Marijuana is the top illicit drug that is used and abused in the United States. Most users tried the drug for their first time throughout their teenage years. Of those who try it, approximately 10% become addicted to the drug, contrary to modern mythology boasting rumors that marijuana is not an addictive drug. Then again, such myths are probably born from the same group of rumors that claim coffee sobers up an intoxicated person.
Stopping Addiction Before The Need for Rehab
Thankfully, options are virtually limitless in the treatment and rehabilitation of marijuana addicts. Nabbing an addiction before it spirals out of control may help preclude neurological and health issues in the addict’s future. People who smoke marijuana in excess fall privy to losing interest in things that used to interest them as well as a tendency to suffer from financial and employment problems. In addition, marijuana has been proven to be a gateway drug. In other words, marijuana use often leads to use of other drugs such as heroin, crack cocaine, and crystal meth.
Statistics reflect that over 15 million Americans experiment with marijuana within an average month but never become addicted. Approximately 4.3 million Americans abuse marijuana, qualifying for drug dependence and addiction. The phenomenon of addiction is characterized by compulsions to use marijuana despite negative consequences, an acquired tolerance for the drug, and withdrawal symptoms that take effect upon cessation of marijuana use.
Rehabilitation Can Help
When you or someone you love has a problem with marijuana, a lifestyle change may seem unattainable. Often marijuana addictions grow within cultures that glamorize the 1970’s lifestyle of drugs, carefree attitudes, and rock ‘n roll. The flower child era is all smiles and rainbows for those who experiment with drugs recreationally and never experience an addiction. For those who do become addicted to marijuana, however, help is necessary. Marijuana rehab centers have evolved over the last 40 years in synch with scientific discoveries and research findings related to drug use.
The beginning of the treatment regimen normally begins with a detoxification from marijuana. This is often a painful process that involves withdrawal symptoms from the drug, a clear indication that addiction has been an integral part of the user’s story. Withdrawal symptoms from marijuana may include:
- Irritability and mood swings
- Increased heart rate
- Obsessive thoughts about marijuana
- Impaired coordination
- Loss of appetite
- Depression and anxiety
These symptoms will most likely last several days. While the addict is withdrawing from marijuana, staff members will monitor his or her vital signs, appearance, lucidity, and overall health. As long as the patient is progressing appropriately, the detoxification medicine will slowly decrease over several days, weaning the addict off of counter-indicative drugs. By the end of the detoxification process the marijuana addict will be flushed of toxins and illicit drug traces.
Fill Up Time With Something Better
Detoxification from marijuana is followed by a series of recovery-based activities. All activities in marijuana treatment are intended to help guide the marijuana addict shift from a lifestyle that was previously focused on drugs to a lifestyle that incorporates healthy alternatives. The time that a heavy drug user has expended seeking out, using, and sitting in the effects of marijuana, now need to be replaced with new, healthy ways to spend time. For example, a marijuana addict who used to spend five days a week at a friend’s house smoking marijuana and playing video games now enters drug rehab. The treatment team pursues the goal of stimulating his brain, imagination, and passions throughout the treatment process so long as his withdrawal symptoms pass via a medically monitored detox. Throughout the 40 days following the detox he rediscovers his inner enthusiasm for playing an instrument, designing paper airplanes, and jogging. Once he leaves treatment, he has a fun plan involving things he can do to fill his time. Consequently, he is not sitting around uncomfortable and bored post-treatment, two red flag feelings indicating a potential relapse.
Start with Step One
Marijuana rehab centers advocate for a new way of living and supplement daily rehab activities with 12-step program participation. Through the 12 steps of Narcotics Anonymous (NA) clients begin to connect with a spiritual power of their understanding and get in touch with the union between mind and body. In addition, recovering marijuana addicts meet other people who have recovered from marijuana use and addiction to other illicit drugs. In the rooms of NA, marijuana addicts bond with people who share similar backgrounds, character defects, and underlying thought patterns.
Dial the Digits
Marijuana rehab centers encourage marijuana addicts to reach out when they need help. If an addict’s having a bad day, he or she knows to phone a fellow NA member. Practicing this coping mechanism over and over builds a habit. The support network the marijuana addict has built throughout treatment strengthens the addict during hard times. Habits are established so that upon discharge from the drug treatment center the marijuana addict continues to operate with the same healthy tendencies. Essentially marijuana addicts replace compulsions to use drugs with the compulsion to pick up the phone and call someone. Sensitive times when an addict may need to reach out includes instances of feeling triggered, alone, helpless, or worthless.
Lend A Hand
Anyone who has marched the path of recovery is taught the importance of helping others. Being of service is one of the primary principles upon which NA unity is founded. Thus, exposure to others who are willing to lend a hand when spirits squander is reassuring, motivating, and encouraging. “Without help, it is too much for [the marijuana addict] to bear,” AA’s basic text tells us. After forming friendships in NA/AA meetings and with other marijuana rehab clients, the addict can discharge from the treatment center confident in his or her ability to act out against a potential relapse.