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Marijuana Addiction Treatment

Ever wondered why there had been so much fuss about the legalization of marijuana in the United States? It is because while the substance has a great potential as a pain reliever, especially for patients with cancer, it can cause severe addiction when abused.

Marijuana 101

The substance known as marijuana, weed, herb, pot, grass, bud, Ganja, or Mary Jane is a greenish-gray mixture of the dried, shredded leaves and flowers of the hemp plant. Scientifically named cannabis sativa, this plant can easily be grown in your own backyard. In fact, some people may have tried to do so, but were reprimanded due to the previous illegal status of the plant.

Unlike some other typically abused substances, marijuana is smoked and not taken orally. The dried leaves of the cannabis plant are hand-rolled into cigarettes known to users as ‘joints’ and ‘blunts.’ It can also be brewed into tea, but that is rarely done by addicts.

“Marijuana is one of the most difficult drugs to give up. Not because it's more addictive than other drugs, but because addicts are more reluctant to let it go. They see it as their final vice.” - AddictionsAndRecovery.org

While cannabis may already be legal in some parts of the U.S., medical professionals still believe that the use of marijuana should be regulated. This is because one out of 10 marijuana users is at risk of getting addicted to it.

A study conducted on 2,446 individuals aged between 14 and 24 found that 10% had been classified as marijuana addicts after using it for four years. Out of this number, 14% had a difficult time regulating their use while 13 percent continued to use despite health problems resulting from it.

Effects of Marijuana

Marijuana contains a psychoactive or mind-altering chemical called the delta-9-tetrahydro-cannabinol (THC). Aside from that, marijuana also contains over 500 other chemicals, including compounds known as cannabinoids.

Quick Trivia: The chemical is found in resin produced by the leaves and buds primarily of the female cannabis plant.

Many people with medical conditions characterized by severe pain often use marijuana as a pain reliever. However, AddictionsandRecovery.org revealed that cannabis is equally as effective in controlling pain as compared to codeine. This debunks the common notion that marijuana is more effective than other painkillers.

In fact, it may have more negative consequences than positive effects including the following:

  • Use of marijuana once a week may cause abnormalities in brain function for individuals aged 18 to 25 years old.
  • Marijuana is neurotoxic to the brain of an adolescent.
  • Users of marijuana are 4 times more prone to depression.
  • Marijuana use triples the chance of a person developing psychotic symptoms.

Treatment for Marijuana Treatment Abuse

According to Medicine Net, marijuana addicts are commonly treated on an outpatient basis. However, some may still prefer inpatient treatment. Interestingly, records show that both inpatient and outpatient admissions for marijuana abuse have increased over the years to a level similar to that for illegal substances like cocaine and heroin.

Among the programs that effectively provide rehabilitation from marijuana addiction includes behavioral treatment like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), group therapy, outdoor therapy, and others. CBT in particular teaches techniques to control the urge to use marijuana and manage possible situations that may tempt them from relapsing into using it again.

Best therapies are chosen by considering all aspects of the addict’s life in order to help him get back to his normal life. Marijuana addiction treatment that promotes positivity and motivation for the individual may be the way to go.

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