14 Minutes

Edited & clinically reviewed by THE BALANCE Team
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Marijuana is the most frequently used federally prohibited drug in the US; 48.2 million individuals, or roughly 18 percent of the population, used it at least once in 2019.

According to recent studies, nearly three in ten individuals who use marijuana have a marijuana use disorder. Individuals who start using marijuana before reaching the age of 18 face an even higher risk of having a marijuana use disorder.

Marijuana usage has a direct effect on the brain, more precisely on the areas associated with cognition, learning, concentration, decision-making, coherence, temperament, and response time. Children, infants, and adolescents (who still have progressive neurological development) are more vulnerable to marijuana’s harmful effects.

In some users, long-term or regular marijuana use has been associated with an elevated risk of schizophrenia or psychosis.

Marijuana use during pregnancy may raise a woman’s risk of experiencing pregnancy problems. Marijuana should be avoided during gestation and lactation.

Marijuana is the term used to describe the dried stalks, flowers, seeds, and leaves of the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plant. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. While marijuana has been legalized in a number of states around the country, it remains illegal on the national level. Marijuana is often smoked in blunts, water pipes, or joints.

In recent times, some folks have begun utilizing vaporizers, which generate vapor from a liquid extract. Additionally, marijuana is frequently baked into cookies or brownies, which are referred to as edibles. The term “dabbing” refers to a new technique of intake that involves smoking THC-rich extracts in the form of shatter, wax, or hash oil.

On aggregate, these extraction processes contain far more THC than raw marijuana plant matter, increasing the likelihood of suffering harmful effects. There have been accounts of individuals seeking treatment at an emergency department due to the negative side effects of resin consumption.

Nobody has to battle substance abuse and rehabilitation alone. There are services that offer definite help. When it relates to marijuana addiction, outpatient and inpatient treatment options are available.

Marijuana affects the brain in both the short and long term.

Short-Term Consequences

When an individual smokes marijuana, THC rapidly enters the bloodstream via the lungs. The substance is transported to the brain and other body organs via the blood. When an individual consumes or drinks THC, the body processes it more slowly. They typically experience the effects after 30 to 45 minutes in this case.

THC operates on certain brain cell receptors that are normally activated by natural THC analogs. These natural substances contribute to normal growth and brain function.

Marijuana excessively stimulates the areas of the brain with the largest concentration of these receptors. This results in the “high” that many experiences. 

Harmful Effects of Short-Term Marijuana Abuse

  • Skewed perceptions (for instance, seeing brighter colors)
  • Distorted perception of time
  • Mood swings
  • Impairment of body movements
  • Cognitive and problem-solving difficulties
  • Memory impairment
  • Phantoms (when high doses are consumed)
  • Hallucinations (when  high doses are consumed)
  • Psychotic state (risk is greatest with consistent use of increased potency marijuana)

Long-Term Consequences

Marijuana also has an effect on the development of the brain. When adolescents begin smoking marijuana, the drug may damage cognition, recall, and learning functions, as well as the way the brain connects the regions of the brain necessary for these tasks. Experts are still investigating the duration of marijuana’s effects and if certain alterations are permanent.

For instance, research performed in part by researchers at Duke University in New Zealand found that people who began smoking marijuana intensively in their teens and continued to have a continuing marijuana use disorder dropped an average of eight IQ points between the ages of 13 and 38. Mental talents that had been lost were not entirely restored in those who stop using marijuana as adults. Adults who began smoking marijuana did not exhibit significant IQ decreases.

A recent study on twins discovered a significant reduction in basic knowledge and language skills (equal to four IQ points) during the preteen and early adulthood for those who used marijuana, but no discernible variation between twins who used marijuana and those who did not. This shows that IQ reduction in marijuana users may be due to something besides marijuana, like shared familial characteristics (for example, family environment, genetics). The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, a sizable longitudinal study, is following a high number of young adults in the US from childhood to early adulthood in order to better understand how and to what degree marijuana and other substances, separate or in combination, influence adolescent brain growth.

Harmful Effects of Long-Term Marijuana Abuse

While medicinal marijuana can give therapeutic benefit for a range of psychiatric and medical disorders, marijuana abuse can still have some negative consequences, including the following:

  • Memory impairment.
  • Cognitive and problem-solving difficulties.
  • Inflammation and infection of the lungs, and recurrent respiratory problems.
  • Acute coronary syndrome.
  • Severe vomiting and nausea
  • Anxiety and depression.
  • Psychotic characteristics, like delusions and hallucinations.
  • Symptoms of dependence and withdrawal.
  • Addiction.
  • According to studies, between 9 percent and 30 percent of marijuana users acquire a marijuana addiction.
  • Fortunately, rehabilitation is available to assist you in achieving and maintaining sobriety.

Individuals who are using marijuana may assert that the drug is harmless, and so the substance is also legal in some regions. As a result, it might be difficult to determine when to act in situations of marijuana usage. As per Mayo Clinic, the following symptoms indicate the presence of drug addiction:

  • Compulsive temptations for the substance
  • Resistance to the substance, which results in increased doses
  • Stockpiling the drug
  • Wasting money on drugs that should be spent on household expenditures
  • Limiting job, hobbies, and social events in order to save money for drug abuse
  • Taking more risks while intoxicated
  • Attempts to stop the usage of the substance have been unsuccessful.
  • A requirement to use the drug on a consistent basis, possibly daily or numerous times per day

It is critical to remember that marijuana addicts are not intrinsically fragile, evil, or bad. They are suffering from a medical problem that is responsive to treatment, and they require assistance in order to heal. Approaching them calmly and compassionately is a smart strategy and that is made easier when friends and families view this as a disease.

Substance abuse has a profound effect on the lives of everyone who comes into contact with it. Whether you or somebody close to you is battling with a marijuana or pot addiction, the chance to seek treatment has come. You might find solace in the fact that marijuana rehab facilities come in a variety of shapes and sizes. It is prudent to consider all available possibilities before choosing the precise type of rehab program that would best match your needs.

The most frequently used treatment modalities are residential or inpatient programs, which give 24-hour care and assistance, and outpatient programs, which allow participants to stay home and tend to their obligations. Inside the two broad therapy umbrellas, a plethora of therapeutic approaches, strategies, and solutions are available for comparison and consideration.

There is some controversy over whether inpatient or outpatient care is better suited to the demands of the addicted person. Numerous variables must be considered before choosing over another.

Center for Inpatient Rehabilitation

If you or someone you care about is battling with alcohol or drug addiction, you may need to seek treatment at a residential drug rehab facility. Inpatient drug rehabilitation programs can provide you with the rigorous counseling and resources necessary to overcome marijuana addiction and return to a productive, happy, and fulfilling life.

The Advantages of Inpatient Marijuana Treatment Facilities

  • Direct supervision 24 hours a day
  • Whenever necessary, availability of medical treatment
  • Restricted access to weed (or other drugs of choice)
  • When required, immediate access to emotional and psychological help
  • Atmosphere and schedule that are highly structured

Center for Outpatient Rehabilitation

Seeking addiction treatment is one of the most critical decisions you can make for yourself or somebody you care about. Getting aid is a tough choice that should not be taken by looking solely for the largest billboard in the local telephone directory.

If you’re considering outpatient drug rehab programs, there are several aspects to consider before settling on one program over the other. Understanding what these characteristics are and how they affect your treatment will assist you in making the difficult decision of where to seek assistance.

It may not seem critical now, but there are moments when immediate access to support makes a huge difference when you are feeling alone, terrified, isolated, or anxious. Outpatient facilities have a number of advantages, including low expense, no need to get time off from work, and less disruption to your everyday life.

In 2015, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported that more than 215,000 people between the ages of 12 and older sought therapeutic intervention for marijuana addiction. This amount accounts for around 14 percent of all treatment enrollment that year.

Indeed, the only other substances for which patients sought treatment were opioids and alcohol.

While it is a widespread misperception that marijuana users cannot become addicted, they can establish a hazardous habit of usage, compared to other narcotics.

Marijuana addiction is a serious problem that can be rather devastating for those who battle it. If you want to be effective in treating and rehabilitating this type of addiction, you must take it seriously.

Treatment regimens will differ according to a marijuana treatment program. However, it should vary somewhat between individuals. Just as no two persons are alike, no two addictions are exactly equivalent. Every addiction is distinct and must be treated accordingly.

It is recommended that you call a premium inpatient weed rehab centers you are considering to learn more about the treatment procedure. In general, you can anticipate one or more of the following:

  • Assessment at the time of admission, which is utilized to develop a personalized treatment plan
  • Period of detoxification
  • Individualized treatment for your addiction
  • Customized care is provided to address emotional, physical, and mental health requirements identified over the course of treatment.
  • Aftercare planning to assist you in avoiding relapse to marijuana use once the inpatient stage of treatment concludes

Inpatient marijuana rehab programs typically provide program lengths that can be customized to meet specific needs and insurance plans.

Usually, residential programs last one, two, or three months. It is critical to recognize that addiction is a chronic condition and that individuals may relapse. Nonetheless, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that the general consensus is that 90-day inpatient treatment programs have the best chance of long-term success.

If a person continues to use marijuana for an extended period of time, dependence and addiction may develop. When someone with a physiological reliance on marijuana tries to quit or decrease their use, they may experience symptoms of withdrawal. This makes quitting marijuana even more challenging.

Marijuana withdrawal effects may include the following:

  • Anxiety.
  • Pain in the abdomen.
  • Appetite suppression.
  • Tremors or shakiness.
  • A gloomy disposition.
  • Irritability.
  • Issues with sleep (- for example, insomnia, nightmares).
  • Excessive sweating, chills, or fever  
  • Cravings for more marijuana.

Leaving treatment, particularly after extended programs, may appear to be a little daunting. Your primary priority should be to maintain sobriety. Now is the moment to apply your newly acquired knowledge about yourself, your addiction problems, and the circumstances in your life that have been keeping you back. Utilize the resources provided in treatment to live a substance-free life.

Ongoing Recovery

Psychotherapy and support programs are the primary therapeutic options accessible to those who are addicted to marijuana.

Numerous individuals seeking treatment for marijuana addiction utilize behavioral therapy to address the psychological parts of their addiction. The duration of behavioral therapy differs from person to person but is typically around 12 weeks. Behavioral therapy can assist you in better understanding your cravings and motives. This is an excellent approach to prepare for temptations and relapses. With a substance like marijuana that is mostly psychological in nature, it is critical to use cognitive behavioral therapy as well as other therapeutic methods.

Support networks are among the most popular methods of receiving assistance. There are numerous support groups accessible to anyone seeking to overcome an addiction. Marijuana Anonymous (MA) is the only support network for this addiction that is substance-specific. This group is modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), including a 12-step program for recovery. Due to the lack of MA in several areas, many individuals seeking assistance in their rehabilitation will find Narcotics Anonymous (NA) to be a much more approachable choice.

Other support services, like the SMART Recovery program, are available for those seeking alternatives to the 12-step approach.

Making the decision to stop consuming marijuana is a significant step. Whether you’ve used it for months or even years, the drug’s effects might stay in your body for some time. If you’re searching for a speedy detox, a web search for “how to detox from marijuana at home” can provide a plethora of home treatments that other weed smokers/consumers have tried over the years. Numerous items include detox teas and beverages that promise to rapidly eliminate toxins from the body. These are intended for users who may be subjected to a drug screening in the nearest term and do not wish for any traces of the substance to be detected.

Marijuana users are recommended to enroll in premium a drug detox center that is familiar with the marijuana detox process. The detox procedure for marijuana does not include life-threatening adverse effects, as it does for some other substances, however, the individual may still experience significant physical discomfort and may be fearful of what is occurring to them.

As per Marijuana Anonymous, the following are some measures marijuana users can take to ease their bodies and feelings throughout the detox process:

  • Consume plenty of water and other clear fluids to cleanse the body. Cranberry juice is also a good cleanser of the body. Numerous detox centers recommend this to their clients.
  • Sweat. Sweating excessively helps the body eliminate toxins, and strenuous activity or a sauna can help you produce sweat. Workout also aids in the healing process by elevating one’s mood.
  • Take a long, hot bath.
  • Exclude fat and caffeine from your diet during the detoxification process.
  • Hot milk can be beneficial for those suffering from sleeplessness.

When executive problems prevent you, a colleague, or a dear one from seeking help for a weed addiction or behavior-related addiction, executive rehab methods are essential. A business person can get support while rehabilitating by combining premium substance abuse therapy with the opportunity to use a personal computer or cellphone to catch up with work commitments.

Certain treatment centers offer amenities comparable to those found in luxury 5-star hotels, with the main focus on your wellness and health. From fitness centers and gourmet chef-prepared 5-star cuisine to luxury bedding and in-house massage treatment, you can receive top-rated illegal substance and behavior treatment for yourself, a partner, or a dear one while in rehab.

Individuals dealing with addiction issues, especially weed/marijuana addiction, benefit greatly from high-end residential and inpatient treatment. As addiction issues have received considerable attention, the need for therapy has skyrocketed.

Enrollment in a high-end inpatient rehab institution that specializes in mental health care is sometimes essential for chronic marijuana addiction rehab. A premium high-end inpatient luxury treatment facility offers upscale mental illness care in conjunction with 5-star resort-style facilities like private accommodation, scenic settings, massage and spa treatments, fitness centers, and complementary therapies like meditation, mindfulness, yoga, acupuncture swimming pool, sauna, and hot tubs, equine therapy and tennis courts.

The function of an upscale high-end inpatient luxury marijuana rehab facility has altered dramatically since its inception. Traditionally, mental hospitals were founded expressly to isolate those suffering from mental illnesses from the rest of the community, which was deemed “common.”

People must first undergo rehabilitation in order to reintegrate into society and, more significantly, to lead a healthy and liberated life. A luxury premium residential institution offers a variety of mental health therapies that can assist in relieving pain and promoting mental wellness. They include the following:

  • Individual and group counseling are provided.
  • Medication Management (prescription drugs) 
  • Developing and honing your skills in order to better manage your destructive behavioral addictions
  • Avoiding relapse.

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