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Despite numerous claims of its health benefits, cannabis is one of the most abused substances worldwide. It comes from the cannabis plant and the Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) compound found in cannabis makes it highly psychoactive: hence it’s status as the most popular illicit drug.

THC leads to poor judgement, an increase in blood pressure and drowsiness. Once THC enters the brain it binds to cannabinoid receptors. This process mimics the otherwise natural pleasure producing activities in the brain.

Cannabis is normally used for entertainment purposes and personal pleasure as it tends to produce “a high” feeling. Its ability to alter the mind usually elicits a feeling of relaxation.

Continued use of cannabis leads to the user building up a tolerance to the drug. This means more and more must be consumed in order to feel ‘high’. Over time the user will gain a psychological dependency to cannabis.

However, the constant use of cannabis leads to dependence and eventually addiction. It is possible to treat cannabis addiction, but it is also important to know how to identify possible signs and symptoms of dependence before it’s too late.

For more information on cannabis use, including why people use the drug and the consequences it can have on addict’s lives, visit our cannabis addiction page.

In addition to that, inpatient treatment and aftercare services are crucial. Here is a comprehensive overview of cannabis addiction and the rehab facilities we offer to help you, or a loved one, on the way to a cannabis-free life.

Ready to get help?

At Rehab 4 Addiction, we offer high-quality rehabilitation & detoxification services tailored to your individual needs.

To discover your road to recovery, call us today on 0800 140 4690.

What’s the Difference Between Addiction & Dependence?

Addiction and dependence are terms that are sometimes used interchangeably to mean the same things. However, these two terms have different meanings that can be confusing to understand.

Cannabis dependence refers to physically depending, or relying, on cannabis. It’s normally characterized by noticeable withdrawal and tolerance symptoms. It is possible to depend on cannabis without being addicted.

On the other hand, cannabis addiction is characterised by a change in behaviour. This normally occurs as a result of biochemical changes in the brain as a result of cannabis abuse.

With addiction, the user cannot stop consuming cannabis – despite wanting to, and despite being able to see the negative consequences. It is almost as if they do not have a choice.

When dealing with addiction, the abused substance usually becomes the addict’s main priority in life. Overall, addiction consists of both physical and mental reliance.

What Are The Consequences Of Cannabis Consumption?

Cannabis impacts the user in various timeframes. Below, we have listed the variety of effects that are commonly associated with cannabis use:

  • Short-term effects: Brief and frequent feelings of paranoia or anxiety. An individual may also experience nausea, hallucination, and general confusion
  • Long-term effects: Persistent coughs, production of excess phlegm and mucus, decreased fertility, acute psychosis, antisocial behaviour, lower life satisfaction, and suicidal tendencies among others
  • Physical effects: Marijuana affects various systems in the body. They include the circulatory, immune, digestive, respiratory systems among others. This may result in physical effects such as red eyes, burning mouth, dry mouth, accelerated heartbeat, and lung irritation
  • Mental effects: Cannabis has a significant impact on the central nervous system. It may result in impaired judgement, increased or decreased symptoms of anxiety and depression. Other mental effects include hallucinations and memory loss

Common Signs and Symptoms

Different cannabis users display different signs and symptoms of abuse. However, there are significant signs and symptoms that occur in most users.

These include the following:

  1. Increased tolerance to cannabis (needing more over time to get the same ‘high’ as before)
  2. The addict has abandoned their normal productive daily activities and is focusing more on obtaining and using cannabis
  3. Spending all their money on buying cannabis and running into debt
  4. Failing relationships between family, friends, colleagues, and bosses.
  5. Using cannabis regardless of the negative effects it’s producing
  6. Severe withdrawal symptoms if use desists
  7. Constant mood changes in addition to anxiety, stress, and depression
  8. Being secretive about cannabis use

Knowing When Someone Needs Help

Most addicts often feel that the use of cannabis is probably making both their physical and mental health better. So, it’s not easy to convince them to stop. You might need to work with other family members and friends to convince them otherwise.

When offering help, try to highlight the effects that their cannabis dependency has caused. Provide them with a comprehensive comparison of how things used to be before using cannabis, and how they are now.

Take your time because this isn’t something you can accomplish in a day. Remind the individual that they do have options, and that they have your support.

For more information on how to help a family member, friend, colleague or loved one with their cannabis addiction, click on our intervention page.

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Do I Need To Go To Rehab?

You need to visit a rehabilitation facility if:

  1.  Your body has increased resistance to cannabis and you need to consume more to attain a psychoactive effect
  2.  It’s impossible for you to be productive without consuming cannabis
  3. You are no longer interested in social activities
  4. You easily become irritable or anxious if you haven’t used cannabis
  5. You are consuming cannabis daily and frequently
  6. Your cannabis use is significantly affecting your relationship with colleagues, family, and friends
  7. You frequently experience hallucinations
  8. You have become depressed
  9. It’s becoming quite difficult to fund your cannabis addiction
  10. Despite repeated attempts to stop using cannabis, you have failed

Choosing the Best Cannabis Rehab Programme

Treatment options for addicts normally range between outpatient programs and residential rehabilitation. Whilst these two treatment options are great, private residential rehabs provide a significantly higher level of success.

It should be noted that private rehab centres are professional places for people with substance abuse disorders. For an addict, choosing a private rehab will lead to better results within record time.

This is because such an entity normally offers patients comprehensive and intense treatment. Unlike the NHS, private rehab ensures that the patient successfully exhausts all the necessary treatment.

Besides that, private rehab provides a conducive healing environment without public exposure. Unlike the overcrowded NHS treatment sessions, you get sole treatment sessions with the necessary doctor support. You don’t need to wait to access treatment because everything starts when you are ready.

How Cannabis Rehabilitation Works

When you attend our cannabis rehabilitation centre you will be subject to 24 hours a day medical observation during the detoxification phase.

During this time cannabis residue which lingers in your body will be given enough time to be removed from your body.

Uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms will likely arise during this period. Since THC is fat-soluble it is capable of being stored within the body’s fat cells for over a month and so the drug will remain in your system even after initial detoxification has concluded.

Types of Treatment

The main types of treatment for cannabis addiction include:

This is an effective type of treatment because the patient’s sole focus is full recovery. Inpatient treatment is a highly recommendable option because it reduces instances of distractions and temptations. There are several options for inpatient rehab treatment and they include standard, luxury, and executive rehab.

Inpatient treatment is by far the best and most effective treatment method. It allows you to fully recover in a safe and secure environment, without being exposed to bad habits or influential people. You will also have full and round-the-clock access to medical care including nurses and psychologists/ therapists.

Detoxification helps to rid the body of the harmful cannabis compounds. The process involves replacing the cannabis compound found in the fat cells with an alternative medication. This is designed to minimize withdrawal symptoms including anxiety.

Note that excess cannabis compounds can show up in a drug test even after 30 days, especially if you are a regular user. But the best way to detox cannabis from your system is not by using cleansing drinks or supplements. The most effective way to do a detox is to support the body. This is why cannabis rehabilitation facilities normally provide patients with an alternative medication whose chemical structure mimics cannabis. This helps to reduce unwanted withdrawal symptoms.

With detoxification, the body will undergo supervised withdrawal but the clinical drugs help to counter the effects efficiently. Some of the prescription medications that may be offered during this process include anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, and anti-seizure drugs.

In this case, the patient receives treatment from home. Outpatient rehab treatment majorly uses therapy to counter the effects of cannabis addiction. Common therapies used with this technique include cognitive behavioural therapy, the matrix model, and motivational interviewing.

Outpatient treatment allows the individual to carry on with normal life, and pursue normal hobbies and responsibilities. However, it has been proven that inpatient treatment is much more effective than outpatient treatment, with a higher success rate for recovery.

A cannabis addict who has decided to go to rehab has realised that their old ways bring harm than good. The 12 steps treatment gives the patient an opportunity to bare the soul open and even gain spiritual awakening. Although this is a rigorous procedure, patients end up letting go of their old ways.

Twelve steps involve:

  1. Admitting that your addiction has made your life unmanageable and that you don’t have power when it comes to using cannabis products.
  2. Believing that there is another greater power that can help you regain sanity.
  3. Making a decision to let God control your life. This means that you leave all the cares of this world unto the good Lord.
  4. You have searched and found a strong personal moral inventory.
  5. Admitting to oneself, God, and those close to you that you have made wrongs.
  6. Allowing God to remove any blemish or defects that may negatively impact your character
  7. Asking God in the most humble manner to improve your shortcomings
  8. Creating a comprehensive list of people you have hurt or wrong in the past and trying to seek forgiveness.
  9. Trying to directly make amendments with people you had previously hurt or wronged. However, you can avoid doing so if you are going to injure the affected persons or harm other people.
  10. Always admitting your wrongs
  11.  Practising meditation and praying constantly to improve the mind’s consciousness and remain in contact with God. It’s important to pray for God’s will because you need that in letting go of the addiction.
  12.  The above-mentioned steps will bring you to a spiritual awakening. This process isn’t only suitable for cannabis addicts but all those who seek to improve their general wellness.

Note: although this treatment programme appears to be easy, it’s quite challenging. However, you shouldn’t get discouraged because no human is completely holy. From the above 12 steps, it’s evident that:

  • You should first accept that you are a cannabis addict and, therefore, can’t manage your own life fully.
  • There is a higher power that can help you manage your addiction

Psychotherapy is one of the most effective treatment options for cannabis addiction. It addresses the root cause of drug abuse and how damaging it can be to your physical development and emotional wellbeing. Besides that, psychotherapy also addresses behaviours and circumstances that would have led to addiction. This combinational assessment, thus, helps the patient to recognise contributing factors as well as their effects.

For an addict visiting a cannabis rehab, therapy should be administered for long-term benefits. Its ability to address current factors while addressing the issues that led to addiction makes it vital for long-term recovery. There are multiple forms of therapies for treating addiction. Each comes with a specific methodology to address the issue at hand. Behavioural treatment therapies include:

  • Motivational enhancement therapy: a systematic process designed to internally motivate the patient.
  • Contingency management: it’s based on constant monitoring of the patient’s behaviour and with the provision (or sometimes removal) of positive rewards that are tangible when a goal is attained or not.
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy: it’s a psychotherapy treatment that helps the patient to identify and correct their problematic behaviours.

How Long Does Cannabis Stay In Your System?

Several factors determine the duration the cannabis stays in the body system. They include metabolism, frequency of use, level of hydration, and the THC content in the cannabis product.

Generally, THC can remain detectable in the saliva for up to 48 hours. In blood, this duration reduces to 36 hours. Clinical tests show that THC can stay up to 90 days in hair while the duration can range from 3 months or more in the urine.

Physical Withdrawal Symptoms

Constant use of cannabis means that the brain and body get accustomed to the regular supply of THC. When the patient abstains, the brain and body need some time to adjust. But this often results in uncomfortable physical withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Shakiness
  • Sleep problems
  • Reduced body movements
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fever

Mental Withdrawal Symptoms

Mental withdrawal symptoms make it difficult to quit using cannabis. They interfere with the way you think and your general productivity. Some of these mental withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Constant mood changes
  • Cravings to continue using the drug
  • Vivid dreams and nightmares
  • Memory loss
  • Impaired coordination
  • Poor problem solving and thinking skills
  • A distorted sense of time

Aftercare

Going to a cannabis rehab is an important initial step. This is the best opportunity to put an end into cannabis addiction. However, aftercare is an important post-rehab tool to prevent relapse and also encourage the patient to lead a drug-free life.

Aftercare options may include:

  • A combination of contingency management and cognitive behavioural therapy to prevent relapse
  • 12-steps programmes that provide support and encouragement
  • Joining a sober-living community to help rebuild your self-efficacy and self-esteem
  • Supportive family members and friends

Note: aftercare duration varies depending on your response to rehab treatment and personal needs.

Once initial detoxification has concluded you will have the opportunity to attend various therapy sessions. During this time old negative beliefs will be tackled and new powerful coping strategies will be built.

Cognitive behavioural therapy will be employed throughout. When your cannabis rehabilitation programme draws to a close an individual relapse prevention programme will be drawn up. This will reduce the possibility of relapse once you leave the confines of our centre.

We work with local support groups throughout the United Kingdom such as Marijuana Anonymous and you will be referred to one such group if deemed necessary and with your consent.

The Bottom Line

Cannabis addiction has devastating effects. Although quitting can be challenging, it is still possible to recovery with the right treatment.

Private rehabs are so far the best treatment centres. You don’t need to wait or participate in group treatment. Everything is personalised and privately done to meet your specific needs.

Get in touch today

Call now on 0800 140 4690 for confidential and immediate advice.