Addictions come in many forms and can involve all sorts of activities and or substances. Marijuana is just one of many drugs of choice that people struggling with addiction turn to. It is common for marijuana use to start as the result of recreational use, experimentation, or the more increasingly popular use for medical treatment. The problem is that some of its uses are illegal, while others are not and have even proven to be highly beneficial in the right medically controlled setting. This creates blurred lines and complications since its use in any form carries the potential of becoming addictive. It is important to recognize the signs of marijuana addiction and when treatment for addiction is necessary.
Today’s culture is increasingly glamorizing marijuana as natural, pure, safe, and full of medical benefits. Some celebrities, comedians, and musicians encourage the use of marijuana, which increases the popularity of the idea. It is important to understand the facts about marijuana use and how it is often a gateway drug and a trigger for addiction to other substances and addictive behaviors.
Often times, people don’t realize that the marijuana they buy off the street is not as pure and natural as they might think. It is commonly laced with other chemicals and drugs that are used as filler agents and make it more affordable to produce. These substances—such as fentanyl—can be even more addictive and dangerous. There have been many instances of patients unknowingly testing positive for fentanyl use when they have come in seeking treatment for drug addiction and marijuana. This is scary given the addictive properties of fentanyl and the fatal consequences of use.
Sure, there are medically prescribed versions of marijuana use that are becoming increasingly popular and legal in some areas, but this needs to remain under close supervision by medical professionals and in controlled environments. The hidden dangers associated with marijuana use make education vital, and it is important to stress how to recognize and determine when addiction might be present and treatment for addiction is necessary.
Treatment is approached differently
In many cases, treatment for addiction to marijuana is handled differently than that of other common substances that are abused. An individual addicted to marijuana doesn’t relate to addiction signs and symptoms in the same way as someone who is addicted to heroin or alcohol. For this reason, treatment specialists tend to go the route of individual counseling for marijuana addiction rather than the conventional routes of a full treatment program or addiction rehab.
It is fairly common for a marijuana addiction to start as a symptom of self-medicating for other underlying issues. Professional counseling can help safely get to the root of these issues and help the individual work through them. They can even help get the appropriately prescribed medications to help if needed. Not all insurance will pay for the treatment of addiction when it deals solely with marijuana. Counseling programs can be costly, but with proper research, there are affordable options available.
What to expect during treatment
Once an individual comes to the decision to seek treatment for addiction to marijuana, there may be some growing pains. Many users have a long and established history of marijuana abuse. Seeking treatment for drug addiction is only the start of the battle. It is not uncommon for them to experience symptoms of withdrawal, which include irritability, anxiety, trouble sleeping, and additional cravings. These symptoms can cause an individual to relapse, but they can be overcome. It takes determination and the right support system from friends, family, and a solid addiction treatment program staffed with experienced professionals.
The good news is that the road to recovery and treatment for addiction doesn’t have to happen alone. There are resources available. Center for Healing is a qualified organization that specializes in helping people struggling with all forms of addiction, including marijuana. Every person and situation is different and we understand that each requires an individual approach for treatment. We can help provide the right information to steer anyone with questions about treatment for addiction in the right direction toward a successful recovery.
Erica Franco Mortimer, MA, LPC, LCADC
Founder and CEO
Center for Healing
Erica is a licensed therapist with over twenty-years experience in mental health. Erica offers practical and straight forward advice to those struggling with addiction and their families. Having deep insight and understanding of addiction, Erica is able to offer guidance to those looking to regain control of their lives.