Marijuana Addiction

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Marijuana, also known as cannabis, is one of the most heavily used drugs on the planet. Including in the US, where the drug has recently been approved for medical uses in most states. Most people think of marijuana as a mild, nonaddictive substance – but this isn’t entirely true. While marijuana is relatively safe, it can also be addictive. So, what is marijuana, and why is it so addictive?


What Is An Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)?

Our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is catered directly to meet your personal needs. The type, intensity, and time commitment of your program depends on what you require. Our treatment program differs from traditional rehab because it’s done from the comfort of wherever you are – at your home, in your office, on a walk, wherever!

Generally, traditional addiction and mental health treatment programs are either Inpatient/Residential or Outpatient. Inpatient programs require participants to seek treatment directly at a residential facility where they remain for the duration of their treatment. On the other hand, an outpatient program allows the participant to go home at night but still attend a physical rehab for their treatment. Our program is just as effective as a traditional IOP but without the hassle of required in-person attendance. Our participants enjoy the benefits of convenience, privacy and reduced cost (especially for those that don’t have health insurance.)

What is Marijuana?

In recent years, marijuanna has been catapulted into mainstream popularity. That is in part due to marijuana and cannabis’ many medical applications – and not only marijuana and cannabis, but other derivatives of the hemp plant too. For example, CBD oil is an ingredient found in everything from morning vitamins to back rub ointments. While marijuana, hemp, and cannabidiol have different effects and different applications, the entire category is growing in popularity. At this point in time, more than half of all Americans have tried marijuana at least once. A poll performed by Marist University found that nearly 60% of all Americans find marijuana use socially acceptable. While marijuana is considered a “safe” drug with a low addiction profile, it can be abused. 

When marijuana is used in large quantities over a long period of time, addiction becomes more and more likely. In fact, it’s estimated that nearly 10% of all marijuana users will become addicted to it. This is pretty drastic when you consider the fact that about 20% of all opiate users become addicted to opiates, the most addictive category of substance on earth. Though, comparing marijuana addiction to other addictions is wholly unuseful. It’s estimated that around three million Americans suffer from marijuana addiction – and this number is climbing. When people perpetuate the idea that marijuana addiction is less dangerous than opiate or amphetamine addiction, they are minimizing the impact of addiction. No addiction is easy. While there is less physical and mental harm associated with marijuana addiction, it still causes a great deal of damage. Marijuana addicts withdraw from society, lose contact with friends and family, and live their lives according to their addiction. Sometimes they drop career goals and life goals. Many times the addiction goes on to impact their health. Also, there are a number of legal and financial problems that can arise due to a marijuana addiction.


What are the Symptoms of Marijuana Use?

Some of the telltale signs of marijuana use are relaxation and drowsiness. It may also be easy to tell if a family member or friend is high on marijuana by the redness and irritation in their eyes. Someone who is high on marijuana often has a slowed perception. They may show paranoia, anxiety, or memory problems. In addition, there are some long term effects associated with marijuana use. That includes, of course, addiction, dependence, trouble coping, lethargy, and lack of motivation. Certain health issues may also crop up, like cardiovascular issues, lung issues, and smoker’s cough. For those with a coexisting mental health condition like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, or paranoia, symptoms may worsen with use.

Signs and Symptoms of Use

An individual currently using and/or abusing Marijuana may show the following signs of use:


What are the Symptoms of Marijuana Withdrawal?

Marijuana is low on the withdrawal profile. Typically, even long term users don’t experience severe physical withdrawal symptoms. Heavy users may experience light to slightly significant side effects. Though, most users only experience very mild side effects. Symptoms are stronger during the first few days of detox. After a few weeks there should be NO lingering side effects. Some users may experience more severe side effects than others – some may even get shakes and tremors when they quit. The longer the person has been using, the harsher the effects of quitting. 

An individual going through Marijuana withdrawal may show the following signs:

  • Anxiety 
  • Irritability 
  • Anger
  • Agitation
  • Cravings 
  • Trouble sleeping 
  • Depression 
  • Nightmares 
  • Vivid dreams 
  • Headaches 
  • Light headed-ness

Marijuana Addiction Treatment

Detox for some drugs, like opiates, is intricate and requires the help of a medical profession in all circumstances. This is not so for marijuana. Though, if a person has been using large quantities of marijuana for a long period of time, it is recommended that they work with a professional to stop. With marijuana addiction treatment, the focus is on attaining coping skills, learning to behave in a productive manner, and finding the support needed to live a fulfilling life. Marijuana is often used to cope with stress and manage emotions – that’s why people start using in the first place. After a while it becomes a crutch. That’s why marijuana addiction treatment includes strategies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), counseling, and group therapy. While marijuana addiction may not always be life threatening, it is still harmful. It hampers a person’s quality of life and potential, as well as their overall health and wellness. Getting help is the best way to sort out marijuana addiction. 


Virtual Treatment Center: Who Are We?

At Virtual Treatment Center, we believe quality addiction recovery and mental health services should be easily accessible to those that want or need them, because ease of accessibility is what most often leads to success. That’s why we’re committed to providing top-tier virtual mental health teletherapy and addiction recovery services to all residents of California. Although we’re located in Orange County, our online teletherapy can be accessed throughout the state. In addition to providing addiction recovery services, we treat a variety of mental health issues and offer Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT). Our teletherapy sessions are done via two-way, live interactive video or by telephone. Therapeutic visits are conducted on Zoom most often, or on other virtual platforms that adhere to HIPAA compliance requirements.


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