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Marijuana Addiction Treatment: Everything You Need To Know

By WebMD Connect to Care Staff
Contrary to popular belief, marijuana can be addictive. If you or a loved one can’t stop using marijuana, read on to learn how to get help

The legalization of recreational marijuana in many states has made it more available for consumption in the United States than ever before. As marijuana use becomes more common, it’s important to understand the signs and symptoms of marijuana addiction as well as treatment options that can help.

What is Marijuana Addiction?

You are likely struggling with addiction if you can’t stop using marijuana, even when it interferes with your daily routine. Being addicted to marijuana makes it harder to stay focused and learn new things. It can also affect your memory, and increase forgetfulness. If a young person starts using marijuana before age 18, they’re up to seven times more likely to have trouble quitting, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

If you think you may be addicted to marijuana, ask yourself these questions:

  • Have you tried to quit using marijuana, and can’t stop?
  • Does marijuana interfere with your life at home, school, or work?
  • Is using marijuana more important than spending time with family or friends?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you may want to speak to someone about possibly getting help.

How to Treat Marijuana Addiction

Marijuana addiction can hurt your relationships with family and friends, and it may interfere with other important aspects of your life. Whether you choose an inpatient facility or outpatient program, getting help early is the best option to avoid the long-term consequences of marijuana abuse. If you can’t stop using marijuana, talk to a friend or healthcare professional about getting help.

Therapy is one of the best ways to overcome addiction. Therapists can treat marijuana addiction in the following ways:

Motivational enhancement therapy teaches you self-motivation techniques to quickly stop using marijuana.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or "talk therapy," encourages you to change how you think so you stop using marijuana. You will gain self-control to fight the urge to use marijuana. The therapist might also work on correcting other problems (such as anxiety or trouble sleeping) which sometimes happen when you try to quit using marijuana.

Contingency management is another type of therapy in which you set goals and earn rewards for staying drug-free. It also removes rewards if you suddenly start using marijuana.

At this time, there are no pills, patches, or inhalers approved to treat marijuana addiction. Researchers are looking at several prescription options, including an antidepressant/anxiety drug called BuSpar (buspirone) and sleeping medicine like Ambien (zolpidem). Other medications being studied include Neurontin (gabapentin), which is a seizure medicine, and supplements like N-acetylcysteine.

Don't Wait. Get Help Now.

If you or a loved one are struggling with marijuana addiction, WebMD Connect to Care Advisors are standing by to get you started on the path to recovery.

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