Marijuana Addiction Treatment

in Medford, MA

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Marijuana, or “weed”, addiction can be called a “sleeper drug use disorder”. This means that it is often overshadowed by alcohol use disorder and other drug disorders that are seen as more serious by the general population, even though marijuana addiction has its own serious short-term and long-term effects.

Various psychiatric illnesses and the use of other substances are factors that can lead to marijuana use and addiction. Focusing on the underlying mental health conditions can help patients during marijuana rehab.

Don’t wait to seek professional help if you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse. Engaging in our alcohol and drug addiction treatment in Massachusetts can help you learn the skills needed to achieve recovery.

How Widespread is Marijuana Addiction?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows that around 1 in 10 people who smoke marijuana develop an addiction to it. This statistic increases to 1 in 6 if people start before turning 18.

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Can People Become Addicted to Marijuana?

Yes, you can become addicted to marijuana. The risk factor increases if someone uses cannabis habitually or starts using it at a young age. Studies carried out by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) show that around 18% of Americans used marijuana at least once in 2019. Approximately 30% of those who used marijuana in the past year had marijuana use disorder. This means that they experienced withdrawal symptoms, cravings, tolerance, or difficulty quitting. The risk of developing marijuana use disorder is higher for people who use marijuana before turning 18 or who frequently use marijuana. There are various treatment options available, such as marijuana addiction treatment therapy programs, medications, rehab programs, and support groups. Despite this, many people who are addicted to marijuana do not seek or receive any form of weed addiction treatment. If you or someone you love requires marijuana rehab, you need not feel isolated. There are many different resources and services available to help you kick your addiction to cannabis and recover to live a healthy and fulfilling life. Contact a qualified medical professional who can evaluate your situation and together you can build a bespoke treatment plan for your recovery. Learn about our intensive outpatient program and reap the benefits of professional treatment.
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Signs and Symptoms of Marijuana Addiction

Some people who regularly use marijuana and develop a dependence on the drug are affected by a condition known as marijuana addiction. Marijuana addiction can cause myriad problems in a person’s life, such as learning difficulties, impaired memory, attention disorders, unstable moods, lack of motivation, and hampered decision-making. Marijuana addiction can also interfere with a person’s school, work, family, and social relationships. Various signs and symptoms of marijuana addiction can include:
  • Physical signs. These include dry mouth, red eyes, itchy throat, increased appetite (the “munchies”), signs of smoking, poor coordination, and delayed reaction. Marijuana also has a unique skunk-like smell that permeates the air around it like a thick fog.
  • Psychological signs. Such signs can include hallucinations, anxiety, panic, mood swings, irritability, and anger. Using marijuana can also distort a person’s senses and affect their perception of reality.
  • Behavioral signs. These signs include reduced energy, lack of motivation, memory impairment, impaired judgment, difficulty concentrating, and poor academic or work performance. Marijuana users may also sequester themselves away from their friends and family and prefer to associate with other marijuana users.
  • Withdrawal symptoms. These happen when a person tries to reduce or stop using marijuana after developing a dependence on the drug. Withdrawal symptoms may include irritability, cravings, loss of appetite, restlessness, insomnia, depression, nausea, sweating, and tremors.
If you have noticed any of these signs or symptoms in your life, it is important to seek professional marijuana addiction treatment services immediately. With the help of our day program rehab, you can break free from the bondage of addiction.
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Is Smoking Weed Dangerous?

Smoking and/or using marijuana in its various forms can have harmful and long-lasting effects on your general health and well-being. The marijuana plant contains many chemicals, including THC, which is the primary psychoactive element that makes you feel “high”. Some of the dangers of smoking weed include:
  • Brain damage. Smoking marijuana can lower your IQ and impair your memory, learning, decision-making, and attention. This effect is compounded for people who start smoking weed while their brains are still developing at younger ages.
  • Smoking weed increases the risk of hallucinations, paranoia, delusions, and other psychotic symptoms.
  • Lung problems. Marijuana smoke can irritate the throat lining and lungs and induce coughing, wheezing, pneumonia, bronchitis, respiratory infections, and increase the risk of lung cancer.
  • Heart problems. Smoking weed can raise your blood pressure, increase your heart rate, and constrict your blood vessels, all of which increase your risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
  • Mental health problems. Marijuana can trigger depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety problems, and other mental health disorders. Smoking weed can also reduce your motivation, energy, and satisfaction with life.
  • Smoking weed can become addictive for some people, particularly those who use it frequently or start at a young age.
Our addiction treatment programs in Massachusetts can help you break the cycle of addiction starting today. Contact one of our staff members to learn more.

Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Using Marijuana

There are various known side effects that marijuana smokers can develop over time. Some of these effects are:
  • Red, puffy eyes
  • Lung irritants (carcinogens)
  • Increased phlegm production
  • Increased likelihood of respiratory illness, including bronchitis
  • Weakened immune system (from tetrahydrocannabinol)
  • Elevated heart rate (by 20-50 beats per minute)
  • Interference of fetal development in pregnant women
  • Interference of brain development in teenagers

What are the Effects of Marijuana on Behavior?

Short-term effects of cannabis on behavior when one is “high” can include:
  • Mood changes
  • Altered senses
  • Slowed body movements
  • An altered sense of time
  • Impaired thinking and problem-solving
  • Hallucinations or delusions (from elevated THC levels)
  • Psychosis (from high-potency marijuana)
The long-term effects of cannabis can be noted particularly when used during the teenage years. Marijuana impairs learning, thinking, and problem-solving skills. The damage may be permanent, though more research is needed to solidify this into a fact.
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Treatment Options for Marijuana Addiction

Marijuana addiction is a condition that develops when heavy cannabis users develop a dependence on the drug. This addiction can cause a person to feel isolated, and lead to them pushing away family members and close friends. Since marijuana addiction isn’t given the same attention as alcohol misuse or other substance abuse disorders, marijuana addicts can feel like they have no avenues for help. Fortunately, that is not the case. There are various marijuana addiction treatment options available for people who want to recover control of their lives. Some of the numerous and effective treatment options are.

Behavioral therapies

These are types of psychotherapy that help people recognize and challenge thoughts and behaviors related to substance abuse and alcohol misuse. They teach addicts coping methods for managing stress, triggers, cravings, and negative emotions. Some examples of behavioral therapies are cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and motivational enhancement therapy (MET). These therapies can be undertaken in either individual or group settings.


There aren’t FDA-approved medications utilized directly for weed addiction treatment, but some medications help with withdrawal symptoms and co-occurring mental disorders. Some examples of these medications are zolpidem (Ambien®), buspirone (BuSpar®), gabapentin (Horizant®, Neurontin®), N-acetylcysteine, and FAAH inhibitors. These medications should only be used under the supervision of a medical professional and in combination with behavioral therapies, as some of them pose addictive qualities.

Rehab Programs

These structured programs provide intensive and comprehensive care for people with severe or chronic substance use disorders. Rehab programs can provide a variety of services and amenities, such as individual and group therapy, medication management, dual-diagnosis treatment, recreational activities, meditation, yoga, journaling, and teletherapy. Rehab programs can be either outpatient or inpatient, depending on the level of care needed and the patient’s preferences.

Support groups

These are groups of people who share similar experiences and challenges with substance use disorders and offer mutual support, encouragement, and advice. A few well-known support groups are Marijuana Anonymous (MA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), and SMART Recovery.
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Each person’s recovery journey will be different, and the best treatment option depends on different factors, such as the severity and duration of their addiction, their personal goals and preferences, their availability and accessibility of resources, and whether they have any co-occurring mental health conditions. Therefore, it is important to consult with a qualified and experienced professional who can assess the person’s needs and recommend the most suitable treatment plan for them.