What Is Cannabis?

Cannabis (also known as marijuana or weed) is a psychoactive drug derived from the cannabis plant. Cannabis can be used both medicinally and recreationally and is usually smoked, eaten, or vaporized. It has been legalized for recreational use in several states across the U.S. in recent years; however, despite its change in status, cannabis use is not entirely safe.

Cannabis misuse can be damaging to psychological health. It can lead to dependence, where a person feels the need to consume cannabis to feel normal, and after dependence has developed, a person may soon find themselves addicted.

Addiction can be a complicated condition to treat depending on its severity, and root causes vary widely among those affected. In addition to this, cannabis use can exacerbate underlying or pre-existing mental health conditions. When addiction co-occurs with other mental health issues, professional help should be sought as soon as possible.

Cannabis users typically take the substance to achieve its recreational effects, outlined in The Linacre Quarterly as:

  • Heightened sensory awareness
  • Relaxation
  • Mild euphoria

Though recreational cannabis use is legal or decriminalized in many states, it nevertheless carries some adverse health risks. Aside from the positive recreational effects of cannabis use, the New England Journal of Medicine reports that users may also experience:

  • Increased anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Short term memory impairment
Cannabis Leaf

Is Cannabis Addictive?

There is some debate as to whether cannabis is an addictive substance. Anything that changes the way we think, or feel, can lead to addiction, and cannabis alters our mood and perception.

Though it does not pose the same risk of addiction as other substances such as cocaine or heroin, Mens Sana Monographs explains that any substance or behavior can become an issue, depending on the individual.

For those already suffering from mood and personality disorders, cannabis use can become highly problematic.

Addiction Recovery Experts at Excel Treatment Center

At Excel Treatment Center, we are experts on addiction and addiction recovery. We understand that addiction does not discriminate and can affect anyone, regardless of age, social status, or cultural background. Our specialized team is here to support you or your loved one, with a flexible, personalized program, which ensures you receive the best treatment possible, and the best chance of success.

Treatment for Co-occurring Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders

Cannabis misuse and abuse can lead to dependence and addiction, according to Mens Sana Monographs. At Excel, we take a comprehensive and compassionate approach to your addiction recovery journey. We dive deep to examine the root cause of our clients’ addictions and emphasize the importance of identifying and addressing any pre-existing or underlying mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, stress-related disorders, and unresolved trauma. With an extensive and comprehensive approach to treatment and recovery, we provide the necessary and most appropriate levels of care and support

Health Consequences of Cannabis Misuse

Short-Term Effects of Cannabis

In the short-term, cannabis is generally not as harmful as other drugs, such as stimulants or opiates. That said, it can still harm our physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral health when misused. For those with a predisposition to psychological disorders, cannabis use can exacerbate any condition should it develop. It can also disrupt a person’s regular sleep pattern and lead to depression, anxiety, and mood changes. Research published in the Revue Médicale de Bruxelles reports that in rarer circumstances, cannabis can also lead to the onset of a psychotic episode.

Long-Term Effects of Cannabis

In the long-term, cannabis use can take a significant toll on memory and the ability to concentrate, according to a paper published in the Revue Médicale de Bruxelles. When a person uses cannabis regularly, they build up a tolerance to its pleasurable effects, which means greater amounts need to be consumed to reach the desired ‘high’.

Heavy cannabis use also poses a risk of psychosis, and users can be subject to experiencing deeply uncomfortable thoughts and feelings, as well as paranoia, and panic attacks.

Cannabis Withdrawal Management at Excel Treatment Center

These withdrawal symptoms can be deeply uncomfortable. The ability to deal with and overcome these symptoms can be hindered by a pre-existing condition, which highlights why it is so important to assess each client for co-occurring disorders when they enter addiction treatment.

At Excel, we consider a wide range of factors when it comes to understanding our clients. We complete an initial assessment to understand and evaluate our clients’ current state of physical and mental health and using this information, we then recommend the most appropriate course of action.

Unlike the withdrawal process for some of the more potent and powerful drugs, cannabis withdrawal does not usually involve the use of medication. Painkillers can be provided to manage some of the symptoms if necessary, and sleep aids can be used to reduce the severity of insomnia should it occur. Therapy and personal support is also offered to clients to help them better manage during the withdrawal process.

When a person is addicted to cannabis, they may experience some of the following withdrawal symptoms, as outlined in the journal Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation.

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Vivid dreams, or nightmares
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Cravings
  • Irritability

Outpatient Cannabis Addiction Treatment

At Excel Treatment Center, we offer outpatient treatment programs for clients suffering from cannabis addiction. After the initial assessment, we work with our clients to determine the best course of action. Our outpatient services are an excellent choice when residential rehabilitation may not be appropriate due to daily commitments. With an outpatient treatment program, minimal disruption is caused in the client’s life.

Throughout your time with us, you will have access to comprehensive, evidence-based therapies such as:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Creative and Expressive Art Therapies
  • Somatic Experiencing
  • EMDR

Individual and Group Therapy

Clients take part in both individual and group therapy.

In individual therapy, clients can explore, identify, address, and process any challenging scenarios, feelings, and memories that surface, as the underlying causes of their addiction are addressed. Past issues can be examined, and practical tools and techniques for coping and self-management can be learned.

Addiction can be a lonely and isolating experience, and group therapy allows clients to be supported by others experiencing similar issues. Research published in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology demonstrates that group therapy can reduce these feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Why Choose Excel Treatment Center for Your Recovery?

At Excel, we boast a diligent and dedicated team of recovery experts, including skilled counselors, therapists, and psychiatrists. We believe that recovery from addiction is entirely possible, and we work closely with our clients and their families to provide the most appropriate person-centered recovery treatment program. With comprehensive and compassionate care and support, addiction can be successfully overcome, and clients can achieve a positive outcome.

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