Treatments For Marijuana Addiction

Marijuana Addiction

Abuse of cannabis is very rampant among teens and adults in the United States, where some of them start using it at age 13 to 18. Many people  mainly use it for recreation, while for some for increasing their appetite or alleviating pain.

Whether you are using cannabis for a short or long period of time,  this can still be cured as long as you follow your treatment plan. In this article, we are going to discuss the treatment for marijuana addiction.

Stay reading to find out more about it.

Detox and Withdrawal Symptoms

No matter what rehab center you enroll in, detoxification will be your first step towards treatment. When you cut back from your daily usage of cannabis, you will feel these specific withdrawal signs.

  • Marijuana AddictionUnstable mood
  • Easily irritated
  • Migraine
  • Insomnia
  • Inability to concentrate on any task
  • Cold sweats
  • Chills
  • Low appetite
  • Feeling depressed and anxious
  • Cravings for weed
  • Diarrhea or constipation

All these withdrawal symptoms happen due to the reduced supply of THC inside your system. Compared to the withdrawal symptoms from other substance use disorders, these from marijuana addiction are less severe.

Medication for Marijuana Addiction

So far, there has been no solid clinical trials yet to show what’s the most effective medicine for marijuana addiction. Currently, there are three prescription drugs that can be given to you or any individual suffering from marijuana addiction and its withdrawal symptoms.

Zolpidem (Ambien)

This oral tablet is used to treat sleeping problems as one of the withdrawal signs of marijuana addiction. It both comes at an oral table or spray. Also, there are three brand names for zolpidem.

  • Ambien – immediate-release
  • Ambien CR – extended release
  • Edluar – sublingual
  • Intermezzo – sublingual

The immediate-release tablet is used to help you fall asleep, while the extended-release will be useful for keeping you asleep for the entire night. If you suddenly wake up in the middle of the night, then you can take 1.75mg to 3.5mg of sublingual tablets

The common side effects of zolpidem are the following.

  • Marijuana AddictionFeeling dizzy
  • Drying up of your mouth
  • Feeling light headed
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Quicker heartbeat

Buspirone (Buspar)

This oral tablet will help you ease anxiety and other withdrawal symptoms that include inability to focus, feeling irritable, cold sweating, panic attacks, and insomnia. Your usual dosage for buspirone is around two to three times a day, depending on your doctor’s prescription.

When you’re medicating with this drug, you need to avoid eating grapefruit or its juice unless you are permitted by your doctor.

Here are the common side effects of buspirone.

  • Marijuana AddictionFeeling drowsy or dizzy
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • Bleary eyesight
  • Overfatigue
  • Headache

Gabapentin (Neurontin)

This drug is an anticonvulsant where it’s mainly used to control any shaking or seizures as one of the withdrawal symptoms of marijuana addiction. Also, you can use this to alleviate pain after your shingles.

When taking this medication, always follow your prescription to avoid overdose. Also, you need to tell your doctor in advance of your allergies, so that will be noted in his report and prescription.

Here are the side effects of gabapentin.

  • Marijuana AddictionFeeling drowsy and dizzy
  • Feeling tired
  • Weird eye movements
  • Inability to control your body movements
  • Slight shaking

Behavioral Therapies for Marijuana Addiction

The medications mentioned above are not the absolute solution for your marijuana addiction, rather, they help alleviate the withdrawal effects from your detox process. Several studies show that to completely treat marijuana addiction, we need to correct your mental disorder.

In line with this, here are three main behavioral therapies proven effective in curing mental disorders from abusing cannabis.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

This behavioral therapy aims to reshape your thinking and behavior, so you can positively handle any risk factors and triggers. Here are the main principles for CBT.

  1. Mental disorders are rooted from unhealthy thinking.
  2. Mental disorders are based on unhealthy behaviors.
  3. You always have the option to handle your psychological problems in a healthy and positive manner.

In modifying your thinking to a positive one, below are some techniques we can do.

  • Identifying what negative thinking produces your psychological problem
  • Learning to understand your behavior and motivation
  • Incorporating the use of analysis and problem-solving in dealing with your psychological problems
  • Gaining more confidence in oneself

In reshaping your behavior, we shall include the following techniques.

  • Don’t evade your problems, instead, face them
  • We will use role play to simulate a situation that can trigger your psychological problem and learn to handle it positively
  • Practicing to relax your mind and body

Contingency Management (CM)

The main principle of this behavioral therapy is to provide tangible prizes for every drug test you pass in your treatment program. So far, there are two types of CM techniques we can perform – voucher-based reinforcement (VBR) and prize incentive CM.

  • Voucher-based reinforcement (VBR). For every urine sample you submit and it passes the drug test, you will receive a voucher, which you can replace with food, movie passes, massage, and other healthy activities.
  • Prize Incentive CM. Similar concept with VBR, except you will win cash prizes ranging from $1 to $100.

Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET)

The main goal of this therapy is to help you gain motivation and confidence to change your unhealthy behavior. It is highly useful to people under the influence of alcohol and drugs since they can manifest suicidal and risky behaviors that can harm themselves.

Here are the five working principles governing MET.

  • Develop self-confidence. Besides having the reason to change for the better, you need to have the self-confidence that you can do it.
  • Diffuse resistance. Most counselors won’t directly confront you of your resistance to change your behavior, instead, they’re going to diffuse it. Your therapist will do reflective listening that allows you to continue sharing your thoughts and beliefs.
  • Stay away from arguments. Your therapist will avoid arguing with you because you will be more resistant to change. Instead, he will bring out situations that will increase your awareness and self-realization.
  • Pointing out the gap. Your therapist will gently let you realize the difference or gap between your desired self and what you are right now. With that, you can reflect on your bad habits and realize you need to change them.
  • Being empathetic. Your therapist will create a non-judgmental and supportive environment where you can freely express yourself and he will do reflective listening. Consequently, you can reflect on your deeds and behavior and see which ones need to be changed for the better.

When Is The Right Time for Treating Marijuana Addiction?

Once you realize that you or your family member has marijuana use disorder, then you can talk to a doctor or addiction specialist today. It’s always best to have an early intervention with your unhealthy behavior before it’s too late to be fixed.

Your doctor will give you a specialized treatment program that will help you recover from this marijuana addiction. Bring back your healthy and happy life, seek help today.