When seeking help for cannabis addiction it’s important to seek out a comprehensive in- or out-patient rehabilitation facility where counselors and healthcare professionals can help the addict confront their drug abuse and offer tools and resources to assist in the detoxification process as well as provide guidance for lasting recovery.
Often the first step in recovery is to take a basic cannabis addiction test which asks questions that can determine if a problem exists and the extent of addiction or abuse: Do you smoke marijuana without needing a specific reason? Do you smoke in the morning, and do you build your life around using the drug? Has your use of cannabis affected interpersonal relationships with family and friends and has it impacted your work or career? Do you use the drug to avoid dealing with emotional issues? These and other questions are vital in understanding the abuse and what steps should be taken to end that dependence.
As with other drug addictions, there are simple steps the cannabis addict can take to help ease the symptoms of withdrawal during the detoxification period, such as drinking plenty of water or juices to help purify and cleanse the body of delta-9 tetrahydro-cannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in cannabis; eating a healthy diet high in fruit and vegetables; eliminating excess fat from the diet until digestion improves in the post-detoxification period; eliminating caffeine until sleep patterns normalize; and consistent exercise, which helps the body heal and assists the brain in coping with the emotional issues that arise when cannabis use is stopped.
Of course, one of the most vital elements of recovery is to attend—either on an in- or out-patient basis—cannabis addiction meetings, which can be vitally helpful in giving support and encouragement during the post-detoxification period and assist in preventing a relapse into cannabis abuse and addiction. And although there are no specific medications available for treating a dependence of cannabis, in some instances medical professionals can prescribe mild sedatives that can help the addict overcome the anxiety or panic attacks common during recovery.
Typically, group and one-on-one counseling takes the form of cognitive-behavioral therapy, which teaches the addict how to identify and correct problems that have led to their cannabis addiction; contingency management support, which is based on monitoring target behaviors and offering positive reinforcement when those behaviors are achieved; and motivational enhancement therapy, a form of intervention intended to produce quick internal change in the addict in order to engage in drug addiction treatment.
As with any drug dependency, the support of friends and family is crucial to helping the addict overcome their crisis and achieve long-lasting recovery. And that support, combined with a comprehensive drug detoxification and counseling program, can make a huge difference in achieving the goal of a life free of cannabis addiction.