How to Recover from Marijuana Addiction through Treatment

How to Recover from Marijuana Addiction through Treatment

Marijuana has a storied history in pop culture as a casual drug, a ‘soft’ drug, the one so socially acceptable even President Barack Obama admitted using it. If you’re reading this though, you may also know it as an addictive substance that can have serious life-changing consequences for those who use it and their loved ones. Partners, employers, friends, and family members often lose patience for the person who is unable to stop using, and have trouble understanding just how an addiction to marijuana can cause such a change in a person’s life. Whether you call it weed, pot, cannabis, marijuana, or any of the other names it’s had over the centuries, in this how-to guide, you will gain the knowledge you need to recover from your marijuana addiction once and for all.

Marijuana addiction is real, and recovery is possible. It begins with taking the first step: admitting that help is needed, and accepting that help.

What kind of a drug is marijuana, and what are its effects?

  • Cannabis has been grown and used by humans since before 2000 B.C.
  • Marijuana’s effects range from stimulant to depressant to hallucinogen, depending on the user and the various strains.
  • Herbal cannabis is derived from the dried flowers, leaves, and stems of the female Cannabis plant.
  • Marijuana can be smoked or ingested.
  • Studies vary on the addiction rates for marijuana, but dependence and addiction are known effects of long-term use.
  • Cannabis use disorder is defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) as a condition requiring treatment.

So what are the side effects of marijuana use? To start, cognitive impairment on attention, short-term memory, and ability to complete psychomotor tasks — that’s what makes it so dangerous to drive while stoned.

Long-term marijuana use can lead to chronic cognitive deficits like memory loss and reduced IQ, and is associated with a risk of developing other mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia. Physically, inhaling the carcinogenic marijuana smoke increases the risk of chronic bronchitis, lung disease, and cancer.

According to the DSM-5, the withdrawal symptoms from marijuana include:

  • irritability,
  • anger or aggression,
  • nervousness or anxiety,
  • sleep difficulty (ie, insomnia, disturbing dreams),
  • decreased appetite or weight loss,
  • restlessness,
  • depressed mood, and
  • at least one of the following physical symptoms causing significant discomfort:
    • abdominal pain,
    • shakiness/tremors,
    • sweating,
    • fever,
    • chills, or
    • headache.

Addicts can and do recover with marijuana addiction treatment.

Recovery is possible. That’s great news for the person struggling with marijuana addiction who may feel hopeless. However, a certain mindset is generally necessary in order for marijuana addiction treatment to work. Some of the things that are generally considered a helpful prerequisite for successful recovery include:

  • Willingness to admit there is a problem. As with addiction to other drugs, marijuana addiction often leads to denial. Users shrink from confronting what is actually going on, the toll the drug is taking on their lives and relationships, and the severity of the problem; owning the wreckage can be overwhelming and is often best accomplished in an intervention-type setting with the help of concerned and supportive loved ones. Admitting the truth about the impact of the addiction is essential to seeking help and ultimately recovering.
  • A sincere desire to stop using marijuana. A person must not merely pay lip service to the idea of getting clean and sober; it doesn’t work that way. Of course, he or she may not feel enthusiastic about having to give up cannabis, indeed may be terrified at the prospect, but one must be willing to put it aside in order to give treatment a fair shot.
  • A willingness to consider complete abstinence as a means to successful addiction treatment. Someone with a marijuana problem may not believe they also have a problem with alcohol or any other drug, but generally speaking, those who are entirely abstinent have a much better chance of recovering from their addiction because other mind-altering drugs can act as gateway drugs to your substance of choice.

How marijuana addiction treatment works

There is no magic pill, quick fix, or single technique to help someone recover from addiction. You can change your life and recover from addiction, and be happier than you ever were before; it’s just a matter of doing the work. At Renascent, marijuana addiction treatment consists of a multi-disciplinary approach to the problem of addiction. It’s an approach that has helped thousands of people who once struggled with addiction achieve lasting recovery.

Treatment modalities for addiction include:

  • Education into the nature of addiction and its physical, emotional, social, and spiritual effects
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy: Practicing techniques to change behaviour patterns that led you to reach for a mind-altering substance in the first place
  • 12-step facilitation therapy
  • Additional therapies personalized to your individual needs and situation, including reality therapy, person-centred therapy, solution-focused therapy, mindfulness principles, and art therapy

Treatment is facilitated individually and in groups by our team of registered psychotherapists and certified drug and alcohol addiction specialists, all of whom have lived experience of addiction and recovery.

At Renascent, the atmosphere is that of a comfortable home, not a bleak institution. You will be surrounded by loving, caring, experienced staff and peers who, like yourselves, are on a journey of recovery. We have found this to be the best possible environment to support someone as they recover. The bottom line is, marijuana addiction doesn’t have to rule your life anymore. For more information about Renascent’s programs and to find out why we are your best choice for lasting recovery, please call our Access Centre, day or night, toll-free at 1-866-204-7864 or text 1-647-691-4146 to speak confidentially to one of our counsellors.

Be More Than All Talk — 7 Easy Ways To Be An Action Hero!

Be More Than All Talk — 7 Easy Ways To Be An Action Hero!

Bell Let’s Talk Day is coming up, and all we can think about is action! Opening up the conversation about mental health is important, of course, but in the work Team Renascent does we know that recovery is more than just talk: it’s about action.

Taking action in support of mental health and addictions can make sure that someone else is able to reach the recovery you have found, and it’s also a fulfilling way to keep your own recovery on track.

Here are just a few ideas for how you can be action hero this coming week:

1. Sign up as an alumni contact.

Our alumni contacts bridge that daunting gap between leaving treatment and achieving stable recovery at home. As an alumni contact, you will be put in touch with someone leaving treatment who lives in your community. You’ll meet them, take them to a local meeting, introduce them to program contacts, and generally help them find their footing in your area’s recovery community. It’s an important job and an amazing way to give back.

2. Become one of Renascent’s monthly donors.

Our monthly donors can choose exactly how much they give every month, so if $9 a month works for you, great! When you give the gift of recovery, you help us keep our promise of never turning anyone away from drug and alcohol addiction treatment because of money. Over the course of a year, your monthly donations will accumulate into an impressive annual gift, and you’ll get a tax receipt for the full amount.

3. Go to an alumni meeting.

When you go back to the house where you found recovery, you’re not only giving yourself an amazing reminder of how far you’ve come, you’re also showing everyone currently in treatment what’s up ahead. If you aren’t feeling like a shining example of recovery this week, go anyway. When you share your struggles, hope, and experience, you’re doing everyone a favour.

4. Review us on Facebook and/or Google.

When you let others know how and where you found recovery, you’re helping them find it for themselves. This is probably the easiest way to spread the word! On Facebook, go to facebook.com/RenascentCanada and click on “Recommend” to share your experience. (While you’re there, “Like” us to connect with the Renascent community and get resources, support, etc.) On Google, search for your house (Munro, Punanai, Sullivan, or Wright) and on the results page, you’ll see an option on the right hand side to write a review.  

5. Go to a meeting and introduce yourself to a newcomer.

Remember your first meeting? How nervous you were? How weird everything felt? A friendly face saying “hey” can be the difference between running out the door and never looking back, or coming back next week and finding a supportive community for life.

6. Volunteer.

Being of service is a key factor of long-term recovery — you’ve got to give it to get it! Whatever you’re good at, from gardening to computers, there’s a charity or non-profit organization who could use your help. (We might even have some opportunities for volunteers at our suite during the upcoming ORC.) Apply to be a volunteer today!

7. Email your MP and/or MPP.

Members of Parliament and Provincial Parliament are responsible to you. If you think more government money should go toward funding addiction treatment programs, let them know! They work for you, and need to hear from you to know what their constituents care about.

Now celebrate your action hero status with a little dance party!

The staff at Renascent is passionate about helping people with substance addictions so they can reach their full recovery – with compassion, respect, empathy and understanding. Our staff includes our counsellors, all of whom have lived experience of addiction and recovery.

Recovery in TV and Film

Recovery in TV and Film

As winter drags on, aren’t we all finding ourselves spending more hours in front of the TV? And while you’re there, have you been noticing all the addiction and recovery storylines? Without revealing any spoilers, the shows This Is Us and Teen Mom are both featuring addiction and recovery storylines right now, and this weekend also marks 10 years since the premiere of the infamous Breaking Bad — not exactly a show about recovery, but there was a meeting!

On the reality side of things, there’s Russell Brand’s documentary, From Addiction to Recovery, in which he explores his addiction, reveals how the program has saved his life, and how his relationship with Amy Winehouse spurred his campaign to have addiction recognized and treated as a disorder in the UK. (Warning: adult language and subject matter!)

Click here to watch the full documentary.

The sitcom “Mom” features a mother and daughter (played by Anna Faris and Allison Janney), both of whom are in recovery:

Watch the latest episodes of Mom here.

Recovery Road only got one season, but was widely regarded as a fair and accurate depiction:

“Usually when a character struggles with drugs or alcohol or a combination of the two, they dabble, they spiral, they hit rock bottom, and they ask for help. The story tends to fade to black there, never showing the hard work that goes into being sober. It’s at that point where Recovery Road begins…
It sounds like the stuff of a classic Afterschool Special, but when Maddie faces expulsion or rehab, viewers get to see something rarely shown on television – even less so on teen TV – the real work of recovery.”

Keep reading Recovery Road: finally a TV show about addiction that focuses on recovery

Watch first episode at the bottom of this article.

 

So go ahead, curl up on the couch this weekend, and let us know what you think of these shows!

The staff at Renascent is passionate about helping people with substance addictions so they can reach their full recovery – with compassion, respect, empathy and understanding. Our staff includes our counsellors, all of whom have lived experience of addiction and recovery.

Video: You Gotta Have Faith

Whether you’re looking for a well-deserved Friday dance break or a tune to remind you to be “a strong man baby” and “wait for something more,” here’s some George (RIP) to kick off the weekend.

The staff at Renascent is passionate about helping people with substance addictions so they can reach their full recovery – with compassion, respect, empathy and understanding. Our staff includes our counsellors, all of whom have lived experience of addiction and recovery.

Video: How to ask for help, and why it’s awesome

In this episode we’re going to talk about something that’s hard for all of us to do: it can be so hard to ask for help. How do you do it, and why should you? We all need help — there’s no such thing as a self-made person; every single person that you look to who has been successful has had somebody help them.

The staff at Renascent is passionate about helping people with substance addictions so they can reach their full recovery – with compassion, respect, empathy and understanding. Our staff includes our counsellors, all of whom have lived experience of addiction and recovery.