a healthy appetite.

From this, we can assume that cannabis is safe to use. However, that’s not the case. Due to the mind-altering properties of the drug, it can lead to serious chemical dependence.

People who suffer from this addiction will have a difficult time controlling their actions. Plus, they’ll find it exceptionally difficult to cut back or stop cannabis use, even if they want to.

How Does Marijuana Affect the Brain?

Endorphins are a crucial component of your brain chemistry. These are hormones that create a sensation of pleasure and reinforce specific behavior.

A healthy person will produce endorphins naturally in their body in response to specific stimuli. These include:

  • High-stress situations
  • Workout sessions
  • Eating food that’s high in fat
  • Sexual intercourse

Marijuana contains a couple of compounds that can affect your body. First up, cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical that can treat chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia, and inflammation.

For the most part, this component isn’t psychoactive, which means it can’t get you high. However, the second ingredient in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is psychoactive.

When a person smokes, inhales, or injects marijuana, the drug will cause a sudden release of endorphins. This will cause a euphoric sensation that can last hours.

While this can be pleasurable, it’ll wreak havoc on the individual’s brain chemistry. Since there’s a large amount of endorphins in their system, their body will stop natural production.

So, without cannabis, they won’t have a normal level of the pleasure hormone, which can lead to depression. Naturally, the person suffering from marijuana addiction will keep going back to the drug to maintain a state of relaxation.

Marijuana Addiction Statistics

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 48.2 million people in the US used marijuana in 2019. This translates to 18% of the population.

Yet, not all of these users will develop a chemical dependency. On average, only 9% of adults who smoke marijuana become addicted to the substance. This percentage jumps to 17% if we’re talking about young adults and teens.

Signs of Marijuana Dependence

Figuring out if a person is struggling with a marijuana addiction can be tricky—that’s because most of the signs are subtle and difficult to detect. However, there are a few markers you can look out for:

  • Short-term memory loss
  • Increased appetite and thirst
  • Paranoia
  • Anti-social behavior
  • Hallucinations
  • Slowed response time
  • Impaired judgment
  • Mental confusion

These are just some of the symptoms that can arise from short-term marijuana addiction. On top of that, if substance abuse happens over a long period, there can be other complications.

For example, some people developed issues like cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome. This condition causes uncontrollable nausea and vomiting. Finally, long-term cannabis misuse can lead to an increased risk of psychosis and schizophrenia.

Marijuana Dose and Tolerance

We can divide cannabis users into four categories depending on how often they use the drug:

  • No-use
  • Infrequent (1 to 5 days per month)
  • Frequent (6 to 29 days per month)
  • Daily

For the first two categories, the chances of developing an addiction are slim to none. The cannabis doesn’t spend enough time in your system to make any permanent changes.

As for the other two categories, developing a dependence on marijuana is likely. Plus, over time, users will develop a tolerance to the drug, which will lead them to increase their daily dose.

While this can lead to an overdose, it’s not fatal. Instead, excessive marijuana use will lead to a disconnection from reality and a sense of confusion. The person struggling with the addiction may hallucinate and even pass out.

Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms

Quitting marijuana isn’t a walk in the park. As soon as a person struggling with addiction decreases their intake, they may begin to experience symptoms of withdrawal. These can manifest as:

  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Decreased appetite
  • Demotivation
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Psychosis

Marijuana Addiction Treatment Programs

At Recreate Life Counseling, we offer several programs that can help people kick a marijuana habit. Depending on your needs and lifestyle, we can provide tailored treatment plans that will assist you with maintaining your sobriety. Here’s a look at the programs we offer:

1. Residential Treatment

Dealing with the symptoms of marijuana withdrawal can be challenging. This is especially true if the person struggling with addiction doesn’t have a stable support system.

That’s when residential programs can be useful. It’s when a person who misuses marijuana stays at an inpatient facility surrounded by a certified medical team. These healthcare professionals can provide support and 24/7 monitoring to ensure the safety of the patient.

The treatment plan includes marijuana detoxification. It can take up to four weeks of abstinence for cannabis to completely leave your system. This will depend on how long you’ve been using, among other factors like weight, height, and age. However, the symptoms of withdrawal won’t last long.

Typically, the severe side effects will subside after about two weeks. After that, the person struggling with addiction can explore various types of therapy and create coping mechanisms to help them stay on the wagon.

2. Outpatient Treatment

Residential treatment isn’t for everyone. Some people don’t have the time to take a month or two away from their lives.

In that case, an outpatient treatment plan may be just the ticket. With this option, the person struggling with addiction will only spend a few hours a week at a medical facility.

The rest of the time, they can go about their regular routine. This provides a flexible environment for recovering addicts to learn how to manage their schedule while maintaining their sobriety.

3. Dual Diagnosis

Since excessive marijuana use can lead to conditions such as depression and anxiety, it’s no surprise the drug can cause mental health issues. These complications can make it difficult for a person struggling with addiction to quit their drug of choice.

They’ll use cannabis to self-medicate their mental health concerns, which will throw a wrench into recovery. Dual diagnosis can be a lifesaver in this situation. This program offers a treatment plan that includes a combination of mental health aid and addiction therapy. That way, you can address both issues at once.

4. Acupuncture

One of the main withdrawal symptoms of marijuana is insomnia. The drug can make it difficult for a person struggling with addiction to go to sleep. This can affect all other aspects of their lives – and while their first instinct may be to take a sleeping pill, that’s not the best idea.

Replacing one drug with another on the road to recovery can make staying sober complicated. Thankfully, there are many natural therapies, like acupuncture, that can treat insomnia.

Even though needles don’t sound all that relaxing, acupuncture is an excellent way to calm down and relieve muscle tension. It can also reduce your stress levels and ease anxiety.

5. Group Therapy

Social isolation is one of the cornerstones of marijuana substance abuse. People who are struggling with a cannabis addiction tend to avoid social interactions.

Unfortunately, this alienates them from their friends and family. Without this support system, staying on the wagon will be a challenge.

A great way to overcome this hurdle is group therapy. In these sessions, people who are struggling with addiction get to meet others who are facing similar issues. This helps them build a sense of community.

Wrapping Up

At Recreate Life Counseling, we offer marijuana addiction treatment in Boynton Beach.

Depending on the severity of the substance abuse disorder, we can create tailored plans to help people struggling with cannabis dependency.

Our treatment options include residential programs, dual diagnosis, group therapy, and even acupuncture. Plus, if the person battling addiction needs a flexible program, they can join our outpatient treatment plan.

Published on: 2024-04-07
Updated on: 2024-05-10