Marijuana Addiction Treatment

Marijuana addiction treatment programs continue to be in demand across the country due to the ever-increasing number of people abusing marijuana and developing marijuana addiction. In the United States, marijuana is one of the most popular recreational drugs. Whether rolled in cigarette paper and smoked or cooked and eaten, marijuana users can become addicted to the drug, requiring marijuana rehab to learn how to avoid compulsively using the drug.

Effects on the Brain

brainMarijuana goes by many names – weed, Mary Jane, pot, chronic, herb, and grass. The active ingredient, THC, short for tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical in marijuana that causes psychoactive effects in marijuana users. THC is what causes the “high” that most marijuana users experience and eventually crave.

THC is a chemical that acts directly on the human brain and effects the users mental health.  After consuming marijuana, THC flows quickly from the lungs into the bloodstream until it finally reaches organs in the human body, including the brain. In the brain, THC reacts with cannabinoid receptors. Based on their location in the brain, cannabinoid receptors determine the effects of THC on the human body. When THC reacts with a receptor in the brain’s memory, for instance, the user’s capacity for memory is negatively affected.

Similar activity takes place in the areas of the brain responsible for thought, concentration, coordination, and analysis. Marijuana’s high is the result of THC’s activity with receptors situated in the pleasure area of the brain. Areas of the brain affected by marijuana can be damaged permanently and it takes months of abstinence and treatment at a marijuana rehab to regain normal brain function after long-term marijuana addiction.

What is Addiction?

Marijuana addiction is different from addiction to most other drugs during detox. The physical withdrawal symptoms of marijuana are not as significant as the psychological symptoms that occur during marijuana detox.

Depending upon the length of addictive use, the amount of marijuana smoked and other drugs used at the same time, the physical withdrawal symptoms will vary. The psychological addiction to marijuana is far more intense, especially during the detox period. After using marijuana for a period of time, the addict develops a craving for its effects, namely for the high it produces as well as its escapist value. If unable to get high, the addict will have trouble functioning due to the intense cravings for the drug. Among other things, a marijuana addict will experience decreased appetite, extreme stress, and depression.

For most marijuana addicts, these symptoms will begin in as 12 to 24 hours after their last use and will continue for several weeks.

Therapeutic Treatment ModelsRehab Programs

Anyone addicted to marijuana must seriously consider marijuana addiction treatment. No matter how great or how small a person’s marijuana addiction, successful treatment is possible. Generally speaking, marijuana addiction treatment will not involve medication of any kind but will be based on a range of therapeutic treatments.

Inpatient marijuana addiction treatment centers provide the addict with round-the-clock professional attention and keep them isolated from the drug. Not having access to the drug ensures that the addict will not resume abusing marijuana, which is critical for recovery.

Outpatient marijuana rehab provides consistent therapy, group sessions and support through abstinence as well as educational classes and other assistance.

Abuse and Rehabilitation Statistics

Below are some recent statistics relating to marijuana abuse, addiction, and treatment in the United States:

  • In 2001, marijuana was a part of over 100,000 emergency room visits in the United States.
  • The average age of first marijuana use is 14 years old.
  • Between 6 and 11 percent of fatal accident victims test positive for marijuana.
  • In most users, marijuana impairs driving ability
  • Marijuana abuse and addiction is most common in teenagers and young adults.
  • 16.1 percent of all drug addiction treatment in the United States is for marijuana
  • Most receivers of marijuana addiction treatment are between the ages of 20 and 29.
  • 40 percent of Americans older than 12 have tried marijuana.
  • In 1995, 165,000 of all addicts undergoing treatment were primarily marijuana users.
  • One-third of marijuana addiction treatment is given to teens aged 12 to 17.
  • Marijuana addiction treatment is most common among young, white males.