Smoking or taking Marijuana in any of its forms is just like wrestling with the paper tiger of the narcotic world, isn’t it? And so why would you need to seek recovery from this docile substance? Well, in truth, this mind altering drug is not so harmless and like the heroin-lions cocaine-bears, it can feast on your mind, body and spirit. Don’t be deceived by the popular myths, addiction in any of its myriad of forms is a diseased Hydra which requires action to be subdued. Furthermore, there is no shame in asking for help to learn how to tame this beast within, and this is sometimes the hardest part for the pot head; realising and accepting that it’s absolutely legitimate to need assistance to stop using.
Putting down the Paper Tiger
Withdrawal is a fact of addiction and it’s no different with pot. When you stop using a labyrinth of depression, sleeplessness, anxiety, mood swings, cravings and irritability await and wading through this morass of negative feelings is always the first step to recovery. Moreover, this is the same for any substance problem or for that matter, pretty much any recovery model worth its salt.
It may interest you to know that in severe cases of marijuana addiction, medication is prescribed to help ease the symptoms of withdrawal and assist the addict to remain drug free. If this substance is so innocuous, why bother with prescriptions to ease this process? These include: Bupropion, an antidepressant, which has been proven to help with cravings and other symptoms in quitting both smoking and marijuana, Divalproex, an anti-conversant, traditionally used for epilepsy and the manic phase of bipolar disorders and orally administered synthetic THC, the active and addictive substance in marijuana. Of course, many people choose to just stop without the use of detox drugs.
Staying out of the Jungle
Staying stopped is more of an issue, that’s one of the real Herculean labours. One of the possibilities to help the addict remain abstinent is Naltrexone, which is often used as a blocker in the treatment of heroin addiction. It can be used to perform a similar function for marijuana users, where it blocks the opioid receptors in the brain preventing the marijuana from working properly. This removes the reward of using as the drug no longer ‘hits the spot’ but it fails to address the many heads of this mythological beast.
Addiction is widely accepted by the medical community as a disease, a chronic neurological disorder which is characterised by the compulsive use of a substance and the inability to stop despite the negative and often insane consequences. The reward system in the brain is jiggered by poor neurotransmission and low dopamine levels. Dopamine is the chemical spontaneously created by the brain in its ‘pleasure and reward’ centre. It stops being produced naturally when consistently hampered by the intake of mind or mood altering drugs. This Hydra of an illness has the fearsome heads of spiritual, emotional and physical consequences and is characterised by a disconnection with self and a disaffection from life in general. It is not about the paper tiger, the lion or the bear at all.
So in order to arrest this disease, what do you do after you have stopped? How do you become Hercules and slay the many heads of your addiction? How do you restore your thinking, feelings and behaviour to healthy patterns?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
There are also several types of therapy that are believed to have good results in treating marijuana and other forms of addiction. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT seeks to teach the user skills to quit their drug of choice and manage the problems in their life that make it difficult to exit the wilderness. This may involve looking at various ways to cope with or avoid triggers as well as problem solving skills and lifestyle management tools. Typically these sessions are run by a therapist and run for 45 to 60 minutes on a weekly basis either in groups or on an individual basis. Often they are offered as part of inpatient and outpatient rehab programs.
Motivational Enhancement Therapy
Another potentially helpful tool is Motivational Enhancement Therapy which is based on motivational interviewing techniques in which the interviewee addresses their reservations about giving up their drug of choice. This aims to capitalise on the willingness and incentive that the addict has shown by initially asking for help. This form of therapy is much more about personal responsibility and the idea is that the motivation comes from within the addict to continue on the hike out of the wasteland. This is not a step by step guide to recovery.
Cognitive Enhancement Therapy
This is an interesting form of therapy where the addict has to hand in clean urine samples on a weekly basis and is rewarded with vouchers they can spend on goods or activities to encourage them to participate in life outside the world of their drug of choice. The more clean samples you hand in, the more your voucher increases in value.
12 Labours of Hercules
Now, if this drug is such a pussy cat, why does it have its very own 12 step fellowship based on the program of the far more well-known AA? This model has been applied to countless problems and there are over 30 fellowships in existence aimed at everything from helping neurotics to giving support to those whose family members are addicts and alcoholics. It is so widely applied because it works and treats the emotional, mental and spiritual disconnection with life never mind its cause or manifestation.
The Quest for What Works for You
All of these treatments have positive aspects and particular things are going to resonate with different people at varying times in their lives. Recovery is all about seeking out what works for you with the assistance of people who really understand what you are going through and treating all aspects of the Hydra.
To start the quest for what works for you, give our expert team at Seasons luxury rehab a call today for a FREE, no obligation consultation.