Methods of Treatment in Marijuana Rehab

Some individuals who abuse marijuana, often the ones who smoke every day or who start out abusing the drug when they are young and continue to into adulthood, become addicted to it. For someone who is addicted to marijuana, there are rehab facilities that exist where they can be treated. Though several different methods for the treatment of marijuana addiction exist, they are mostly behavioral in nature.

Pharmacological Treatments in Marijuana Rehab

According to the NIDA, “Currently, no medications are indicated for the treatment of marijuana use disorder, but research is active in this area.” In some cases, a person looking for marijuana addiction treatment can participate in a clinical trial for specific medications, but marijuana rehab for the most part does not provide pharmacological treatment for marijuana addiction.

However, most facilities try to manage the discomfort caused by marijuana withdrawal with the use of medically-assisted detox. While this treatment can be helpful and make an individual less likely to experience extreme withdrawal symptoms, it is not in itself a treatment for marijuana addiction (even though it is often used in marijuana treatment to make the experience more bearable).

Behavioral Treatments in Marijuana Rehab

marijuana addiction help

Group therapy is one of the methods of treatment in rehab programs for marijuana addiction.

There are many more options for behavioral treatments in marijuana rehab facilities, both outpatient and inpatient based. Therapy is especially helpful for those who are struggling with marijuana addiction because of the lack of pharmacological treatment options. The commonly used behavioral treatments are:

  • Motivational enhancement therapy 
    • A therapy that attempts to engage the patient in treatment and “produce rapid, internally motivated change”
  • Contingency management 
    • A therapy system based on vouchers that allows patients to receive a reward for abstinent behavior
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy 
    • A therapy that “teaches people strategies to identify and correct problematic behaviors in order to enhance self-control, stop drug use, and address a range of other problems”

CBT is often used in most marijuana rehab centers and especially as a treatment for teenagers. Another effective treatment for adolescents (as well as adults) is family therapy where the issues between family members and marijuana addicts can be discussed and worked out.

The NIDA states, “People with marijuana use disorders, especially adolescents, often also suffer from other psychiatric disorders (comorbidity).” Many marijuana rehab facilities provide treatment for these issues as well which may include

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • PTSD
  • Polydrug addictions (addictions to other substances like cocaine, alcohol, benzodiazepines, etc.)

Patients in marijuana rehab must have access to these types of treatments because there are usually many psychiatric needs that should be met when it comes to marijuana addiction treatment.

Methods of Treatment in Marijuana Rehab

According to a study from the NCBI, “Paralleling the rise in marijuana use disorders, treatment admissions for primary marijuana dependence have increased both in absolute numbers and as a percentage of total admissions.” This means that the treatment methods for marijuana rehab should be effective as well as varied.

While marijuana rehab does not have the success rates that other types of substance abuse rehab programs have, there are several different methods of treatment available in marijuana rehab, and work is constantly being done to find more viable methods for the treatment of marijuana use disorders.