A common misconception is that you cannot become addicted to marijuana because it is less addictive than other substances like methamphetamine. Even as medical marijuana use is becoming more popular and offers many benefits, you can still develop a marijuana use disorder, which can lead to full addiction if left unaddressed.
Frequent marijuana users can develop an addiction with accompanying withdrawal symptoms and the need to increase their dosage and frequency. If you notice symptoms of marijuana use disorder in yourself or a loved one, reaching out to your physician or a reputable rehabilitation center can make a positive difference in your health and everyday life.
Common Symptoms of Marijuana Use Disorder
Regular marijuana use can lead you to tolerate the substance more and need to increase your intake, especially when developing withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, insomnia, or cravings. This can lead to becoming excessively focused on marijuana.
If you use marijuana to escape reality and need the substance to enjoy yourself or to engage in social or creative endeavors, this is a common sign of addiction. Marijuana use disorder can also negatively interfere with your relationships or daily activities.
Risks of Marijuana Use Disorder
Marijuana use disorder can lead to long-term effects on mental and physical health, including:
- Depression and anxiety
- Reduced athletic capabilities
- Impaired driving
- Lower academic and/or professional performance
- Relationship interferences
Frequent marijuana use during adolescence can be especially damaging for brain development and may lead to permanent IQ loss in certain cases.
Marijuana use during pregnancy can negatively affect the fetus’s growth and may result in premature birth or stillbirth. A breastfeeding parent can pass marijuana chemicals to their child, further impacting their cognitive development.
Inpatient or Outpatient Program?
Trying to quit marijuana on your own can be daunting and may result in relapse. Choosing a professional rehabilitation program is usually the most effective solution to recover from marijuana addiction and create a solid foundation for long-term sobriety.
Withdrawal often happens when you first quit, and you may experience symptoms like:
- Anxiety and depression
- Irritability and restlessness
- Chills and shaking
Being in a safe environment where medical professionals can watch over you can help you manage your withdrawal more efficiently whether you experience physical and/or psychological side effects.
Inpatient programs can help you create a solid foundation for rehabilitation and limit temptations as you get to the cause of your addiction and learn healthier coping mechanisms. You may transition to an outpatient program as you progress.
If you are unsure whether an inpatient program is suitable for your lifestyle, responsibilities, or finances, speak with your doctor or your treatment center to see what options you have available. For example, we offer partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs at The Carter Treatment Center.
Behavioral Therapy to Create a Foundation for Sober Living
Therapy typically plays a central role in addiction recovery because it helps you identify and address the root cause of your substance disorder. It also helps you unlearn harmful thought patterns and behaviors and can teach you healthier coping skills.
Common behavioral therapies for marijuana addiction include cognitive behavioral therapy, a talk therapy type that can be especially effective for those experiencing co-occurring disorders. Your doctor may also recommend contingency management to create a link between sober living and positive feelings thanks to tangible reinforcement throughout your progress.
Multiple therapy options exist: individual, group, and family-based sessions. Your one-on-one sessions with a counselor may be the basis of your therapy but you may want to participate in group ones to build a sense of community. Family programs like those we provide at The Carter Treatment Center offer benefits for both the person in recovery and their loved ones. We can educate your relatives on addiction, and we can help you rebuild trust and connection with them.
Alternative Therapies to Support Your Mental and Physical Health
At The Carter Center, we incorporate alternative therapies into our individualized rehabilitation plans to nurture the mind-body connection and teach you grounding and healthy practices that you can use throughout your treatment and the rest of your life after completing your program.
Depending on your situation and interests, your treatment center may recommend that you learn one or more alternative therapies like Tai Chi, yoga, meditation, or sound therapy. Your rehabilitation provider can help you find local resources to continue your practice once you finish your rehabilitation program. As part of aftercare services, your doctor can help you find resources to support your sober lifestyle.
Alternative therapies can help you learn mindfulness which can be grounding and teach you how to be more present and in touch with your body. This can help you navigate withdrawal symptoms in the early stages of rehabilitation before becoming a reliable activity to support your psychological health. These types of therapy can also boost your confidence as you make progress throughout your recovery. Many of those practices are convenient to continue on your own or with a local mentor or class.
Call The Carter Treatment Center today at (678) 737-4430 or use our online form to schedule an appointment to discuss your recovery options for marijuana use disorder in Cumming and Suwannee.