We’ve always been told that marijuana is not an addictive drug. But as more research becomes available, some clinicians are beginning to suggest that marijuana has more addictive qualities than previously believed. The message had been that marijuana could be cognitively addicting but not physically addicting and that it is possible to stop at any time.
However, there are still gaps in the literature. There are a number of reasons why the collection of reliable data continues to be a vexing issue. The lack of any kind of comprehensive and accurate statistics regarding marijuana addiction and treatment remains obscure. Primary reasons include the fact that there are far too many myths that have been circulating for years. Also, most of us think we already know as much about pot as we need to know. In addition, most smokers refuse to believe that cannabis is harmful, since it grows naturally. Finally, because of the rise of synthetic drugs and prescribed drugs like opioids, epidemiological research has been focused on these issues rather than studying weed.
At present there are two kinds of treatment for apparent marijuana addiction: inpatient and outpatient. While both may provide similar basic care, not all programs are equally effective. Inpatient facilities may resemble traditional hospital to high-end luxury facilities for the well-heeled. These are referred to as inpatient residential treatment programs. They are typically located in attractive, tree-lined, tranquil areas. Many offer private rooms with one-to-one service and a menu that would rival some of the finest restaurants.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Conversely, outpatient programs provide the basic essentials of food and shelter. These facilities are far less expensive yet may be able to offer additional services as a result of the availability of specialists in many areas. One of the available therapies in outpatient programs is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). The outpatient programs normally allow patients to continue working without interruption to support their families. They let the patient chose the day and time of treatment and counseling. Additionally, the recovering “addict” could be subject to surprise drug screening as a condition of continuing in the outpatient program.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a specified yet flexible program that has a proven track record. It teaches the user to consider their lives from alternate perspectives along with coping skills to steer clear of the drug. This versatile, individualized method to rehab has also been used with alcoholism and was adjusted for the treatment of cocaine with proven success. Most recently, the strategies have been used for marijuana treatment.
It is based on the idea that thoughts and perceptions, called cognitive resources, can radically impact behavior. It focuses on improving the user’s ability to make sound decisions. By helping the individual to find other ways to avoid dangerous scenarios where the temptation of using marijuana prevails, the user begins the process of developing the skills to refuse to use. Essentially, this method is all about thoughts, beliefs, attitude, behaviors, and regulating emotions.
The vast majority of cannabis users might not think they have a problem. As mentioned, the argument that it is natural has been proliferating for years. The issue has also been become ambiguous because several states have approved it for recreational use, with many others considering it.
Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET)
Motivational Enhancement Therapy can be vital to the recovery process. It starts with an intake interview and wide-ranging questions the user must complete. Intake is followed by a number of individualized therapy sessions. This is followed by providing the patient with the results of the intake process and interview. Motivational techniques are utilized to help the user drill down on the reasons why they started using and find the incentive to complete the program.
What Rehab Can Offer
Marijuana rehabilitation centers provide a safe and proven way to break free of marijuana. Patients receive medical supervision and intensive and exhaustive psychotherapeutic treatment. The goal is to deal with any underlying emotional issues or trauma. They are trained to find healthier ways to cope with uncomfortable emotions that are free of marijuana or alcohol.
When the treatment program is over, the user goes right back into his/her old life complete with all the inclinations they are trying so hard to leave behind. The user will need to put the skills learned in the program to work. Strategies will need to be employed such as attending support groups as often as possible and finding new friends who do not use because old friends who use serve as enabling forces, resulting in a quick relapse.
There are some key signs that indicate you are addicted to pot. For example, losing hours during the day because you want to get high, smoking weed even though you know it will lessen your ability to perform optimally, continuing to smoke over the objections of loved ones, the inability to stop even if you want to, and insisting on getting high regardless of work or family events.
While it is true that marijuana is a natural substance it does not mean that it is free of addictive qualities. If you suspect that you might be addicted, there are a number of rehab programs available. It is estimated that between 10 to 15 percent of cannabis users are addicted to the substance.
Never be afraid to seek the help you need. The resources are there for you, and your true friends will support your decision.
Article by: Alfonzo Porter