Marijuana (cannabis, weed, pot, reefer, grass, dope, Mary Jane, etc.) is widely used recreationally. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it\u2019s the most commonly used illicit drug. Marijuana comes from an Indian hemp plant and is a mixture of dried leaves, stems, flowers and seeds. While there are more than 400 chemicals in marijuana, the key chemical responsible for the \u201chigh\u201d is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is why it is classified as an illicit drug.1 Many people assume marijuana is a safe drug. Although it is not as addictive as some other drugs, it is still subject to abuse and repercussions. It can even result in\u00a0withdrawal effects\u00a0if abused. If chronic use starts in adolescence \u2014 when the brain is not fully developed \u2014 marijuana use can negatively impact cognitive function and structure. These changes can last several years and may be permanent.2 Treating Marijuana Addiction There are no medications prescribed specifically for marijuana addiction treatment, however research is ongoing. Therapies that have shown promise include cognitive behavioral therapy, contingency management and motivational enhancement therapy. In heavy users and those with other chronic substance abuse or mental health disorders, medication may be used in conjunction with behavioral therapies.3 Based on 12-step principles, The Right Step offers inpatient and outpatient treatment programs to help adolescents and adults struggling with marijuana addiction and other substance abuse issues achieve long-term recovery. In addition, you\u2019ll receive a comprehensive assessment to determine if there are any co-occurring mental health issues like depression or anxiety that may be fueling your marijuana use. Also, we\u2019ll work with you to craft a marijuana addiction treatment plan that addresses your physical, spiritual and mental needs. In addition, some of the approaches we draw upon to accomplish this include individual, group and family therapy, collaborative problem solving, cognitive behavioral therapy, 12-step support groups and practices, psychodrama and proper nutrition and fitness. Also, you\u2019ll learn healthy coping skills to address triggers in everyday life and engage in activities that show you how recovery can be fun and rewarding. Learn more about adult marijuana addiction treatment, including\u00a0inpatient rehab\u00a0and\u00a0outpatient programs. Recovery is within reach. Call us today for a free consultation\u00a0. Marijuana Addiction and Abuse Marijuana use can lead to the development of marijuana use disorder, which in severe cases turns into addiction. Recent data suggest that 30% of marijuana users may have some degree of marijuana use disorder. People with marijuana use disorders, especially adolescents, often suffer from additional psychiatric and\/or substance use disorders (e.g. cocaine or alcohol abuse).4 Stats and Facts \tIn 2014, an estimated 22.2 million people ages 12 and older reported using marijuana during the past month.5 \tIn the past year, 4.2 million people ages 12 and older met the criteria for cannabis use disorder based on marijuana use.5 \tIn 2010, 340,212 of 687,531 substance use treatment admissions were for marijuana abuse in people ages 18 to 30.2 \tPeople who only use cannabis are typically in better health than people who use it with other drugs. However, cannabis use alone may be associated with both acute and chronic psychosocial, mental and physical health consequences. These include cancer and long-term respiratory and cardiovascular problems.6 Marijuana Use in Pregnancy The use of cannabis in early pregnancy is associated with many of the same risks as tobacco, including miscarriage, congenital malformations and learning disabilities. Also, since 1970, there has been a 25-fold increase in THC levels in marijuana, resulting in an increase in adverse effects of cannabis during pregnancy. Once cannabinoids are present in the mother\u2019s bloodstream, they readily cross the placenta and enter the fetal bloodstream. In addition, cannabinoid exposure poses an acute risk to the developing human embryo through its ability to interfere with crucial modulators of cellular growth and angiogenesis (the development of new blood vessels). Research indicates chronic consumption of THC results in a significant decrease in folic acid uptake. Also, this suggests that chronic marijuana use during pregnancy may result in folic acid deficiencies and possible developmental defects.7 Relapse Prevention Scientific evidence supports the positive impact of physical activity on decreasing cannabis abuse. A 2011 study showed that regular, brief exercise sessions on a treadmill reduced cravings for marijuana in heavy users by at least 50%. A more recent study revealed that participants in a low-exercise group were substantially more likely to abandon abstinence efforts and return to active drug use within one week than those who fully engaged in exercise.8\u00a0While everyone is different, additional measures that can help prevent relapse include identifying and eliminating risks and triggers, ongoing psychotherapy and support groups. At The Right Step, you\u2019ll engage in regular relapse prevention practices like fitness and mindfulness and attend 12-step support groups. In addition, from day one, our focus is on helping you address the issues that fuel your addiction and replace destructive behaviors with new, healthy coping skills. \tWhat is Marijuana? Drug Free World website.\u00a0https:\/\/www.drugfreeworld.org\/drugfacts\/marijuana.html\u00a0Accessed October 5, 2016. \tStrashny A. Marijuana Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment Aged 18 to 30: Early vs. Adult Initiation.\u00a0The CBHSQ Report. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); 2013 Aug 13. \tAvailable Treatments for Marijuana Use Disorders. National Institute on Drug Abuse website.\u00a0https:\/\/www.drugabuse.gov\/publications\/research-reports\/marijuana\/available-treatments-marijuana-use-disorders\u00a0Updated August 2016. Accessed October 5, 2016. \tIs marijuana addictive? National Institute on Drug Abuse website.\u00a0https:\/\/www.drugabuse.gov\/publications\/research-reports\/marijuana\/marijuana-addictive\u00a0Updated August 2016. Accessed October 5, 2016. \tSubstance Use Disorders. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website.\u00a0https:\/\/www.samhsa.gov\/disorders\/substance-use\u00a0Updated October 27, 2015. Accessed October 5, 2016. \tWoodruff SI, McCabe CT, Hohman M, et al. Characteristics of Cannabis-Only and Other Drug Users Who Visit the Emergency Department.\u00a0Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2016;1(1):149-153. doi:10.1089\/can.2016.0012. \tFriedrich J, Khatib D, Parsa K, Santopietro A, Gallicano G. The grass isn\u2019t always greener: The effects of cannabis on embryological development.\u00a0BMC Pharmacol Toxicol. 2016 Sep 29;17(1):45. \tExercise Helps Prevent Marijuana Relapse, Study Finds. Elements Behavioral Health website.\u00a0https:\/\/www.promisesbehavioralhealth.com\/drug-abuse-addiction\/exercise-helps-prevent-marijuana-relapse-study-finds\/\u00a0Accessed October 5, 2016. Written by The Right Step Editorial Staff Contact our Texas center today for more information on our treatment programs.