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COVID-19 and Rehab: Facts about drug and alcohol addiction treatments during pandemic.

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December 8, 2020

Even before its legalization in many states of America and many parts of the world, cannabis was seen as one of the safer drugs that could be indulged in. It was an opinion that it wasn’t as bad as other hard drugs as its addictive potential was lower. Despite the public view, however, marijuana can be a dangerous drug and addiction is completely possible.

It is also one of the first drugs that many young people use. When these individuals get addicted to marijuana, it can have significant consequences. This means that the effects of chronic use will be bound to hit them at a relatively early age if they are not able to stop its use. It as well serves as a gateway into the consumption of other types of drugs. 

For many, this provides a lot of basis for trying to stop weed abuse but marijuana withdrawal symptoms may be the thing that doesn’t let them move on this way. This article will educate on cannabis detoxification, withdrawal symptoms of marijuana, and how to detox from weed.

What is cannabis withdrawal?

When an individual is addicted to a drug such as marijuana, their body gets used to the presence of its chemicals. This includes tetrahydrocannabinol that gives the drug the effect that users desire. The body may produce some natural substances in an impaired fashion, either more or less than normal, in the presence of this drug.

When an addict attempts to quit the use of the substance, the changes the body has made in its presence remain. As the substance is cleared gradually from the body, the changes in the production of natural chemicals slowly return to normal. This process causes uncomfortable symptoms. These signs of marijuana withdrawal are known as withdrawal symptoms.

Individuals addicted to marijuana may experience these symptoms upon withdrawal from marijuana. These are very uncomfortable and may cause them to use the drug again to feel relief. These symptoms can be discouraging and prevent addicts from attempting to quit.

The severity and duration of these symptoms can be affected by how long the individual has abused cannabis, and how much they abused on average, as well as other factors – genetic predisposition, general psychological state, concomitant disorders, addictions to other substances, and so on.

The following are some of the symptoms seen in cannabis withdrawal syndrome when addicts attempt to quit marijuana:

  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Excessive sweating
  • Cravings
  • Reduced appetite
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Unusual dreams

What is marijuana detox treatment?

Individuals with addiction will experience withdrawal symptoms when they attempt to quit. This period can be very difficult for addicts and tends to be the point at which most of them fail.

A woman suffering from cannabis addiction prepares to smoke weed due to withdrawal symptoms.

Fortunately, the process of marijuana detox treatment makes the period bearable for many addicts who are willing to move on.

Cannabis detox, or cannabis detoxification, is the process of medical and psychological guidance of an addict through abstinence from a drug. This is done in a supervised environment with pharmaceutical support. Medication is used to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms as well as reduce the risk of side effects such as psychosis, stroke, and heart attacks. A qualified detox center will have medical professionals monitor the patient’s health and state of mind around the clock. While this is the case with inpatient treatment, many centers allow outpatient treatment. Though this may be less effective as the patient still has access to outside stressors and sources of the drug. Inpatient treatment remains the best way to detox from weed.

They will undergo therapy such as group therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and psychotherapy. These aim to repair the psychological damage that their addiction may have caused.

Learn how to get help fighting marijuana addiction >>>

How long does detox for marijuana take?

The amount of time it takes to detox from marijuana is how long it takes for the body to completely clear the system of its presence. This period is that which produces marijuana detox symptoms. For addicts who can surmount this period, they can get closer to a normal life.

The marijuana withdrawal timeline is dependent on the intensity of the addiction. In most cases, symptoms will be at their peak within 2 to 3 days but may take several weeks before they completely resolve. As a result, marijuana detoxification time typically takes around 2 weeks. Below is the typical marijuana detox timeline.

Time Period Day 1 Day 2-3 Days 4-14 After 2 weeks
Effects
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive sweating (diaphoresis)
  • Chills
  • Abdominal pain/discomfort
  • Decreased appetite
  • Depression
  • Cravings persist
  • Abnormal dreams
  • Most symptoms resolved
  • Psychological states, such as depression and anxiety, may remain for months

What are the possible side effects of cannabis abuse?

Marijuana is valued by addicts for the desired effects that they notice it has on them. Unfortunately, this drug also has numerous side effects that can be quite serious if the addiction persists long enough. This is despite the misconception that many have that cannabis is completely healthy and can’t cause significant harm.

Some of the adverse effects that cannabis abuse can have on an individual appear in the short-term. Others appear after more chronic abuse.

Short-term side effects of marijuana

The following side effects may arise within hours of using marijuana:

  • Anxiety
  • Panic
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Psychosis
  • Short-term memory impairment
  • Loss of sense of identity (depersonalization)
  • Increased heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Impaired muscle coordination
  • Alterations in perception of time
  • Mood swings
  • Impaired cognition
  • Nausea and vomiting

Long-term effects of cannabis

Addicts who have been abusing weed for long periods are prone to more severe side effects which appear in chronic addicts. These can take months or years before they start to appear, and some of them may be irreversible. They include the following:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal behaviors and attempts
  • Impairment of short-term and long-term memory
  • Inattention
  • Increased risk of developing schizophrenia
  • Chronic psychosis
  • Addiction to other illicit substances such as cocaine and heroin
  • Reduction in intelligence quotient

The following are some of the physical side effects that can arise after chronic cannabis abuse:

  1. In individuals who smoke weed, there is a risk of developing lung conditions such as pneumonia and chronic bronchitis. Generally, the individual may develop respiratory infections more frequently than the average person.
  2. Cannabis hyperemesis syndrome: This condition involves recurrent nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. It occurs in individuals who abuse marijuana very frequently. It can cause severe complications like kidney failure, electrolyte imbalances, and even death. These addicts also tend to take hot showers compulsively as it is said to provide some short-term relief.
  3. Testicular cancer: One study found an association between marijuana and some testicular cancers.

What is the treatment after marijuana detox?

After the patient gets through detoxing from weed and cannabis withdrawal symptoms have mostly abated, it may feel like the journey is over. However, that is just the first lap of the path to completely quitting weed. 

After detoxing from marijuana, patients will go through a treatment period which is referred to as rehab, or rehabilitation. It differs from detox which addresses the physical clearing of a substance from the body. Rehabilitation moves to correct the psychological, social, and behavioral damages that may have been caused by the patient’s addiction.

A recovering cannabis addict talks to other addicts about dealing with marijuana addiction.

During this period, the patient will go through different measures of therapy. These include family therapy, group therapy, counseling, and psychotherapy. They will also have regular checkups scheduled with the psychiatrist. This helps to ensure that they are still on track towards complete recovery.

Dependence on marijuana can impair the way addicts live their lives, and their health as well, since fueling the addiction dominates their days. Moving past the weed withdrawal symptoms onto the road of getting rid of bad habits can be achieved with the help of cannabis detox treatment. There is always hope, and we are here to help you start the recovery.

Get a free online consultation with a specialist to find out how to get started detoxification from marijuana >>>

Published on December 8, 2020

by Dr Vorobjev Clinic team

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