Rehab 4 Addiction

A cannabis use disorder, also known as a cannabis addiction, is a disorder in which individuals continuously seek this drug due to changes in the brain.

When addicted, individuals will seek more and more of the drug as their tolerance increases, and this can cause some serious long-term effects on the physical and mental health of the individual.

Cannabis  – also referred to as marijuana, weed, bud, or ganja – is one of the most commonly used drugs in the UK.

In 2020, cannabis remained as the most used drug by UK inhabitants, with 7.8% of 16–59-year-olds using the drug.

Due to its psychoactive properties and varying effects across individuals, cannabis is also one of the most researched drugs on the market, contributing to a large amount of research into its recreational and medical purposes.

Recognising Cannabis Addiction

According to the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), a cannabis use disorder is defined as a pattern of cannabis usage that can lead to or cause significant impairment or distress to everyday life.

Some of the key features of a cannabis use disorder are listed below:

  • Cannabis is consumed in larger amounts or over a longer time period than intended.
  • The individual is unable to cut down or make changes to their cannabis usage alone.
  • Constant cravings and desires to consume cannabis.
  • Activities or responsibilities that the individual previously took part in are now neglected.
  • An increase in tolerance to cannabis, resulting in increased consumption throughout the duration of usage.

What Type Of Treatments Are Available?

Female therapist with male

Unlike other addictive drugs on the market, cannabis is not a physically addictive substance.

This means that individuals do not risk death when withdrawing from this drug, unlike other substances such as alcohol.

If the individual decides to quit cold turkey, this also has far fewer risks than other drugs.

Because of this, the effects of cannabis consumption and addictions are said to be psychological.

Although this is beneficial to the physical health of the individual, the psychological effects can sometimes be far longer lasting as well as more difficult to treat.

This is because psychological treatments require the full attention, motivation and determination of the individual to ensure successful and efficient progression.

In addition, behavioural therapies are often far more difficult to initiate, as finding the most suitable treatment or addiction treatment programme can be challenging to assess in each individual case.

Fortunately, Rehab 4 Addiction provides an extensive referral service in which members of our team will assess the individual based on their current situation and past history.

Our team is professional and non-judgemental, and each member has been expertly trained.

From this, Rehab 4 Addiction will suggest a tailored and specific treatment programme for each individual, based on their unique requirements.

The following paragraphs describe some of the most common therapies suggested for those with cannabis use disorders, based on the most effective treatments revealed through extensive research and studies.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Perhaps the most well-known therapy used in the modern counselling field, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has been proven to assist with a multitude of mental disorders.

Commonly thought of for disorders such as anxiety and depression, CBT is also widely used in the field of addiction and rehabilitation.

By training the individuals to develop their own personal coping mechanisms, individuals begin to identify negative thought patterns more easily.

From this, individuals will have a greater sense of self-control, especially useful in the rehabilitation process and in terms of addiction treatment in general.

With regular and effective CBT, individuals will gain greater control over their cannabis usage, as well as their rehabilitation journey in the long term.

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Additionally, and as mentioned previously, CBT is also highly effective in the treatment of other mental disorders such as anxiety and depression.

These often co-occur with addiction, developing as a result of a use disorder or leading to the development of the disorder.

Overall, CBT has a strong cognitive focus, meaning that the negative mental effects of cannabis usage are also enhanced.

This is one of the most modern types of treatment available for cannabis use disorders, focusing on treating the individual areas of cognition that are affected by long-term cannabis use such as attention and working memory.

Motivational Enhancement Training (MET)

Diverse people in a supporting group session

Another common type of therapy employed in cannabis use disorder treatment is Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET).

This is a very individual-focused treatment, aiming not to administer treatment but rather to encourage the individual’s inner motivation to recover.

In turn, this allows the individual to more fully engage with their control, general motivation and desire to recover.

MET is especially effective with those who prefer a more independent recovery, sometimes combined with CBT through SMART (Self-Management And Recovery Training)

In the long-term, MET has also been shown to assist in abstinence, helping individuals regain their control over their cannabis usage and overall well-being.

Contingency Management (CM)

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This type of therapy is perhaps the least known of the suggested therapies on this webpage, but its effectiveness is no less proven than the others.

Based on the idea of priming and rewarding targeted behaviours, this type of therapy is employed for individuals who may struggle to maintain a cannabis-free lifestyle.

In these cases, individuals are then rewarded for target behaviours such as abstaining from cannabis on the day-to-day or reducing their usage in general.

Cannabis can stay in the body for a long period of time, meaning that the more that the individual engages with these abstinence-based behaviours, the quicker the drug will leave their system and allow for following treatments.

Group therapy - hands in air

This type of reinforcement is especially effective when combined with other methods such as CBT or MET.

In all cases, treatments should be discussed in full with the individual, gaining their full understanding and consent before it begins.

Through Rehab 4 Addiction’s referral service, the individual’s tailored treatment programme is created with the individual closely, working with them to discuss the different options at different stages of recovery as well as educating them fully in the process.

Though there are other methods to rehabilitation, abstinence is considered to be the most effective in the long-term.

This is why this technique is employed through CM and results in an improved focus and attention to other rehabilitation options that may come later in the individual’s treatment programme.

Using A Pharmacological Approach To Cannabis Use Disorders

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As discussed and explained in this article so far, cannabis is more likely to have an effect on the psychological aspects of an individual’s life.

Because of this, psychological treatments are more likely to be suggested.

However, there is still a multitude of research being conducted into the pharmacological treatments that may be suitable for a cannabis use disorder.

Health and wellness massage for sports and fitness

Currently, there are no approved medical treatments for cannabis use disorders, but the research is very much focused on the withdrawal effects of cannabis.

As mentioned previously, cannabis has no physical withdrawal effects (as it is not physically addictive), but the mental health effects during withdrawal can be significant.

Individuals have reported:

  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Restlessness
  • Developing tremors
  • Incessant sweating

For this reason, and based on the current research available, pharmacological intervention may be necessary during the early stages of rehabilitation, such as detoxification or in the early stages of initiating therapy.

What Type Of Treatment Is Most Effective?

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There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to rehabilitation.

Every individual has a different history of drug usage and their current situation will also vary massively between cases.

For this reason, no one type of therapy is objectively more effective than another.

What may be recommended to one person may not be suitable for another, meaning that the wrong suggestion of treatments may be extremely counter-productive.

Getting Help Today

Through our extensive referral service, we have helped thousands of individuals to find the most suitable rehab centre, treatment programme or local addiction support service.

No matter how serious or embarrassing the issue at hand may seem, we encourage full transparency and honesty when it comes to discussing rehabilitative needs and requirements.

Members of the Rehab 4 Addiction team will never make you feel ashamed, embarrassed or guilty of your history of drug abuse, or the history of someone you may know.

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By talking to a member of our team today, or contacting us through our website, individuals will be able to start their rehabilitative journey today.

The sooner help is sought, the more help and support can be received, meaning that there is no better time than today to begin your rehabilitation journey.