Learn More About Marijuana Addiction Treatment in Colorado

Marijuana is one of the world’s oldest and most controversial drugs. Though Colorado recently legalized it for recreational use, opinions on the drug’s value differ greatly. No matter where you stand on the issue, though, one fact remains clear: marijuana is potentially addictive, with the power to destroy addicts’ lives. Through our marijuana addiction treatment program, you can overcome its abuse with invaluable support.

Understanding Marijuana Addiction in Denver

marijuana addiction treatment program at our marijuana addiction rehab centerMarijuana – known colloquially by dozens of names, including Mary Jane, cannabis, weed, pot, hash, hemp, and MJ — is as old as civilizations itself. Ancient peoples used the drug for medicinal and religious purposes, and in remote areas of the globe, marijuana continues to be used in such a capacity. The drug got its start in the United States before the country even had a name. For generations, farmers grew hemp crops, with many farmers enjoying an occasional dose of marijuana.

By the early 20th century, doctors were increasingly recognizing the addictive potential of marijuana, and prohibition crusaders had already targeted the drug. Anti-addiction advocates capitalized on anti-immigrant sentiment when an influx of Mexican immigrants began smoking marijuana. Reformers used antipathy toward Mexicans to catalyze anti-marijuana sentiment, steadily passing legislation to regulate and then eventually ban the drug.

Marijuana in Today’s Society

Today, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I narcotic. This classification, which indicates an extremely high potential for abuse and no legitimate medical purpose, remains the subject of controversy, especially in light of recent research suggesting that marijuana may aid in the treatment of ailments ranging from cancer to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Marijuana contains dozens of chemicals called cannabinoids. These naturally occurring chemicals bind to cannabinoid receptors in the brain; because the brain already has these receptors, it quickly adapts to marijuana use. Current research suggests that THC is the addictive component of marijuana that gets users high. It’s other cannabinoids that offer medical benefits. Unfortunately, in most cases it’s not possible to separate the THC from other cannabinoids. However, recent research into the use of cannabis oil for medicinal purposes may ultimately help to change this.

Is Marijuana Really Addictive?

In Colorado, as well as at least 23 other states, marijuana is currently legal for medicinal use. It also recently became available to recreational users. Some marijuana users mistakenly believe that the drug’s legal status means that it is without risk. But any mind-altering substance can turn addictive, and prescription drugs are the leading cause of drug-related death in the country. Thus marijuana’s legal status says nothing about its safety, and between 10% and 15% of marijuana users eventually become addicts. With about half of Colorado residents using marijuana at least once, this suggests that marijuana addiction rates could actually be higher than addiction rates associated with any other drug.

Colorado marijuana addiction, like all forms of drug addiction, is a disease that produces predictable changes in the brain and body. Not every marijuana user develops the disease of addiction, and doctors aren’t fully certain of why this is. Some people may be more genetically vulnerable to addiction. But mental illness, family history, stress, illness, and a host of other factors can increase the odds of becoming an addict. Ultimately, though, the most important risk factor for addiction is using drugs. If you don’t use pot, you’ll never become addicted to it.

Marijuana Addiction Treatment: Process of Addiction

The process of marijuana addiction begins with chemical tolerance. During this stage, your body changes the way it reacts to pot, making it harder to get the intense high you once found with a lower dose. If you’re unlucky enough to be vulnerable to addiction and you continue using marijuana, eventually your body will become chemically dependent on the drug. This process makes quitting nearly impossible, producing unpleasant – and even dangerous – physical and psychological symptoms when you try to quit.

Once you develop a chemical tolerance, you’ll likely need professional drug rehab in Colorado, or more specifically – marijuana rehab – to quit.

How Can I Tell if I’m a Marijuana Addict?

The very existence of marijuana addiction is controversial, thanks to marijuana advocacy groups that steadfastly insist the drug is not addictive. This, though, is demonstrably false. You can become addicted to marijuana just like you can become addicted to any other drug. For most users, it takes much longer to get addicted to pot than to other drugs, such as meth addiction.

If you’re concerned that you might be a marijuana addict, check out these common symptoms of addiction. If you experience three or more, you may be an addict:

  • Experience withdrawal or strong cravings when you can’t smoke.
  • Use marijuana to cope with the symptoms of a mental illness.
  • Spend most of your day high.
  • Drive or work under the influence of marijuana.
  • Most of your friends use marijuana.
  • Marijuana culture is an important part of your life.
  • Unable to concentrate or do your work without marijuana.
  • Worry your personality will change if you quit using marijuana.
  • Break the law to get marijuana.

If you continue using marijuana, your risk of experiencing addiction-related symptoms skyrockets. Some of the long-term consequences without marijuana addiction treatment include:

  • Cancers, especially of the lungs and throat
  • Muscle weakness
  • Worsening of any chronic illnesses you have
  • Brain damage and short-term memory loss; the effects are especially pronounced in young people and the elderly
  • Psychosis
  • Depression
  • Loss of motivation
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Legal, financial, relationship, and career problems
  • Addiction

Marijuana Addiction Treatment Research

Research has repeatedly shown that people who smoke marijuana while still growing and developing may stunt the growth of their brains and bodies. If you know and care about a child who abuses marijuana, getting help for him or her could be life-saving, so act now.

What Are My Colorado Marijuana Addiction Treatment Options?

Marijuana addicts commonly mistakenly believe that they don’t need treatment for their addiction. But marijuana addiction is a disease no different from osteoporosis or arthritis. It won’t get better on its own without treatment. In fact, most marijuana addicts find that their symptoms get steadily – and often dramatically – worse over time. Marijuana addiction treatment in Colorado is available.

The good news is that you have a number of treatment options at your disposal within Colorado. Inpatient rehab in Denver, at a place like AspenRidge, is the most comprehensive and effective option. But for many people, the time commitment rehab requires is overwhelming. If you prefer a do-it-yourself approach, you can access the services offered in drug rehab on your own. Those include:

Medical Detox Assistance in Colorado

Marijuana addiction treatment and detox isn’t always easy, so it’s a good idea to talk to a physician before doing it. Your doctor will assess whether you’re healthy enough for detox in Colorado. In some cases, he or she may prescribe medications to reduce your cravings or ease the symptoms of detox. And if you have underlying medical problems, your doctor will also help you manage these. If you struggle with mental illness, medical assistance is especially important, since your doctor can help you find non-addictive mental illness treatment options.

Support and 12-Step Groups in Denver, Colorado

12-step groups such as Narcotics Anonymous and Marijuana Anonymous in Colorado are the world’s most popular recovery programs. Developed and overseen by recovering addicts just like you, these support groups offer you a chance to share your feelings in a space free of judgment. In so doing, you get the chance to learn from the hard-won wisdom of other addicts who have faced obstacles similar to your own. These programs do make vague religious references, though, so if you prefer a secular recovery, consider a program such as SMART Recovery or Rational Recovery instead. Most 12-step programs are free of charge, though participants can offer a donation.

Individual and Group Therapy for Addiction in Colorado

You didn’t start using marijuana for no reason. Something kept you going back for more. Therapy gives you the chance to explore what that something is, while talking about your stress and finding drug-free ways to cope. Therapy can also help you manage the intense emotional side effects of quitting marijuana. And if you have a co-occurring mental illness, as many marijuana addicts do, your therapist can help you manage your symptoms without relying on drugs. If you prefer to get support from your peers under the direction of a therapist, group therapy combines many of the benefits of 12-step programs and traditional individual counseling.

Healthy Lifestyle Changes

It’s tempting to think that the right lifestyle changes will cure you of your addiction, but not with marijuana addiction treatment. Once you’re an addict, you’ll always be an addict. Moreover, a few tweaks to the way you live will not automatically render you sober. Instead, leading a healthy lifestyle is merely a choice that increases the odds that other treatment methods will work. Studies have shown, for example, that people who exercise, meditate, have rich social lives, and pursue new hobbies are far more likely to remain sober. Consider, then, embracing a new lifestyle as you embrace your sobriety.

AspenRidge: Competent and Comprehensive Addiction Help Near Denver, Colorado

AspenRidge takes marijuana addiction and drug rehab in Colorado seriously. We’ve seen the terrible ills this disease causes, from broken relationships to wrecked careers. We can help you get your life back on track. It might not see like it now, but you really can thrive without marijuana. If you find yourself thinking you can’t get by without drugs, please know that’s the marijuana talking. The sooner you remove this poison from your system, the sooner you’ll be equipped to more accurately assess your life.

Our compassionate addiction treatment staff know exactly how to help wean you off of marijuana through our premier drug treatment in Colorado. We treat each client as an individual, which means that we’ll listen to your needs, respect your values, and develop a treatment plan customized to your needs, your goals, and your lifestyle. We believe that recovery is about so much more than just getting off drugs. Your recovery involves taking control of your life so that it can take the shape you want. We help you do just that, all in a safe and judgment-free environment, in Colorado, where you can focus solely on your recovery.

Contact AspenRidge Recovery’s Marijuana Addiction Rehab Center

Marijuana has already taken so much from you, even if you don’t yet realize it. And if you do know what you’ve lost, please know that these losses don’t have to be permanent. Thousands of people recover from marijuana addiction every year. Many of them do it at AspenRidge. We’re extending our hand of help out to you, but it’s up to you to take advantage of the opportunity for a better life. Don’t let marijuana rob you of another day. Call us today at 866-977-8625 so we can begin helping you on your journey to a happier, sober life!