California Marijuana Abuse Treatment


Marijuana, also known by various street names such as dope, pot, grass, weed, 420, and ganja, is an addictive substance containing dried cannabis plant. The psychoactive compound in marijuana is known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the compound that causes the hallucinogenic effects associated with marijuana.

THC is quickly absorbed by the body through the bloodstream and acts on your body’s cannabinoid receptors in the hippocampus (the region of the brain responsible for memory), the cerebral cortex (which is responsible for concentration), the sensory regions of your cerebral cortex, (responsible for perception) and the regions responsible for movement (the globus pallidus, substantia nigra, and cerebellum)

Is Cannabis Addictive?

Prolonged cannabis abuse can result in psychological and physical addiction. Long-term users develop a dependency on the substance and will often suffer withdrawal symptoms when they attempt quitting. Some of the common marijuana withdrawal symptoms are impaired appetite, anxiety, aggression, sleeplessness, and irritability.

Signs of Marijuana Addiction

Some of the short-term signs and symptoms of marijuana abuse include:

  • Euphoria
  • Impaired coordination
  • Decreased alertness
  • Impaired memory and learning abilities
  • Difficulty concentrating, thinking, and solving problems
  • Skewed time perception and sensory
  • Distractibility and short attention spans

Marijuana abuse can also lead to disturbing thoughts or deteriorate psychotic symptoms in people suffering from people with schizophrenia.

Effects of Marijuana Abuse

Long-term abuse of the substance might lead to lessened ability to function daily and lowered motivation effectively. Some weed users will report experiencing respiratory problems, panic attacks, anxiety, and high heart rates, leading to a heart attack. Although there still lacks definitive research, chronic cannabis use has been associated with causing mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety.

Weed abuse also subjects you to lung problems. Long-term marijuana smokers may suffer respiratory problems similar to those suffered by tobacco smokers. Weed smoking puts you at a higher risk of lung health problems because the compound has four times tar content, 50 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons, and three times more carbon monoxide compared to tobacco.

Preparing for Marijuana Addiction Treatment

Suppose you or your loved one struggles with marijuana addiction. In that case, you should seek help from addiction treatment professionals in a drug rehab near you. Marijuana addiction treatment is highly effective. Some of the treatment options in Lancaster, California, marijuana rehab include addiction counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivation incentives, and medication.

The addiction treatment process is a journey with multiple stages.

Developing A Treatment Plan.

The initial stage of marijuana addiction treatment involves structuring a personalized treatment program based on your unique needs. The treatment program should address your physical, social, and mental needs and treat any co-occurring disorder or comorbidities.

Medical Detox

Medical detox may be necessary, depending on the severity of your addiction. This program is normally a precursor to addiction treatment, and the main objective is managing withdrawal symptoms, which might be life-threatening in some cases.

While withdrawal from weed is not as complicated as withdrawal from alcohol and other drugs, heavy marijuana users may be at risk of suffering severe withdrawal symptoms that necessitate a medical professional’s supervision. Your doctor can prescribe antidepressants to help manage mood swings linked to the initial stages of quitting marijuana.

Options for Marijuana Rehab

Drug rehab programs are unique for each patient since they are all customizable to meet every patient’s needs. The most effective addiction treatment programs are those that keep the patients actively involved in the recovery journey.

Inpatient Rehab

This is a treatment program where the participants are admitted and reside within the rehab facility during the treatment period. Residential rehab offers structured marijuana treatment programs personalized to address every aspect of the patient’s addiction.

This is the best option for long-term marijuana users, individuals with severe or chronic addiction, and those suffering from co-occurring disorders as well. In an inpatient program, you will receive around-the-clock support from addiction treatment professionals. Additionally, the environment in residential facilities is conducive for recovery because you are secluded from your everyday conditions that might trigger your marijuana use.

Outpatient Rehab

Outpatient rehabilitation is yet another approach to marijuana addiction treatment. Outpatient programs offer most of the therapies and treatments found in inpatient rehab programs. The only difference is that patients are allowed to reside at home, continue their home, work, or school responsibilities, and only visit the rehab facility during the day for treatment and therapy sessions.

Since outpatient addiction treatment programs do not withdraw patients from their everyday word, they are at a greater risk of relapse due to everyday triggers such as enabling peers and family members. For this reason, outpatient programs are best suited for patients with mild marijuana addiction and who are disciplined and committed to recovery.

Outpatient rehab programs can also be used as a step-down program after completing an inpatient program. In this case, they are integrated with sober living programs.

Marijuana Addiction Medication


Research shows that naltrexone is a great chemical intervention for the management of marijuana cravings among heavy users. This drug is an opioid antagonist and blocks the “rewards” associate with weed.

Naltrexone blocks your brain’s opioid receptors, dropping the feelings of reward and pleasure associated with marijuana. However, this medication is popularly used in the treatment of alcoholism.

Scientists report that naltrexone can effectively treat marijuana addiction the same way it treats alcoholism. A 6 weeks study was conducted on patients where one group was given a placebo while another group was given naltrexone. Those in the first group were 7 times more likely to continue abusing marijuana than the second group.

Once the patients stopped naltrexone medication, the rate of marijuana use increased. The study shows that naltrexone can be administered to patients suffering from marijuana addiction to help quit abuse or deter them from the substance with addiction treatment professionals’ support.

Off-label options

Naltrexone is not the only drug that can help in the management and treatment of cannabis use. Some off-label medications, drugs that are FDA approved for different uses, have proven to effectively manage marijuana withdrawal symptoms. These drugs include:

  • Bupropion
  • Dronabinol
  • Gabapentin

Relapse Prevention

Some individuals struggling with marijuana addiction turn to outpatient rehabilitation. However, this program is only effective for people with a mild addiction, and patients live in their routine environments. If your addiction is severe, this program is not recommended because you will be exposed to some of your addiction triggers.

Therefore, it is recommended that you consult with an addiction treatment professional to assess the severity of your addiction before joining a treatment program. This helps you determine the program that is most appropriate for addressing your condition.

After completing an inpatient or outpatient marijuana addiction program, you should enroll in an ongoing treatment program such as sober living homes. It’s also recommended that you continue making regular visits to your therapist when recovering from the addiction disorder, which helps you stay sober in the long-term.

The objective of enrolling in ongoing treatment is to prevent relapse by addressing whatever triggers cause your substance use daily. In these programs, you will learn how to cope with marijuana cravings and other triggers.

Joining support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous is another great way to prevent relapse of marijuana use.

Get Help Today

Marijuana addiction and dependency treatment are available for anyone willing and committed to recovery. Suppose you or your loved one is battling marijuana addiction. In that case, you should first outline your specific needs, be it counseling for mental disorders or treatment of co-occurring disorders. At Drug for Change Recovery, we have all the rehab resources you need for a full recovery. Our professionals will walk with you throughout the recovery journey. If you are still unsure where to begin, give us a call today, and we will guide you on the way forward.

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