Marijuana Addiction Treatment Centers and Rehab Programs
Benefits of Rehab for Weed Addiction
Marijuana addiction—otherwise known as marijuana use disorder—is estimated to occur in 10–30% of individuals who misuse marijuana.1 Marijuana addiction has the potential to take a serious toll on a person’s health and well-being. If you suspect that you or a loved one is struggling with marijuana use, you should know that you’re not alone. The 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that 49.6 million people used marijuana in the past year.2
Marijuana has legitimate medicinal purposes when it is used correctly. However, when marijuana is misused over time, an individual runs the risk of developing an addiction. Addiction is defined as the compulsive need to use a substance and the inability to cut down or quit, despite harmful consequences within many aspects of a person’s life.
It’s important to seek treatment sooner rather than later to prevent serious consequences, including worsening addiction.3 Although there is no FDA-approved medication to treat marijuana use disorder, behavioral therapies have been shown to help curb compulsive use and teach healthier ways to manage stress and unhealthy triggers. Addiction to any type of substance can be difficult to overcome on your own; proper treatment in a marijuana rehab program can help you initiate your journey on the path to recovery and improve your life.
Overview of Marijuana Addiction
People use marijuana for a variety of reasons, including social conformity, pleasure, and experimentation.4 People abuse the substance when they are no longer in control and use it in harmful or hazardous ways.5 When a person continues to use marijuana despite the negative effects it has on their life, they may have an addiction—also known as cannabis/marijuana use disorder.6,4
Chronic marijuana use can cause changes in brain chemistry and different marijuana effects. Researchers know that THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the primary chemical that is responsible for marijuana’s pleasurable effects.4 In addition to THC, marijuana contains more than 500 compounds that interact with different receptors known as cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), which are located throughout your central nervous system.4 This complex interaction can lead to feelings of relaxation, reduced pain, and other pleasurable sensations that can increase a person’s desire for marijuana and compel them to continue using it.4
How Is a Marijuana Use Disorder Treated?
Marijuana or cannabis use disorder (the diagnostic terms for weed addiction) can be treated using different methods. Treatments are designed to help people stop using the substance and learn healthier ways of dealing with and managing their triggers to use the drug.3 The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains that behavioral therapies are the primary method for treating marijuana use disorder.7
Treatment can provide you with the support and skills you’ll need to cope with life stressors and prevent relapse. When considering a marijuana rehab program, it’s advisable to discuss your situation with a doctor or another treatment professional to help determine the appropriate form of marijuana treatment for your needs.
Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms
SAMHSA states that “there are no medical complications of marijuana withdrawal” and reports that medication is not typically required during the cannabis withdrawal period.8 Additionally, there are no FDA-approved marijuana treatment medications to date, but research is ongoing.7
Although marijuana withdrawal is usually mild, unpleasant withdrawal symptoms are still a possibility and can include depression, restlessness, irritability, trouble sleeping, changes in appetite, chills, abdominal pain, and headaches.8 In certain cases, people can suffer from suicidal ideation or other medical problems.8
Mental Health Disorders and Marijuana Addiction
Researchers have found a link between marijuana use disorder and an increased risk of co-occurring psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety disorders, but they’re not entirely sure whether and to what degree marijuana use plays a role in causing these conditions.9 The NIDA reports on research which indicates that daily use of high-potency marijuana could potentially result in a higher risk (5 times higher) of a person developing psychosis compared to someone who has never used marijuana.9 One item to note, however, is that the development of psychosis can be influenced by a combination of different risk factors, such as genetics, the amount of the substance an individual uses, and the age at which they started using it.9
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) says that having a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder can complicate diagnosis and treatment.10 They report that integrated treatment—which means coordinated mental health and substance use treatment—can improve treatment outcomes and quality of life.10 Treating the marijuana use disorder and the co-occurring psychiatric disorder together may involve a combination of medication and behavioral therapies, which have been shown to reduce marijuana use, especially in those who have been heavy marijuana users or who have chronic psychiatric problems.7
Types of Marijuana Addiction Treatment
There are different types of marijuana addiction treatment centers. The appropriate setting for you can depend on your unique needs. Different treatment settings will work better for different individuals. When choosing a program, you may wish to consider different factors, such as:11
- The type and length of the program.
- The program’s approach to addiction treatment.
- The program’s accreditation and licensing.
- Whether the program offers medication.
- Whether family members are included in the treatment process.
- Whether the program offers a continuum of care, including aftercare for ongoing support.
Inpatient Marijuana Addiction Rehab
Inpatient marijuana addiction rehab means that you live onsite, stay overnight, receive 24/7 care and support, and can receive immediate medical attention for any concerns that may arise. It removes the distractions of day-to-day life and allows you to focus on recovery in a supportive environment. Inpatient treatment— also referred to as residential treatment—can be helpful for many people, including those with co-occurring conditions or significant medical concerns.12,13
Inpatient treatment programs can have different durations and levels of intensity that can depend on your specific needs. Generally speaking, an inpatient stay can range from 28–30 days to 90 days or longer.12 Treatment should be personalized to your unique needs and should take into account specific factors, such as your level of addiction, your overall mental and physical health, and any social, vocational, and legal problems you may be facing.14
Outpatient Marijuana Addiction Rehab
An outpatient marijuana rehab center is different from an inpatient one in that you live at home and travel to the rehab center on a regular schedule for treatment. Outpatient treatment can occur at a variety of levels of intensity, from partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient—which means you attend treatment most days of the week for several hours a day—to standard outpatient care, which might include visits with a counselor or attending group therapy sessions 1–2 times per week.12
Outpatient marijuana rehab care can last anywhere from 2 months to around a year.12 It’s usually best suited to those who have reliable support systems, easy access to transportation, and stable living situations.12
Behavioral therapy is an important component of treatment for marijuana use disorder.7 People with marijuana use disorder, as well as those who have co-occurring mental health disorders, may benefit from behavioral interventions, as these have been shown to be effective in helping people reduce their marijuana use.7
Behavioral therapies can include:7
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps individuals identify and change problematic thoughts and behaviors that lead or contribute to substance use.
- Contingency management (CM), which involves using positive reinforcement, such as tangible rewards, to promote behavioral change.
- Motivational enhancement therapy (MET), which is designed to promote rapid change by helping individuals identify reasons for and build motivation for wanting to stop substance use.
Support groups and community support systems can play an important role in helping people throughout the recovery process. This can include participating in 12-step facilitation therapy, which is designed to help increase motivation to attend 12-step groups like Narcotics Anonymous.15 People often start support groups during rehab, and many continue to participate in them as part of their lifelong recovery journeys.
Behavioral therapies are provided in a variety of settings, including as individual or private therapy sessions with an assigned therapist, in groups that are led by a therapist, or in family settings that are also led by a counselor/therapist. People increasingly engage in online counseling, telehealth, and teletherapy sessions, which involve care that is provided over the phone or online as a way of supporting treatment and recovery.12 This can be a very helpful supplement for people who are unable to attend in-person sessions.12
Recovery is a lifelong process that doesn’t end once treatment is complete. Aftercare can take place beyond the initial treatment period. It is designed to provide ongoing recovery, relapse prevention, and abstinence maintenance support.16 It can involve one or a combination of measures, such as ongoing support groups, mindfulness interventions, recovery management checkups, individual counseling, telephone-based continuing care, and more.16
Paying for Cannabis Rehab Treatment
People who want to start rehab are often understandably concerned about the cost of treatment. Overcoming addiction is one of the most important steps you can take to take back control of your life, and there are ways to pay for rehab so that cost is not a barrier.
The cost of rehab can vary based on a number of factors, which include the length and type of program and any additional amenities or services. Different ways that people pay for rehab include:17,18,19
- Health insurance.
- Paying out-of-pocket.
- Applying for Medicare/Medicaid.
- Going to a facility with public funding.
- Applying for a sliding scale plan, which is based on your income.
- Using a payment plan.
- Using savings.
- Taking out a loan.
- Asking family or friends for help.
Those with health insurance should know that the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act requires that health insurers and group health plans offer the same level of benefits for mental health/substance abuse treatment as they do for medical and surgical care.17 However, different plans can have different benefits. For example, if it’s an HMO or PPO plan, you may have to cover your deductible or pay a copay, you may have different costs depending on whether you choose an in- or out-of-network provider, and you may need prior authorization for certain services.18
Find Rehab for Marijuana Addiction
If you or a loved one is struggling with marijuana misuse, help is available and recovery is possible. Treatment can start anyone battling cannabis addiction on the path to a healthier and happier life. Rehab programs are located throughout the U.S., and a variety of treatment types is available. You can use SAMHSA’s Find Treatment tool to search for facilities. Many state government websites will provide local drug and alcohol resources to those in need. To find your state government’s website, do a web search for your state name and ‘.gov.’
American Addiction Centers (AAC) is a leading treatment provider and has trusted rehab programs across the country. If you or someone you care about is interested in starting the path to recovery, you can easily verify your insurance with us online right away. Alternatively, you can call us free at at any time, day or night, to learn more about your treatment options.
Marijuana Addiction Treatment Levels of Care
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