More and more people are attending private rehab at The Providence Projects as a result of cannabis addiction. This is due to a variety of factors, but we know for sure that cannabis has become socially acceptable and importantly, incredibly potent. The strength of the drug has had a direct impact on the increase in mental health problems and a difficulty in breaking the habit for so many people.
Many cannabis users that present for drug rehab cannot go a day without cannabis. Without cannabis, they become agitated, angry, and anxious and find it incredibly difficult to sleep; it has become their coping mechanism for life.
The drug rehabilitation programme for cannabis has been carefully designed to help the individual stop, address the underlying issues and develop the ability to live and cope with life without having the need to return to cannabis.
Cannabis: what is it?
Cannabis or marijuana, also commonly referred to as ‘weed’ or ‘skunk’ is a psychoactive plant which is, without doubt, the most commonly used illicit drug in the world. In recent years various countries and states have started to legalise and tax the drug. There is much debate as to whether this is the best approach or not. Although some people argue that it is a plant with qualities that can help certain physical and psychological difficulties, there is no doubt that it can also be very harmful with an increasing number of people becoming dependent.
Although the drug can be ingested in many forms, by far the most common method is to smoke the drug. The active chemical, THC (delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol) is the ‘element’ which causes the user to feel stoned. The level of THC in the cannabis will determine the strength. The higher the content of THC, the more stoned the user will feel.
Although historically, cannabis sometimes came in the form of ‘hash’, this is becoming quite rare. Skunk which is now often home-grown, is much stronger and more popular. As the use of skunk has grown, so have the number of people becoming dependent and experiencing real difficulty in stopping.
The most recent research which has been carried out estimates that approximately 8% of people who smoke cannabis develop either a dependency or a problem with cannabis.
Like any drug, it is very possible to develop an addiction. One sign to look out for is an increased tolerance. As the person uses the drug more often, they find that they need more of the drug for the same effect. With cannabis in particular, the user can become agitated, anxious and angry if they are unable to get cannabis. They often become convinced that they need cannabis to calm them down.
Using cannabis on a daily basis can have a detrimental effect on mental health. Often leading to depression, anxiety and in more severe cases, paranoia and psychosis. In all cases, it leads to a general malaise, with the individual losing interest and motivation in old hobbies, finding it difficult to become excited about anything and often becoming quite isolated.
It has a detrimental effect on relationships. Most family members experience their loved one being quite distant – somehow the cannabis traps them in their own world and they find it hard to be emotionally available.
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, either at a cannabis rehab or from detoxing at home. 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.
- Physical withdrawal symptoms
- Psychological withdrawal symptoms
- Fever and/or chills
- Digestion problems
- Stomach cramps / nausea
- Feeling depressed
- Nightmares & vivid dreams
- Loss of appetite
- Resulting weight loss
What is Cannabis Detox?
Cannabis detox is the process by which an individual who is addicted to the substance undergoes withdrawal from the drug. This is usually in a residential cannabis / drug rehab 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 rehab and detox programmes have been running since our UK drug rehab 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.
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.
Help for cannabis addiction
It is not always easy to find help for cannabis addiction. There have been severe cuts to government funded and local authority services which has resulted in poor quality provision in lots of areas. The money that drug services have available to them is generally being spent on prescribing and day services for Class A drug users, people with long and enduring mental illness or other complex issues. Even in these instances, funding for a cannabis rehab programme is very unlikely.
One avenue is to access counselling to deal with the related or underlying issues. This may be arranged through your GP or privately. Whilst counselling can be very useful, it is generally for an hour or two a week and for many people is just not sufficient to bring about the necessary change.
Another avenue is Narcotics Anonymous. This enables the user to attend self-help groups in the community, free of charge. Again, these can be a fantastic resource but even many members of Narcotics Anonymous found that they needed a period of drug rehab to make those initial changes.
Help for cannabis addiction at The Providence Projects is available immediately. If you would like to find out more about our drug rehabilitation programmes or simply speak to a counsellor to find out the options available to you, please call 0800 9550945.
Ruth Elizabeth Montalbetti reviewed Providence Projects
10 December 2014
The foundation that was the spring board for not only me, and my life being completely revolutionised but all of my loved one’s too. A commendable team of staff who’s warm approach loved me when I did not know how to love my self. I will be eternally grateful and thus will my family who got there daughter/sister back from the grips of drug addiction. A safe and secure environment in which revcovery is facilitated and the tools for re intergrating into society are at hand. Much love to my Provvi family as always. Clean and Sober since 20/12/2012 and here is where it started. ... See more
Cannabis rehab admission
The admission process in to our cannabis rehab programme is very simple. The admissions team are always available to take your call and run through the simple steps.
- Step 1:
Free consultation and assessment: Depending on your location, this is often carried out on the telephone. This enables us to get the information we need to be sure that we are the right place for you. It also gives you the opportunity to ask us any questions you have about our drug rehabilitation programme.
- Step 2:
Your assessment will be processed with the medical team at The Providence Surgery and the counselling team at The Providence Projects to be signed off. This all happens on the same day.
- Step 3:
We inform you of the decision. If for any reason we are not a suitable match, we will be able to recommend suitable cannabis rehab alternatives. However, for most situations, we are a suitable match and move on to Step 4.
- Step 4:
Arranging admission: Depending on your circumstances, we can either arrange an immediate admission or agree a date for admission which is suitable for you. Some of our clients look to arrange a date which is suitable for work, family or financial reasons whereas most are looking for a quick admission.
- Step 5:
Once admission has been agreed, you can either make your own way to our private rehab facility for admission, or ask us for collection. As part of our service, we do offer transport if required.
- Step 6:
Arrive at the centre and start your recovery journey!!
All 6 steps of the cannabis rehab admission process can be completed within 24 hours.
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 drug rehabilitation programme. 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.
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.
Cannabis and mental health
Over recent years there have been a range of studies into the relationship between cannabis use and mental health disorders. The evidence from these studies clearly demonstrate the increased risk of developing long term schizophrenia. As well as this risk, the risk of experiencing a psychotic episode also increases substantially.
There is more chance of this occurring in those who are ‘genetically vulnerable’. For example, if there is a family history of mental health issues. The research also demonstrates that young people are particularly vulnerable as the brain has not fully developed; as a result heavy cannabis use can result in mental health conditions later in life such as bipolar or a range of psychotic illnesses.
The relationship between cannabis and depression is not quite so clear and more research is being carried out. There does appear to be a link but it is unclear if cannabis causes depression. We expect more research to be carried out as cannabis becomes more widely used.
NHS cannabis rehab v private cannabis rehab
The NHS in recent years have struggled to cope with the ever-growing demand for mental health services. Unfortunately, there is little in the way of NHS rehab for cannabis users and generally detox and rehabilitation is often only available privately.
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 rehab aftercare
Recovery from cannabis addiction really comes in three main phases:
Stopping the drug use
Addressing the underlying issues and developing a tool kit for recovery
Ongoing work to maintain the changes made in rehab
During the rehabilitation phase, you will identify and begin work on a range of issues. As part of this work, along with your therapist, you will make plans for life after the programme. This may include 1-1 counselling, group therapy, attendance at 12 step meetings and the continuation of other skills learnt whilst in treatment.
Cannabis: The facts
Effects of cannabis:
It is important to state that the effects of any drug do vary from person to person, but these are some of the common effects experienced:
- Everything seems a little slower
- People claim that imagery looks more artistic or music sounds better
- The ‘munchies’
- Feel relaxed – no worries
- Sleepy/general malaise
- Affects memory
- Can result in nausea, a.k.a ‘a whitey’
- Can result in paranoia and hallucinations
Other risks of cannabis:
- Cannabis smoke contains cancer-causing chemicals
- Most people mix with tobacco and are therefore at increased risk of lung diseases and bronchitis
- Increased chance of a road traffic accident
- Affects fertility
- In pregnancy, it may harm an unborn baby
- Increased risk of cardiovascular disease or stroke from long term smoking
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
Benefits of cannabis
Much is being written currently about the benefits of cancer particularly with regards to cancer pain, muscle spasms and sickness relief. It is possible that there may be more benefits, as there are studies suggesting it may be helpful in the treatment of Epilepsy and even Glaucoma. Much of this research is still relatively new and more studies and testing is required to confirm these potential benefits.