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How Cannabis Use Disorder Is Treated At An Outpatient Treatment Facility

Cannabis, also known as marijuana, contains psychoactive chemicals and is commonly used as a substance throughout the United States. It is often used for medicinal reasons but can also pose significant risks for individuals experiencing adverse and unpredictable reactions when exposed to increased concentrations of THC. 

Cannabis affects the brain cell cannabinoid receptors, similar chemicals produced naturally in the body that play an important role in brain development and function. The cannabinoid receptors influence individuals’ memory, concentration, sensory, pleasure, and overall physical functioning. Cannabis has recently been legalized in some areas, but research indicates that overusing marijuana can cause severe problems in daily life, and users report an overall lower life satisfaction.  

Overusing cannabis can lead individuals to cannabis use disorder, and many may not even know that they have a substance use problem. With this said, you may be wondering how cannabis use disorders are addressed in outpatient treatment facilities. 

Cannabis plants center frame in front of sun.

Health Risks of Cannabis Use 

The consumption of cannabis has gone up and down. However, since the recent legalization of cannabis in many areas across the United States, the likelihood of increased risks and consumption began to rise. 

With the increased risks and consumption came a range of health issues and mental health conditions. Many studies have attempted to understand cannabis at its core and the chemical compounds within the plant. Researchers found that increased use of cannabis in those studies led to extensive respiratory problems and heart health conditions. 

Additionally, frequent users may experience different respiratory problems similar to tobacco smoke. This can include daily coughs, chest illnesses, lung infections, lowered immune system function, fertility issues, memory functioning, and increased heart rate or blood pressure. 

While the research continues to unfold, the risks of heavy use may be more significant with those who have co-occurring addictions or cardiovascular vulnerabilities. Additionally, many studies link cannabis to mental illness and lowered cognitive functioning. Heavy users can be more at risk for anxiety, personality disturbances, suicide, lack of motivation, depression, and fluctuations in cognitive functioning. Cannabis has been shown to negatively affect younger users’ brain development and those who heavily use cannabis. 

Furthermore, research and study explain that cannabis is an addictive substance and can lead over 90% of users towards addiction. Some addiction symptoms can include distorted perceptions, difficulty in concentration, dry mouth, impaired coordination, increased heartbeat, hunger, slower reaction time and poor memory, increased anxiety or paranoia, irritability, insomnia, depression, restlessness, and more. 

Cannabis Use Disorder and Addiction 

Whether an individual has a cannabis use disorder depends on how one uses cannabis and how often it is used. Additionally, there are a variety of studies that explain the different rates of cannabis addiction. For one thing, humans like pleasure, and cannabis is one of the most popular substances that provide pleasure. Also, not everyone who uses cannabis becomes addicted. 

There are many situations where cannabis is used medicinally, and the individual does not become addicted. However, suppose a co-occurring mental disorder is also present. In that case, using cannabis to help cope with life’s day-to-day activities increases the chances of addiction. When an individual uses cannabis to help cope with daily life functions, the tendency to use it more often sets in. The tolerance begins to build, leading to cannabis dependency. 

Conflicting opinions revolve around cannabis. The FDA has considered that medicinal use in certain areas is accepted. However, cannabis is also a mood-altering substance that can lead to dependency and addiction. Cannabis is available in a variety of forms, such as hemp, vape pens, edibles, smoking material, rubs, candles, and more. Many individuals who use various forms may not have an addiction to cannabis because THC levels are lower, and they do not depend on it. Cannabis becomes addictive depending on the addiction itself, the situation regarding why cannabis is being used, and various other health factors. 

How Do Outpatient Treatment Centers Deal With Cannabis Use Disorder? 

The use of cannabis in the United States has increased due to certain states legalizing the substance. Around 20 million people report daily or near-daily use of the substance, and contrary to belief, many find themselves with cognitive impairment. This leads to potential psychotic disorders, mental health problems, financial problems, and more. 

The increased risks require intervention and psychosocial treatment to prevent the addiction from increasing or the tolerance level from turning into a dependency. Outpatient treatment facilities provide cannabis use treatment options for patients to help them find health and healing with more holistic and alternative options, rather than using cannabis. 

Evidence-based therapies from The Forge provide cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, and other therapeutic approaches as effective treatment options for those suffering from cannabis use disorders. 

Young adults smiling with arms around eachother.

It’s All About Outpatient Options 

The treatment plan in an outpatient treatment facility depends on each individual’s unique situation and treatment requirements. Outpatient treatment facilities do not require individuals to worry about staying overnight or living in a residential facility. Outpatient treatment options for cannabis use disorders are effective and flexible, as they are less intensive than inpatient or residential rehabilitation. 

The variety of therapeutic services and approaches can occur in different settings with different treatment objectives. An outpatient treatment facility will address cannabis use disorders safely and therapeutically while providing continual care during specific hours of the day and for the days of the week. 

Additionally, outpatient treatment settings provide intervention, support services, educational sessions, recreational therapy, medication-assisted treatment, and more depending on each patient’s needs to find the focus of overcoming cannabis use disorder. 

Detox has to be the first step in recovering from cannabis use disorder. Although in no way as difficult as detoxing from opioids, benzodiazepines, and alcohol, withdrawing from cannabis can still be a stumbling block for a person seeking to be free from addiction. 

Finding a detox provider can be challenging as well. It’s why we created, the web’s most thorough directory of detox providers. With thousands of listings across the US, you can find a detox provider for your specific needs easier than ever. 

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