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By: Renaissance Recovery

Medically Reviewed by: Diana Vo, LMFT

Last Updated: 7/1/2021

an image of marijuana, representing the need for marijuana rehab

Authored By: Joe Gilmore

Table of Contents

Marijuana rehab admissions almost doubled from 1993 to 2005, according to SAMHSA data.

With both marijuana abuse and marijuana use disorder increasing among adolescents and adults in the United States, marijuana remains the most widely used illicit drug in the US.

As laws continue to shift and marijuana becomes legal in more states, it’s vital to consider the potential dangers of this drug given its widespread usage and understand how you can find a treatment program, like an Orange County rehab if need be.

Is Marijuana Addictive?

There has been a healthy debate for many years centered on the addictive nature of marijuana.

While it was not commonly believed that marijuana is addictive, recent research tells a different story.

This NIAAA study showed that 2.5% of over-18s in the United States experienced marijuana use disorder in the previous year. The same data showed that over 6% of adults met the criteria for marijuana use disorder (also known as cannabis use disorder) at some stage, equating to about one in fifteen of all people who use marijuana becoming addicted.

Marijuana use disorder is diagnosed as mild, moderate, or severe depending on how many symptoms are present of those laid out in DSM-5 (current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).

Research shows the risk of developing marijuana use disorder is heightened among those who start using the drug before the age of 18.

If you have marijuana use disorder, you’ll experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms if you stop using the substance. These include:

  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Strong cravings for marijuana
  • Impaired sleep
  • Diminished appetite
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness

Fortunately, marijuana withdrawal symptoms are fleeting, peaking a week after you quit and typically last for no more than two weeks.

If you have marijuana use disorder, you will find yourself unable to stop using the drug, even if you’re confronted by serious negative consequences at home, work, or school as a result of your usage.

Of the 4 million people in the United States meeting the criteria for marijuana use disorder, only 138,000 willfully engaged with treatment, according to NIDA (the National Institute on Drug Abuse).

What can you expect from marijuana rehab, then?

Marijuana Addiction Treatment

While research into the psychosocial treatment of marijuana dependence and abuse began twenty years ago, there are still relatively few large-scale studies.

The following can all be effective for the treatment of cannabis use disorder:

  • CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy)
  • CM (contingency management)
  • MET (motivational enhancement therapy)

Unlike for alcohol use disorder and opioid use disorder, there are no FDA-approved medications for the treatment of marijuana use disorder.

In most cases, outpatient treatment is an effective method of marijuana rehab. For those with severe marijuana use disorder and co-occurring mental health disorders, dual diagnosis treatment in a residential treatment center might be advisable.

Detox from marijuana is considered safe and there is no reason you can’t withdraw at home. Over the course of a few days, you’ll purge your body of all toxins, with marijuana leaving your system. This prepares you for the counseling and therapy phase of treatment – more on that below.

With the right commitment, you can conquer an addiction to marijuana without needing to pack your bags and head to rehab.

Does the same apply to synthetic marijuana, though?

Synthetic Marijuana Addiction Treatment

Synthetic cannabinoids like Spice are chemical compounds made to replicate the effects of marijuana.

Although synthetic marijuana is designed to deliver the same psychoactive effects of marijuana, the products are unregulated, and they are often many times stronger than marijuana. This increases the risk of adverse side effects, including:

  • Delusions
  • Paranoia
  • Intense hallucinations
  • Psychotics symptoms
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Raised heart rate
  • Suicidal thoughts

According to NIDA, synthetic marijuana can be addictive.

Addiction to synthetic cannabinoids is treated in a similar way to marijuana use disorder, with a combination of counseling, behavioral interventions, and complementary therapies.

What to Expect at a Marijuana Addiction Treatment Center

The treatment options for marijuana dependence and addiction are similar to the protocols and programs for alcohol use disorder and other substance use disorders.

There is no effective medication for the withdrawal symptoms or cravings associated with marijuana.

Instead, you’ll engage with individual and group counseling, as well as behavioral interventions like CBT, MET, and other evidence-based psychotherapies as appropriate.

Marijuana addiction treatment kicks off with a mental and physical assessment. This will establish the scope and severity of your addiction, and the assessment is used as a base for your treatment plan.

Detox is the first phase of recovery, and you can expect to experience a range of adverse psychological symptoms during the withdrawal process. If you are attending residential rehab, your detox will be medically monitored. For those attending outpatient programs, detox can be overseen by your treatment team.

The central component of marijuana rehab is psychotherapy, also known as talking therapy. You will work closely with a therapist to explore the root cause of your addiction while identifying what triggers you to use marijuana. By learning to instead implement healthier coping strategies, you can build the skills you need for lifelong recovery.

There are many different psychotherapy models, with CBT and DBT among the most common for the treatment of substance use disorders like marijuana use disorder.

Individual and group counseling helps you to further explore addiction in general and your addiction in particular.

The best marijuana addiction treatment programs will include an educational and vocational component to help you address the long-term issues of substance abuse.

Marijuana rehab needs to also offer appropriate follow-up and aftercare. Addiction is a chronic and relapsing condition, so you will create a relapse prevention plan as well as a relapse management plan.

Help for Marijuana Addiction at Renaissance Recovery

If you have been spending too much time in a cloud of marijuana smoke, it’s time to seize back your life. Marijuana addiction help is at hand, and you don’t need to trawl through a huge list of marijuana addiction treatment centers to find it.

Here at Renaissance Recovery Center, we have personalized outpatient programs for marijuana use disorder, giving you access to the same services as those of residential treatment, but without the cost or the restriction of inpatient rehab.

If you need more intense treatment, we also offer IOPs (intensive outpatient programs) and PHPs (partial hospitalization programs).

We offer evidence-based programs combining counseling and psychotherapy with holistic therapies. You’ll identify what triggers you to smoke marijuana, and you’ll create and implement healthier coping strategies so you can embrace life weed-free.To take full advantage of these services at one of the best marijuana rehab centers out there, reach out to Renaissance today at 866.330.9449.

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Pat C

“I owe my life and my happiness to these people. October 8th, 2019 marked two years of sobriety for me, and prior to finding Renaissance I hadn’t had 24 hours sober in nearly 20 years.”

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Paige R

“They truly cared for me and the other people that I served with! From this group, I have made 8 new brothers and friends for life! We have continued on, after the program, to take care of each other”

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Courtney S

“Great staff who took the time to get to know me. They have a lot of experience in this field and have first hand experience with what I was going through. IOP is outstanding and really built up a ton of great relationships and found this program to be a ‘breath of fresh air’.”

Diana Vo, LMFT

Diana is an addiction expert and licensed marriage and family therapist who has been in the field of mental health for over 10 years.

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country