The Hills Treatment Centre Is Located In Beautiful Chiang Mai, Thailand And Provides Clients An Opportunity To Focus On Treatment In A Safe And Serene Setting Away From The Distractions And Triggers Of Home
About 30% of people who use marijuana are said to have some level of cannabis use disorder. Those who started using it before the age of 18 are 4 to 7 times more likely than people who started using in adulthood.
Despite the increasingly mainstream perception that marijuana use is harmless, research shows that heavy or prolonged use is very problematic for many people, leading to cognitive impairment and an overall lack of motivation. In some cases, it can even lead to developing certain mental health disorders.
Sadly, only about 10% of people in need of treatment actually get help. Some studies have pointed out that there are barriers to treatment including a lack of motivation to change, a belief that treatment isn’t necessary and wanting to avoid any stigma attached to seeking help for addiction.
What is Marijuana?
Marijuana is derived from the dried flowers of the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plant. It contains more than 500 chemical compounds, including THC which is the psychoactive ingredient responsible for causing the ‘high’ that is experienced when marijuana is consumed.
Street names: weed, grass, pot, herb, bud, ganja, Mary Jane
Types of Marijuana
Marijuana is available in different forms including:
- Hash oil or honey oil
- Wax or budder
A relatively new way of consuming marijuana is dabbing. This involves smoking THC-rich resins, hash oil, honey oil, wax, budder or shatter. And although dabbing is growing in popularity, it can be dangerous due to the heavy use of lighter fluid used.
The method used determines how quickly the effects are felt. When you smoke, THC and other chemicals pass from the lungs and into the bloodstream, body and brain, allowing users to feel the effects immediately.
Signs & Symptoms of Marijuana Addiction or Cannabis Use Disorder
Cannabis use disorder is characterised by the compulsive use of marijuana despite its harmful and negative consequences. Research suggests that 10% of people who use marijuana will develop cannabis use disorder.
Only a healthcare professional can diagnose people with a cannabis use disorder. Clinicians use the criteria outlined in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition). People may be diagnosed with cannabis use disorder if they meet at least 2 of the following over the course of a year:
- Cannabis is used in larger amounts or over a longer period of time than was intended
- There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control cannabis use
- A great deal of time is spent obtaining, using, or recovering from cannabis use
- The person experiences cravings for cannabis
- Recurrent cannabis use results in a failure to fulfil obligations at work, school or home
- There is continued cannabis use despite experiencing persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems that are caused or exacerbated by use
- Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced as a result of cannabis use
- Recurrent cannabis use occurs in situations where it is physically hazardous
- Cannabis use continues despite persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problems caused by or exacerbated by use
- The person develops a cannabis tolerance, meaning they need a higher dose to achieve the same desired effects
- The person experiences withdrawal symptoms when they stop or drastically cut back on their cannabis
Side Effects of Marijuana Addiction
Marijuana addiction can cause a variety of physical and mental effects that impact one’s overall well-being. Everyone responds differently to marijuana use and may experience none or several of the symptoms below.
Immediate short-term effects of marijuana abuse:
- A sense of relaxation
- Happiness, laughter, euphoria
- Heightened sensory perception
- Altered perception of time
- Increased appetite (the munchies)
- Anxiety, fear, panic, paranoia
- Hallucinations, delusions
- Disorganised thinking
- Mood swings
- Impaired senses
- Difficulty problem-solving
- Lack of coordination and balance
- Memory problems
- Bronchial asthma
- Increased risk of developing addiction
- Increased risk of developing other substance abuse problems
Long-term effects of marijuana abuse can include:
- Impaired brain development (if used at a young age)
- Respiratory problems
- Increased heart rate
- Weakened immune system
- Suicidal thoughts
According to studies, people who use large amounts of marijuana report lower satisfaction in life, physical and mental health issues and relationship problems. A study published in 2004 found that regular use can be associated with lower educational attainment.
If you or someone you love are struggling with marijuana addiction, The Hills treatment centre can help. Their programs will help your address you individual issues and put you on the path to recovery.
Chronic cannabis use can cause mild withdrawal symptoms and the DSM-5 recognises cannabis withdrawal syndrome and requires the presence of 3 withdrawal symptoms developing within a week of reduced use. These symptoms include:1
- Irritability, anger, or aggression
- Anxiety or nervousness
- Decreased appetite
- A depressed mood
- Headaches, nausea, vomiting or stomach pain
Almost 50% of people who use marijuana chronically will experience some withdrawal symptoms when they stop or reduce their use.
Marijuana Addiction Treatment
In the same way that alcohol is normalised, so too is marijuana. While many people who are dependent on or addicted to marijuana don’t believe they have a problem, they could still benefit from addiction treatment.
Effective treatment should address the whole person, not just the cannabis use disorder.
Detox, residential or inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment and aftercare are all effective treatment options.
Marijuana cravings and other withdrawal symptoms can last for weeks so a long-term treatment program may be needed to achieve recovery. Keep in mind that returning home where marijuana use is accepted or accessible can compromise sobriety and lead to relapse.
Marijuana addiction programs provide:
- essential life skills
- relapse prevention techniques
Behavioural therapy helps address the psychological aspects of one’s addiction. Undergoing behavioural therapy will help you understand your addiction, identify and address underlying issues and any co-occurring disorders. Therapy helps prepare you for managing cravings and preventing relapses. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is one such therapy and is one of the most commonly used forms of therapy for addiction.
Inpatient treatment provides an intensive treatment experience while the client stays at the centre with other peers in recovery throughout the duration of their program which can last from 28 to 90 days. Clients participate in various counselling sessions, groups and other therapeutic services designed to help the client achieve sobriety.
Outpatient treatment provides more flexibility for those who cannot commit to a residential program. IOP sessions are delivered by way of 1:1 counselling and group therapy and held several times a week at a safe location.
Aftercare support groups are one of the most effective ways people can receive long-term support after inpatient treatment. There are many groups available including Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and there is even a substance specific group called Marijuana Anonymous (MA). These groups follow a 12-step approach to recovery and provide members with a sense of belonging and community which are essential in lasting recovery.
Other support groups such as SMART Recovery are also available for people looking for non 12-step options.
The primary goals of long-term treatment are to help clients:
- stop using marijuana and other addictive substances
- maintain long-term or lifelong abstinence
- be productive members of society and within their families and workplaces
The Hills treatment centre is located in beautiful Chiang Mai, Thailand and provides clients an opportunity to focus on treatment in a safe and serene setting away from the distractions and triggers of home. The centre has a hospital onsite to provide and detox care you may need. Programs range in length but committing to 28 days is always recommended. The Hills provides luxury treatment at very affordable prices. Give the team a call to learn more.