Marijuana abuse is far more common than people realize and affects almost 4 million citizens of the United States of America each and every year. Cannabis use has increased significantly in the USA as it has become legal in more and more states. But as this decriminalization occurs, so does the incidence of cannabis use disorder increased. How do you identify if you have an issue with marijuana abuse and what is available for people with this disorder?
What is a cannabis use disorder? Do I have one?
Smoking marijuana in itself does not mean you are addicted. There is a strict definition of abuse which is when the use of the substance begins to impact one’s life in a negative way. Officially it is defined as
Cannabis use disorder is the continued use of cannabis despite clinically significant distress or impairment which usually includes:
- A strong desire to take cannabis
- Difficulties in controlling its use
- Persisting in its use despite harmful consequences
- A higher priority is given to cannabis use than other activities and obligations
- Increased tolerance
- A physical withdrawal state when the drug is not ingested”
If you or somebody you know suffers from these symptoms, they may be suffering from a cannabis use disorder.
The withdrawal symptoms can be significant in around one-half of patients. The symptoms can include:
- Disturbed sleep
- GI symptoms such as diarrhea or constipation
- A reduced appetite
As such some patients wish to enter a rehabilitation facility during this time. These symptoms often resolve within a few weeks – but they can be abated via various medical treatments in the inpatient facilities.
How do they treat marijuana abuse?
Treatment is often undertaken at specialist rehabilitation centers across the United States of America. This treatment is, of course, dependent on the individual and will be tweaked dependent on your specific set of circumstances. However, there are a number of options and treatment often involves:
- Psychological treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which tries not to focus on the pass but on the present. CBT tries to change your actions by helping you understand why you act in a certain way.
- Other psychological treatments include things like motivational interviewing, whereby the therapist tried to induce the motivation to quit from within you.
- No medicine treats the actual disease, but there are a number of medications that can be prescribed during the withdrawal period (eg anxiolytics like Diazepam can be given on a short-term basis to reduce symptoms of anxiety during the withdrawal).
If you or somebody you know is suffering from an addiction such as marijuana abuse then get in contact with a specialist rehabilitation centre today. Cannabis abuse is an epidemic across the USA today but is severely under recognised and under treated. Often family practitioners are not equipped to deal with this mental health disorder and specialist treatment is often the best option.