marijuana treatment and rehab

Modified: 22nd Jul 2019

Last updated on July 22nd, 2019 at 12:45 pm

Few drugs are more misunderstood than marijuana. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that 30 percent of marijuana users suffer from marijuana use disorder.

What are the options for those marijuana users who decide they have a problem and seek help? What does treatment for marijuana addiction look like? And how does it differ from treatment and rehab for other addictions?

Marijuana Inpatient

Inpatient treatment is a thorough and complete treatment for serious substance abuse. Inpatient treatment exists for marijuana addicts as well. This is what it looks like.

What Is Inpatient Treatment?

When an addict enters inpatient treatment, a highly-trained staff monitors detox symptoms. Inpatient treatment also provides therapy that addresses the underlying mindset of the addict. It educates the addict about healthy coping techniques and how to prevent relapse.

During inpatient treatment, marijuana addicts live at the treatment facility. They join in daily groups and activities organized by the treatment center.

Detox for marijuana is less intense than detox from other drugs. This is because marijuana addiction is primarily psychological rather than physical. One of the strongest symptoms of marijuana detox is irritability.

Standard Length of Marijuana Inpatient Treatment 

Typically, inpatient treatment programs last 30-90 days. Marijuana inpatient programs tend to lean toward the shorter end of this spectrum.

Marijuana has a psychological pull, so it’s important to follow treatment with aftercare. This helps prevent relapse. It can also help the addict transition to a meaningful life without marijuana.

Marijuana Outpatient

Inpatient treatment is not the only treatment option for marijuana addicts. Marijuana has a relatively tame withdrawal period. Thus, many marijuana addicts prefer to kick their habit through outpatient treatment programs.

In outpatient treatment, marijuana addicts gain many of the same benefits of inpatient treatment. One of the nice things about outpatient is that it causes less disruption in their lives. Recovering addicts can incorporate their treatment into the lives rather than keep it separate.

What Is Outpatient Treatment?

There’s a noticeable difference between outpatient treatment and inpatient treatment. That difference is the amount of time the addict spends at the treatment facility. They spend much less time in outpatient treatment than inpatient.

Outpatient treatment maintains the integrity of the addict’s regular routine. Of course, it does interrupt the routine associated with the use of their drug of choice.

Outpatient treatment is especially attractive to addicts with “high bottoms,” meaning those who haven’t lost jobs or families. They maintain some level of functionality in their lives. An addict can attend outpatient treatment while holding down a job and keeping up with their duties at home.

Aside from the difference, there are many overlaps with inpatient treatment.

In outpatient programs, marijuana addicts still check in with their treatment teams. They still attend groups. But they schedule their sessions at the center in advance and stick to a schedule of their own making. 

Standard Length of Marijuana Outpatient Treatment 

The length of outpatient treatment can vary from person to person. Unfortunately, this length of time is often not the choice of the addict. It might not even be the choice of their treatment team.

The addict’s insurance company plays a large role in these decisions.

Sometimes insurance approves outpatient treatment for a long time. In these cases, many programs can continue for months without repeating material.

Other times the insurance company limits outpatient treatment. At these times, the program may take place over as short a period as a couple weeks or even just one week.

Marijuana Sober Living

There are residential options for marijuana rehab beyond inpatient treatment. Sober living is one of these options.

Many marijuana addicts benefit from structured environments. They also appreciate the interaction and accountability. These help their treatment stick over the long term.

What Is Marijuana Sober Living?

Sober living is a residential program with more structure than outpatient treatment. It also has more focus on engaging with the outside world than inpatient treatment.

In sober living, addicts share a space over an extended period of time, from one month to six months. Sometimes, a recovering addict can stay longer. 

What to Expect 

A marijuana addict has regular responsibilities at the sober living house. These include chores and requirements to attend weekly recovery meetings.

The house staff may also require the addict to look for work or continue school. All residents must also follow a curfew.

Most sober houses ask the resident to sign an agreement for room checks and drug tests. 

These requirements create accountability and responsible habits. These habits continue when the addict leaves the house. They provide great benefit in a more independent living situation.

One of the primary purposes of sober living is in the community it fosters.

Thus, it’s rare that a marijuana addict will have a private room in a sober living facility. Sharing a room with at least one roommate is a more common experience. In some cases, up to four residents will share a room. 

Ongoing Recovery 

Aftercare for marijuana addiction forms a bridge to the addict’s new life. Aftercare can be ongoing therapy, supports groups, or even exercise.

Therapy may continue after treatment with an individual therapist or in a group. Therapy may take the form of talk therapy or targeted cognitive behavioral therapy. CBT is a usually a finite program that takes place over the course of around 12 weeks.

Support groups include 12-step groups like Marijuana Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous. Marijuana addicts can join AA whether or not they identify as alcoholics. There are also 12-step alternatives like SMART Recovery.

Reach Out for Help

Marijuana addiction is treatable. There are many options for treatment. Some addicts take advantage of several options in their recovery program.

The most important choice is deciding you need help in the first place.

Let us help. If you need more information about marijuana treatment and rehab, contact Addiction Treatment Services today.

Article Reviewed by Dr. Keerthy Sunder, MD, DFAPA

Dr. Keerthy Sunder, MD, DFAPADr. Keerthy Sunder, MD is an accomplished and internationally recognized expert in the field of addiction. He has earned diplomates from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, the American Board of Addiction Medicine, and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.