According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, THC is the mind-altering chemical in marijuana. Because this chemical has psychedelic effects, the individual who abuses it may be likely to encounter side effects associated with other psychedelic drugs. Does this mean, though, that a person who abuses marijuana will require professional treatment?
Will a Marijuana Abuser Require Professional Treatment to Stop?
Some individuals can smoke marijuana, become exposed to THC, and stop without a problem. This is because the drug’s addiction syndrome, while still problematic, is not as severe or prevalent as that caused by other drugs. As stated by the NIDA, “Research suggests that about 1 in 11 users becomes addicted to marijuana.” These individuals usually share specific traits in their drug use, such as:
- Abusing the drug consistently and in high doses
- Smoking or otherwise ingesting marijuana every day
- Starting their abuse during their teenage years
Individuals who do these things are more likely to become addicted to the drug and, thus, to need treatment in order to stop. While professional treatment isn’t always necessary, it is in the case of addiction. And, as stated by the NIDA, “Higher THC levels may mean a greater risk for addiction if users are regularly exposing themselves to high doses.”
Is Treatment Helpful?
According to the journal of Addiction Science and Clinical Practice, there are currently many limitations to the foundation of THC and marijuana addiction treatment and potential areas where clinical research can possibly be advanced. Still, treatment can be helpful in many cases.
No medications are currently approved by the FDA to treat THC addiction and abuse, but orally administered tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) has been studied for its ability to treat this issue. In fact, it has been found to be the most effective of the medications available for this purpose and works similarly to methadone for opioid dependence. Because it hasn’t been fully approved for this treatment option, it is not used widely, but may come to be very soon. Behavioral therapies are also helpful to those who have been abusing marijuana and need a treatment that allows them to view their drug abuse in a new light and understand how to create better coping mechanisms.
For more information and advice about THC abuse and treatment, call us today at 800-895-1695.