Treatment of marijuana addiction
Marijuana is a drug that causes many harmful consequences in the health, psychological, and social aspect. Although it does not form physical addiction, and after a break from taking one feels no physical crisis, it is necessary to treat psychological addiction to marijuana.
Bearing in mind the effects of marijuana on the whole body, we cannot classify it as a soft drug as all drugs are hard. Heroin addicts who were treated at our hospital, started with marijuana. Young people begin to consume marijuana very early, at the age of 11 or 12 years, in the circle of friends. Unfortunately, over 90% of the young people had contact with marijuana and do not consider it a drug for it is legalized in many countries.
It is this kind of an attitude, that psychostimulants are no big deal, leads to experimentation and the development of drug addiction. Over time, people become utterly indifferent to psychoactive substances, whether marijuana, gambling, alcohol or something else, because their value system changes. It is all the easier to find reasons to consume the substance, looking for situations and company in which drugs are consumed, and everything else is neglected.
Addicts are the most difficult to treat at the beginning because they do not believe they have a problem at the time, and at the end, when it is quite challenging to eliminate the consequences of addiction.
Effects of cannabinoid consumption
The mental effects of marijuana are relaxation (although there may be a feeling of anxiety as a countereffect), euphoric mood, excessive laughing, scatteredness, poor concentration, disturbed thinking process and “torrential thoughts”, perceptual disorders (at higher doses even hallucination and illusions), memory disorder, speech disorder and “garrulity”, reduced ability to imagine and predict events, light-headedness, derealization and depersonalisation.
Somatic effects include dilatation of pupils, red scleras, dry mouth and throat, and altered complex motor functions, and at higher doses disturbed coordination of movement. Long-term use of marijuana causes numerous chronic disorders in the body. Some of them are apathetic mood and a constant state of sleepiness, poor operational memory, abstract thinking disorder, depression and anxiety, panic attacks, emotional lability, and irritability. There is a decrease in intellect and personality change and even suicides.
Headaches, coordination disorders, slow response times, and disturbed space and color perception are common.
There are also numerous respiratory problems, dry and unproductive cough, pharyngitis, mouth mucous membrane changes its color, palate, and frenulum are swollen. The nose is continuously stuffy, if there is asthma, it worsens, and respiratory tract infections are frequent. Bronchitis and lung cancer can also develop.
Reproductively, libido decreases, and reaching pleasure is difficult. Potency problems, menstrual cycle disorders, pregnancy problems, and infertility can occur.
The social consequences of taking marijuana are isolation, loss of ambitions and plans, and a break in the practice of hobbies and activities.
Primary goals of treatment:
- Eliminating the psychological consequences resulting from the consumption of marijuana, primarily paranoia, lunatic ideas, amotivational syndrome, depression, thinking disorder, memory, and attention disorder.
- Eliminating the desire for marijuana.
- Creating a new lifestyle, changing life habits, changing circle of friends, avoiding alcohol and other psychoactive substances, practicing sports and other healthy activities, finding a job, and establishing a normal biorhythm.
Phases of marijuana addiction treatment
Treatment of cannabinoid addiction involves pharmacotherapy, Neuro-Jet therapy, information therapy, and psychotherapy, and the first and the basic phase is diagnostics.
Diagnostics – the first and significant phase of treatment during which the physical and psychological state of the patient is assessed. The standard diagnostic examination for physical condition assessment includes urine test, tests for hepatitis B and C, HIV infection, general blood analysis, biochemical blood testing, ECG, and an internist examination. The standard diagnostic examination for assessing the psychological condition involves psychodiagnostics (psychological tests are used to determine the level of addiction, the consequences of the use of substances on mental health, to detect the signs of psychological disorders, the presence of depression, the degree of motivation for healing). Having made the diagnosis, the team of doctors examines the findings and develops treatment strategy and plan. If there are risk factors or some chronic illness, additional tests are carried out, and therapy is prescribed. It is possible to do MRT, EEG, ultrasound, X-ray, endoscopy, medicine, and drug concentration analysis, cardiac examination, neurological examination, endocrinological examination … These are all additional tests that are not included in the package price.
Pharmacotherapy – It is necessary to make a good combination of preparations that will help the patient regain control over his thoughts and feelings. Pharmacotherapy helps to eliminate fears, doubts, insecurities, and unrealistic ideas. Only when a patient can again accept, analyze, and evaluate events and situations can he move to the following stage of treatment. Parents often resort to threats or persuasions to force their child to stop taking the substance. However, such conversations have no effect because marijuana leads to disorders in perception, memory, and thinking.
N.Е.Т. (Neuro-Jet therapy) allows the endorphin and neuromediator system to stabilize. This method is very applicable and promising and is used in countries like Switzerland, Great Britain, and Russia. This therapy enables the stimulation of brain structures by which natural hormones of happiness are secreted. These processes are disturbed when a person regularly consumes narcotics, experiencing sorrow, apathy, and depression. Neuro-Jet therapy re-establishes the neuromediator balance, and this leads to mood normalization, elimination of nervousness, and decreased desire for drugs.
Treatment of psychological addiction – Using aversive procedures, pharmacohypnosis, psychotherapy, Ibogaine according to the doctor’s assessment.
Psychotherapy – individual, family and group psychotherapy, body-oriented psychotherapy, meditation, autogenic training, training of communicative skills development, relaxation, art therapy, transactional analysis, family therapy, individual and group education are used. The essence of psychotherapy is to re-establish good communication and relationships with important people, family, and friends. A plan of activity is made for each following month, and the patient slowly learns how to act in provocative situations and how to prevent relapse. Leisure time should be dedicated to sports, recreation, walks, and other pleasant and healthy activities.
Physiotherapy includes physical, medical, or deep tissue massage, and these massages relax and soothe the body. When a person is in the withdrawal phase, the level of dopamine is lowered, and massage stimulates the normal production of dopamine as it accelerates blood and lymph circulation, and thus improves the process of eliminating toxins from the body. The package price includes one session of physiotherapy, and each subsequent is charged additionally.
Outpatient treatment phase takes place after leaving the hospital, and the patient is regularly followed-up every month during the following year. It is necessary to maintain contact with the hospital to obtain the necessary advice and assistance in case any problems arise. At discharge, the patient receives a discharge summary and detailed advice and instructions regarding the recommended treatment.
Support in treatment provided by close people greatly increases the chances of successful healing. For patients from abroad, there is an option to contact their doctor via telephone, Skype, and e-mail.
In case of a need, we also offer transport of patients from the airport or the station to the hospital and back. We help foreign patients receive a visa if they need it, and if they have company, they too can stay in the hospital.
Our professional staff is available to patients 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Our doctors are certified anesthesiologists, psychiatrists, and psychologists with 10 to 25 years of experience. Your safety and security is our priority, the facility is under video surveillance, and the hired security guard takes care of it.