Understanding Cannabis Addiction

Cannabis is the most commonly abused drug in the UK, with over 7.6% of the population (aged 16 or over) using it in 2020. Although many believe that cannabis is harmless, regular consumption of the active ingredient (THC) can lead to addiction. All three cannabis strains, indica, sativa and ruderalis, have THC naturally occurring in various strengths. Even in the absence of addiction, frequent cannabis use, especially when smoked with tobacco, has serious health risks associated with lung damage and increased risk of strokes.

handling a drug problem

According to the NHS, around 10% of people who use cannabis regularly will become addicted to it, increasing to about 1 in 6 individuals who start abusing it in their teens.

Despite its classification as a class B illicit drug, cannabis is widely available and socially accepted in the UK, making quitting weed and staying sober difficult for many who are struggling.

Here at The Providence Projects, we understand the nature of cannabis dependence and want to reassure you, or someone you love, that comprehensive treatment is available. If you are struggling to quit cannabis or made previous attempts to stop, it may be a good time to consider rehab treatment with us.

Addiction Recovery Success

For over 25 years, we have helped many individuals overcome cannabis addiction.

You don’t have to struggle any longer, our team are here to support you through the recovery process.

Signs You Need Help

Coming to terms with problematic cannabis use can be a difficult process for many. You might have started using cannabis recreationally to manage or treat pain or simply to help you relax. You may have even given in to social pressure to fit in.

Over time you may have found yourself using cannabis more frequently, experimenting with more potent strains that lead to increased tolerance for the drug. By increasing your tolerance, you needed to smoke or digest more cannabis to achieve the same high.

Now, life without marijuana seems pointless or you feel like you need it to function properly. The thought of going without cannabis scares you, and any attempt to quit results with intense cravings for the drug. You may also:

handling a drug problem

  • Engage in risky activities, such as driving under the influence of cannabis
  • Shy away from social situations in favour of smoking weed
  • Lie about your cannabis use or go to extreme lengths to conceal it
  • Feel shame or embarrassed about how much your consuming
  • experience mental health issues, such as anxiety or psychotic symptoms that may have worsened over time.
  • You are unable to cut down or stop cannabis use despite knowing it has negative consequences on your health

Recognising the signs of cannabis addiction is the first step towards positive change, but only you can make that first step.

If you need someone to talk to, our team at Providence Projects can provide a free, confidential assessment to help you identify the best course of action.

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Cannabis Withdrawal Symptoms

Another factor that may prevent you from quitting cannabis is the presence of withdrawal symptoms. Although marijuana withdrawal symptoms are psychological and typically mild, you may experience:

  • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
  • Vivid dreams
  • Rage or agitation
  • Mood swings
  • Suppressed appetite
  • Mental health problems such as depression

It’s important to understand that cannabis addiction cannot be treated with cannabis detox alone. Cannabis withdrawal symptoms are the result of repeat exposure to substance abuse over a period of time, and therefore therapeutic treatment is required to address the psychological nature of cannabis dependence.

How We Treat Cannabis Addiction

Cannabis addiction is a psychological illness that often results from childhood trauma or stress, and therefore your cannabis abuse issues are a coping mechanism for life’s difficulties. Therefore treatment in the form of therapy is needed to support you with those difficult feelings and emotions, and develop new techniques to manage stress and improve mental health.

Therapeutic Treatment

Drug rehab for cannabis requires you to stay at The Providence Projects to complete a residential programme. It offers the most comprehensive form of drug addiction treatment and gives you access to:

  • Immediate help
  • A check-up of your physical health
  • A safe environment to manage withdrawal symptoms
  • Structured, intense treatment away from triggers
  • Round-the-clock support
  • Dedicated substance abuse counsellors
  • Higher levels of care and expertise

We extend our services to the rest of the UK, by offering sober transportation to The Providence Projects as part of our addiction recovery services.

Treatment at The Providence Projects involves a multi-stage process that can vary depending on your needs and goals. For the duration of treatment, you will stay with us to complete a residential programme which consists of evidence-based therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, and fun activities.

The first step is to call our team for a confidential assessment, this can take approximately 45 minutes and will help us get to know you and arrange a suitable date for you to pay and attend treatment.

The next step is induction, and our team will show you around Providence Projects and introduce you to your programme timetable.

Contact Admissions

Telephone Assessment

Reservation Confirmation

Admission For Treatment

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The Role of Therapy in Treating Cannabis Addiction

The role of therapy in treating cannabis addiction is well established. Our structured programmes will help you develop coping mechanisms and improve self-confidence. We use a variety of therapy models to help support sober living and help prevent relapse in the future.

Your treatment programme will consist of:

  • Counselling
  • Psychotherapy, including cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Relapse prevention therapy
  • Alternative therapies, including meditation
  • Beach walks and fun activities

Our team of highly skilled healthcare professionals will be responsible for delivering the programme for a minimum of 28 days. You can extend your treatment programme and complete secondary care with us depending on your needs and circumstances. Secondary care gives you more time to work on yourself before returning to normal life and may be a good option if you have abused cannabis frequently over a long period. View our programmes here to learn more about the various stages of treatment for drug addiction.

Outpatient care isn’t for everyone. Since withdrawal symptoms are typically mild, some choose this option as a first line of treatment. However, if you have made previous attempts to quit cannabis, abuse other substances, or have significant mental health issues, outpatient treatment online may not be a suitable option for you, but it can provide immense support in conjunction with residential treatment.

As an outpatient, you can have flexible treatment arrangements, but it can leave you vulnerable to triggers or relapse.  That’s why Providence Projects offers outpatient aftercare provisions to support you after rehab with us. In the early stages of recovery from cannabis addiction, having that additional support from our in-house team can make a big difference.

We offer several recovery services depending on your needs including sober coaching and additional online therapy. We also recommend attending 12-step support groups to help you abstain from marijuana use.

Outpatient Treatment

handling a drug problem

handling a drug problem

How We Support Families

If marijuana addiction has caused tensions in your family, guidance and support are available to loved ones during treatment.
The role of the family in addiction recovery is so important, and we work closely with the whole family unit to ensure:

  • Family members feel heard and understood
  • Clear boundaries can be established
  • Family members are educated on cannabis addiction
  • Family members can begin to rebuild trust

In conjunction with the family therapy at Providence Projects, loved ones can also attend support groups (such as Famanon) specifically designed for family members affected by cannabis misuse.

Cannabis Rehab FAQ
What makes cannabis addictive?

It is thought that THC, the active ingredient in marijuana that provides a ‘high’, is the cause of cannabis addiction. However, many people in the UK abuse cannabis but do not develop a psychological dependence on the drug.

Do people go to rehab for cannabis?

Yes, cannabis addiction is no different to any other form of drug addiction. Many make the mistake of believing that rehab is only necessary for ‘harder drugs’.

Addiction has little to do with how dangerous or potent a substance is, addiction is a psychological illness that needs psychological intervention and therapy to overcome.

If you do not treat the root causes of addiction, it will usually manifest in other ways or through other addictions (cross addictions) such as food or gambling.

Individuals go to rehab to treat addiction, not the substance.

Does the NHS provide cannabis rehab?

The NHS in recent years has struggled to cope with the ever-growing demand for mental health and addiction services. The NHS does not offer residential treatment for cannabis addiction, but they do provide local outpatient services which typically come with a long waiting list.

Is Cannabis use affecting my mental health?

The link between mental health and cannabis use is still unclear, but repeat exposure to cannabis over a long period of time can result in paranoia and anxiety in some individuals.

Over recent years there have been a range of studies into the relationship between cannabis use and mental health disorders. We do know that the risk of developing psychosis is far greater in those with a family history of severe mental health disorders.

How will quitting cannabis and seeking help improve my life?

Making the decision to quit cannabis for good will improve your life in many ways – both physically and psychologically.

Cannabis has been known to affect memory, sex drive, sleep, fertility, energy levels and weight. Smoking cannabis with tobacco will also increase your risks of developing cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Aside from the negative physical affects of cannabis, the psychological affects of cannabis dependence include emotional issues such as anxiety and paranoia, obsessive thoughts around cannabis use, irritability when unable to use cannabis, and lack of concentration or drive.

Paul Spanjar, CEO

Paul is passionate about high-quality addiction treatment and truly believes that, with the right treatment, anyone can recover.

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