Marijuana Treatment: Helping a User Help Themselves
Don’t allow the controversy surrounding the legalization of marijuana blind you to the fact that it is, at its heart, a dangerously addictive drug that takes ahold of users and does not easily or quickly let go. Its very status as determined by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 as a Schedule 1 drug means that marijuana is an illegal drug with a high potential for abuse with little to no medical benefit. Regardless of the debate wars waging back and forth regarding its medicinal properties, the truth is that marijuana is addictive, it is dangerous, and its abuse must be stopped. Unfortunately, it’s difficult for most users, young and old alike, to quit on their own, and with long-term use, that addiction gets harder and harder to stop. The good news is that there are plenty of programs, treatments and regimes marijuana users can investigate to determine which rehabilitation method works the best for them.
Medications to Help with Marijuana Withdrawal and Cessation
Unfortunately, there are no medications marketed today for the express purpose of helping those addicted to marijuana through their very real withdrawal to this drug. At this time, researchers are attempting to create a medication that suppresses the brain’s response to THC and its intoxicating effects, thereby eliminating the high to be attained by smoking or otherwise ingesting marijuana and removing the appeal thereto. But, for right now, the most effective means of helping users and abusers of marijuana to overcome their addiction is by the application of various behavioral treatments.
Behavioral Treatments for Marijuana Users
Behavioral treatment for overcoming and suppressing any addiction centers around a few key factors. Most, if not all, of marijuana addiction stems from a psychological dependence upon the drug; by helping recovering addicts or users to recognize situations that might trigger the desire or even the need to smoke, and then teaching them avoidance techniques to move past them, these treatments provide a stable foundation upon which the individual can rebuild a healthy, drug free life for themselves. Psychosocial treatment such as reinforcement and support group involvement help users to connect with and learn from others who share their addictions.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy teaches users healthier, more positive ways to think about their lives, and helps to provide them with the coping skills necessary to avoid any further drug use.
- Motivational interviewing is a process wherein the recovering individual is asked a series of questions, and then followed up by individual sessions wherein the interviewer helps the user to find a positive and honest motivation, within themselves, to continue their rehabilitation.
- Support group involvement in groups such as NA help users to grow and learn by listening to and sharing experiences with others in similar circumstances; hearing how other people get through tough situations or problems without turning to marijuana (or don’t) is often a great motivator.
Marijuana use is addictive, more psychologically than physically, but truthfully that doesn’t matter. Withdrawal symptoms stemming from the brain and psyche are just as devastating for the individual as physical ones stemming from the body. Simply put, marijuana rehabilitation is a hard, arduous process. Individuals who use or abuse this drug will have a long road ahead of them; rehabilitation treatment programs are quite simply their best possible avenue for success. If you or someone you love uses or abuses marijuana, please help them to get the optimum assistance in overcoming their drug problem.