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What is cannabis detox?

Cannabis detox is the process by which an individual who is addicted to using cannabis undergoes withdrawal from the drug. This is usually in a residential setting with appropriate clinical supervision, to manage the withdrawal symptoms. Cannabis is one of the most widely abused drugs in the UK. Many people use cannabis recreationally, and whilst it is relatively less addictive than drugs such as cocaine, alcohol or heroin, there is still potential for developing a tolerance, dependency and eventually a cannabis addiction.

Whilst there is no dedicated medication to help alleviate the withdrawal symptoms associated with cannabis dependency, there are certain drugs that can help to make the detox process more comfortable. These include anti-seizure and anti-psychotic medications, as well as medication to promote and improve sleep. It is normally recommended that individuals undergo cannabis detox in a supported, professional and supervised setting, so as to minimize the risk of complications when coming off the drug, and to maximise the chances of recovery.

We know how hard it is to live with cannabis addiction. We understand that it seems impossible to stop, or to envisage a life drug-free. But we are here to tell you that recovery is possible. Our cannabis detox and rehab programmes have been running since our doors opened in 1996, and we have seen hundreds of people recover from their addiction and go on to lead happy and successful lives in recovery.

Talk to our counsellors about cannabis detox

Cannabis detox at Providence Projects

Cannabis withdrawals

When someone has been using cannabis heavily for a long period of time, both the brain and the body get used to having a regular supply of the drug. So when this supply is stopped suddenly it takes some time for the body to adjust to the cannabis no longer being present. The range of withdrawal symptoms that result are both physical and psychological, and will vary from mild to severe.

Typically the longer someone has been using cannabis the more severe the withdrawal symptoms when they stop. Whilst the physical withdrawals and cravings for cannabis will stop after the drug has left the person’s system, the psychological symptoms can persist for longer. Psychological cravings for the drug will also be heightened in settings where associations are strong, and the individual is used to smoking cannabis.

The primary physical withdrawal symptoms of cannabis are:

  • Sweating
  • Shakiness
  • Fever and/or chills
  • Digestion problems
  • Stomach cramps and nausea

Psychological withdrawal symptoms from cannabis include:

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling depressed
  • Restlessness
  • Sleeplessness
  • Nightmares & vivid dreams
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Resulting weight loss

Do I need a cannabis detox?

Undergoing withdrawal from cannabis is recommended for chronic users, who have developed a physical dependency on the drug. Research studies have shown that between 10 and 20% of cannabis users can become addicted, and those who began using in their teenage years are seven times more likely to become addicted than those who started in their 20s or 30s.

Cannabis addiction often develops alongside co-occurring mental health disorders, as well as other addictions to drugs such as alcohol or benzodiazepines. Withdrawal can be uncomfortable – and being physically dependent on multiple substances can worsen the withdrawal symptoms. That’s why we recommend detoxing within a safe and structured rehab setting, where you’ll be closely monitored by medical experts and receive 24/7 support. We aim to offer our clients the best chance of completing detox successfully, staying sober long-term and avoiding relapse in future.

We would discourage attempts to undergo cannabis detox alone or at home, whilst unsupervised. Often these attempts at detoxing from cannabis will not be successful, because users inevitably end up using cannabis again to deal with the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms they experience. Environmental triggers will also exist, which is why sobering up away from home, in a detox and rehab programme, can provide the best setting in which to stop using. Continuous failed attempts to stop using cannabis can reduce motivation or lead users to believe that recovery isn’t possible for them, which simply isn’t true. With the right support and guidance, we know that recovery is possible for anyone.

Benefits of private detox

Undergoing cannabis detox in a private rehab clinic poses several advantages:

  • A residential setting offers individuals a level of structure and care that is difficult to replicate elsewhere
  • 24/7 support and monitoring during detox
  • Supervision by a team of medical experts and therapists
  • Clients engage with a comprehensive therapeutic programme in conjunction with their detox
  • Group therapy, individual counselling and workshops to help clients understand the psychological and emotional factors underlying their cannabis addiction
Cannabis detox at a private rehab

Tips to help with cannabis withdrawal

Cannabis withdrawals and cravings are at their peak in the first 48-72 hours, and tend to dissipate substantially after the first week. Below are some tips to help ease any withdrawal symptoms:

  • Distract yourself. Whilst cravings for cannabis might feel like they’ll never end, in reality most will disappear within the first 30 minutes. Distracting yourself from the craving, with a task like cleaning or calling a friend, can make all the difference.
  • Focus on having a structured night-time routine and aim for 6-8 hours of sleep per night
  • Try to get outdoors and exercise for 30 minutes every day, even if it’s just a brisk walk
  • Talk to friends and family, or another person you trust
  • Practice self-care, such as taking a hot bath or booking a massage: looking after yourself is so important and can help make the process easier
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks that may make withdrawal symptoms and headaches worse
  • Try to eat a fresh, varied and healthy diet, that is rich with fruits, vegetables, protein and carbohydrates
  • Try to avoid sugary foods and junk foods
Tips to help with Cannabis detox

Benefits of cannabis detox at a cannabis rehab

Entering rehab for cannabis addiction is the best thing you can do for yourself and your loved ones. It’s an investment in your future. It is widely accepted that undergoing cannabis detox within a private residential rehab setting offers people the best chance of a long-lasting, successful recovery. Not only does the detox programme enable individuals to come off all substances and get clean and sober, our rehabilitation setting helps them to explore and address the underlying psychological factors which motivated their addiction in the first place.

Here at the Providence Projects, our clients undergo detox in parallel with our structured and intensive therapeutic timetable. Through a combination of group therapy, individual counselling and workshops, clients begin to understand the complex reasons behind their addiction, and to identify triggers to help them avoid potential relapse in future. We place great emphasis on routine and structure at our private rehab clinic in Bournemouth, as we know how important it is for recovering addicts and alcoholics to take responsibility for their recovery, and to develop the coping skills to stay sober long-term. For full details of our cannabis rehab programme, please see here.

Remember that cannabis detox is only the first step in your journey of recovery. Cannabis use is merely a symptom of the problem, and going to rehab provides you with the tools and therapeutic help to understand the underlying factors that motivated your addiction. Cannabis detox and rehab can help equip you with the skills and coping mechanisms to manage your feelings and problems in future, drug and alcohol-free. Here at the Providence Projects, we know the benefits of having trained professionals to support you during the detox process, so we are here to help in any way we can.

If you think that you or a loved one needs help to stop using cannabis, please give us a call today on 0800 955 0945. Our dedicated team of addiction therapists are on hand to answer any questions you may have about cannabis detox and cannabis rehab, and to find the best option for you. Remember, recovery is possible, and things can get better.

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