What is marijuana dependence?
Marijuana dependence can defined as either physical or psychological. A person can be both physically dependent and psychologically addicted to marijuana at the same time, although the two conditions can also exist independently of one another. It is estimated that 10 -20% of regular marijuana users will become dependent on the drug.
Psychological dependence on marijuana – Mental dependence on marijuana (also known as addiction) is characterized by marked preoccupation with getting marijuana, recurrent and compulsive use of the drug .
Physical dependence on marijuana – Physical dependence on marijuana may develop after regular use of the drug and is characterized by withdrawal symptoms upon lowered dosage or cessation. A person physically dependent on marijuana may develop withdrawal symptoms upon lowered doses or cessation of marijuana intake. Withdrawal symptoms are always undesirable and can prevent addicts from resolving their drug habits. Therefore, individuals dependent on marijuana often require professional and expert help in order to achieve sobriety.
Are you dependent on marijuana?
A person dependent on marijuana may exhibit one or more of the following :
1. tolerance to marijuana – need to take more than usual to feel its effects
2. withdrawal symptoms – having withdrawal symptoms every time marijuana use is reduced or halted
3. inability to control amount of use – each drug session ends up using more marijuana than intended
4. inability to stop marijuana use – persistent desire but inability to stop using marijuana
5. spending more time with marijuana – preoccupation in getting, using marijuana and recovering from the drug’s effects, and spending more time on marijuana than on other meaningful activities at home, school and work
6. abuse of marijuana – using marijuana despite repeated drug-related problems
How to end marijuana dependence?
No medication currently exists to help stop marijuana dependence and addiction. However, the most effective way to address marijuana dependence is to seek medical help. Mental health experts in the field of drug addiction treatment can offer therapies that can help you stop marijuana use. Methods used to treat marijuana dependence differ from facility to facility and are personalized according to a patient’s presentation and medical history. The treatment also takes into consideration the fact that many marijuana users also abuse other drugs as well.
The first thing you should take is to have a talk to your physician for a health evaluation. The doctor will also refer you to a drug addiction treatment center. Treatment for marijuana dependence administered in an inpatient addiction treatment facility helps you stay away from drugs. At the addiction facility, there is little way a patient can have access to marijuana and other drugs. Marijuana withdrawal symptoms might occur, and health personnel will closely supervise you and provide medical interventions if needed.
Experts understand that today’s easy access to marijuana poses risk of drug relapse. Therefore, drug addiction facilities will also teach you methods including motivational enhancement therapy (MET), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and contingency management (CM). MET is a therapeutic talk with a health professional in which the focus is developing and building up motivation to stay away from drugs like marijuana. CBT helps you identify and manage triggers that cause you to look and use marijuana to achieve sobriety. CM is designed to give the person rewards in exchange for maintaining sobriety, like having a dinner or movie each time you have negative drug results in urine tests. These methods are known to be effective in helping patients break marijuana habit.
The therapy for treating for marijuana dependence can also happen outside the drug addiction facility for continuity of treatment. Aside on focusing on the recovering marijuana addict, health professionals may also give intensive family-based intervention to help treat the family as a whole .
Be reminded that, like on other drugs, a relapse back to marijuana is possible after the treatment. Despite occurrence of relapse, marijuana addiction remains a treatable disease. Cravings for marijuana can occur weeks or months after intervention. Health professionals in the marijuana addiction treatment center understand this, and encourage you to return again at the first instance of relapse. For patients relapsing on marijuana, changes in strategy may be implemented such as consideration of a longer-term confinement at the addiction facility.