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Detox Local

Marijuana Detox Centers

Medically Reviewed By: Benjamin Caleb Williams RN, BA, CEN

Written By: Gary Bowers

Article Updated: 01/24/2021

Number of References: 4 Sources

For the person living with an addiction to marijuana, the concept of detox may seem daunting or intimidating, but that is far from the case. Our guide features in-depth information on every important aspect of finding a marijuana detox center. Learn about everything from the intake experience, medical observation, behavioral therapies, and medications, each of which is designed to treat the potentially harmful effects of the marijuana detox process.

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When Is Marijuana Detox Recommended?

Marijuana detox should be taken very seriously, and a detox facility greatly improves the long-term results of recovery from marijuana addiction. Marijuana detox centers are highly specialized in treating addiction to marijuana and the potentially complicated health concerns that may accompany that addiction. Detox is strongly encouraged for anyone addicted to marijuana, but is of greater importance for someone who may also suffer from the following:

History of Epilepsy

For someone with epilepsy, suddenly stopping drug use can have potentially hazardous effects on the brain. Drugs like marijuana directly impact the central nervous system, which can dramatically alter the body’s response to changes resulting from any cessation. CBD, a component of marijuana, possibly acts as an anticonvulsant and after extended periods of use, the body may develop a dependence on CBDs anticonvulsant effects. During marijuana withdrawal, this results in a lowered seizure threshold which will make experiencing a seizure much more likely. Due to the possibly increased seizure risk for those who are epileptic during marijuana withdrawal, it is recommended for them to enter a marijuana detox center.

People With a History of Psychosis or Schizophrenia

For someone with a history of psychosis or any psychotic episodes, marijuana detox can be especially challenging. Detox can result in unexpected changes in mood. This can be particularly severe in those with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. While detox does not cause either of these conditions, it may greatly increase the symptoms. Due to this, anyone who has been diagnosed as schizophrenic or bipolar is highly encouraged to enter a marijuana detox center.

Those With Any Other Mental Illness

Studies have linked marijuana use to several psychiatric disorders including generalized anxiety, depression, and substance abuse disorder. The severity of those increases in young adults and those who have used high-potency marijuana products. Additionally, marijuana use can often lead to an increased chance of other drug or alcohol abuse.

Marijuana detox can affect people with mental illness in many ways. In some cases, the daily challenges of living with mental illness, such as depression and anxiety can be greatly amplified during detox. These symptoms can be greatly intensified during marijuana detox, and entering a detox center is highly recommended.

Complete detox from marijuana can take anywhere from days to weeks, depending on the amount of marijuana in a person’s system, their individual body chemistry, and frequency or duration of use. While detox from marijuana can typically be done in outpatient settings, close medical and psychiatric monitoring may be necessary.

People Who Used THC Vapes Or Concentrates

Vaping products that contain THC or CBD are often much more potent and concentrated than natural marijuana plants. Because of this, if someone were to use marijuana vape products regularly, the withdrawal symptoms may be more intense than if they had smoked marijuana proper with the same frequency. Anyone who was a frequent vaper may want to consider entering a marijuana detox center to help manage the withdrawal symptoms.

Intake: Marijuana Detox at a Glance

Entering a marijuana detox center is the first step towards recovery! Admission into the facility will be a very similar process for other substances. This usually begins with an interview, during which a specialist will ask questions to help determine the severity of symptoms, and to begin making recommendations for care. Typically, those questions would include:

  • Questions relating to frequency or history of marijuana use
  • Evaluation of co-occurring mental health concerns
  • Assessment of additional substance abuse and medical health history

Upon entering the detox facility, you can also expect some preliminary medical assessments including::

  • Vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, etc.)
  • Blood work (for liver function, blood sugar, and electrolyte levels)

While these steps represent the standard, each facility may have unique processes. The main intent of the intake process is to ensure a comprehensive assessment of all aspects of a person’s mental and physical health are taken into consideration. This is a critical component of effective care as the side-effects of detox can vary in type and severity. Once this assessment is complete the detox facility can create a treatment plan including medical and behavioral therapies.

Medical Monitoring of Detox Related Dangers

Based on the intake assessment, a detailed plan for therapy will be created by the staff at the detox center. The most concerning element of marijuana detox is related to psychosis and the mental state of the patient. Monitoring by medical professionals is a crucial component to successful detox and may be recommended until the patient is free of symptoms. In detox centers, this monitoring would include a daily check on vital signs (heart rate, blood pressure, etc.) and regular check-ins with the psychiatrist to track mood and mental wellbeing. Medical treatment for detox would target common symptoms as needed, including:

  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anger/Irritability
  • Insomnia or changes in sleep patterns

Detoxing from any drug can be dangerous, and marijuana is no different. Effectively introducing medications as needed can greatly improve the chances of a complete and healthy recovery from marijuana addiction.

Marijuana Withdrawal Timeline

Medications Used by Marijuana Detox Centers

There are currently no drugs approved by the FDA to treat marijuana addiction/dependence, however, there is a wide range of medications that can be used to treat the associated symptoms of marijuana detoxification.

  • Antidepressants: Antidepressants are widely prescribed medications that affect the connections in your brain via neurotransmitters, typically, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. By improving these vital brain connections, depression symptoms resulting from detox can be lessened or alleviated.
  • Mood Stabilizers: Mood stabilizers are prescribed when symptoms include extreme mood swings, bipolar disorder or to reduce irritability. When the detox process heightens or amplifies someone’s moods to unhealthy levels, mood stabilizers can assist in lessening the impact of these mood swings.
  • Anti-Anxiety Medications: Generalized anxiety is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorders in the United States today. Detox can result in increased anxiety. Anti-anxiety medications work by addressing the brain chemistry associated with both acute (episodic) and chronic (ongoing) anxiety.
  • Sleep Aids: Sleep patterns are frequently disrupted during detox. Medication can help restore natural sleep patterns, which can dramatically improve the quality of life and the overall success of detox.
  • GABA Agents: GABA agents are typically prescribed to treat epilepsy, but have been used to medically treat symptoms relating to detox including sleeplessness.

Therapy During Marijuana Detox

While medical therapy can help to address the numerous physical symptoms associated with detox, other forms of therapy are critical in achieving any measure of success in recovery. Chronic marijuana users can suffer from a range of mental illnesses as a result of their addiction. Marijuana detox centers can help by effectively treating marijuana addiction with a well-rounded, holistic approach to therapy that uncovers and addresses the underlying causes of marijuana addiction, and creates a space where healing can occur safely.

Here are some forms of therapy which have demonstrated lasting success:

Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most widely used forms of therapy. The easiest way to describe this form of therapy is that it is focused on the connection between a person’s thoughts and behaviors and the subconscious forces that affect their thoughts and behaviors. CBT is very successful in a wide range of situations because of the flexibility with which it can be administered, the structure of the therapy (typically 1-2 hours per week), and the goal-oriented approach. CBT can help address the emotional triggers and responses, creating new cognitive patterns (thinking) that can change the way we behave in certain situations.

Group Therapy

Isolation, depression, anxiety, loneliness. These feelings – among many others – are frequently experienced by those who suffer from an addiction to marijuana, especially during detox and early recovery. Group therapy offers a powerful alternative to those feelings, but putting people who share an illness, addiction, emotions, and – most importantly solutions – together so that they help each other in overcoming those shared afflictions. In addition to formal group therapy, 12 step programs can also address the issues surrounding isolation and loneliness through fellowship and shared hope.

Continuing Marijuana Addiction Treatment

By the time detox is completed, anyone in a marijuana detox center will have achieved many goals towards a successful and lasting recovery from marijuana addiction. They have taken the right care to address and treat the physical detox symptoms. They have begun to apply medical therapy to any associated or co-occurring mental illness or disorders. They have sought the benefits of various forms of therapy, helping to understand and address the behaviors associated with their addiction. For most, these are just the first steps in the lifelong process of recovery.

Effective aftercare of marijuana addiction will require new vigilance and consistency. In addition to continued care and attention to medical and other forms of therapy, a new foundation will need to be laid and built upon to remain free from addiction. Group Therapy and 12 step programs are a vital part of that ongoing effort, providing connection, solutions, and a continual process by which marijuana addicts reintegrate into society.

Sources

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