Cannabis Treatment

Cannabis treatment at Hope Rehab has been carefully structured to get the best results as the public attitude towards cannabis has changed dramatically in recent years. The British Drug Survey 2014 found that about 88 per cent of the population believes that marijuana should be legal, and respondents perceived it to be the least dangerous of all mind-altering substances (including alcohol).

It is increasingly common to hear even politicians use words like ‘harmless’ and ‘natural’ when describing cannabis use – in the US, even President Obama felt comfortable enough to admit that he used to smoke it. Despite the growing tolerance in many societies towards cannabis use, it would be a mistake to believe that this drug is safe.

We get many clients here at Hope Rehab who have experienced the dark side of this substance, and it caused them a great deal of suffering and loss.

“A couple of weeks into sobriety, I began to realise that I'd spent the previous 10 - or was it 15? - years walking round like a sleepwalker.”
- Rebecca Cripps (My High Life – Guardian Newspaper)​

National Institute on drug abuse Drug (NIDA)

"Because marijuana impairs short-term memory and judgment and distorts perception, it can impair performance in school or at work and make it dangerous to drive an automobile. It also affects brain systems that are still maturing through young adulthood, so regular use by teens may have a negative and long-lasting effect on their cognitive development, putting them at a competitive disadvantage and possibly interfering with their well-being in other ways. Also, contrary to popular belief, marijuana can be addictive, and its use during adolescence may make other forms of drug abuse or addiction more likely" NIDA

What is Cannabis?

Cannabis has many different street names including:

  • Weed -
  • Marijuana -
  • Grass -
  • Skunk -
  • Joint -
  • Ganja -
  • Hash -
  • Pot -
  • Herb -
  • Hashish -
  • Spliff

It is a psychoactive substance (it changes the way the brain functions) that is hard to classify because it acts as a sedative, stimulant, hallucinogen, and tranquiliser.
The drug is obtained from the leaves and flowering parts of the cannabis plant. It is fairly common to mix the drug with other synthetic compounds to increase the effect. Cannabis can be consumed in a number of different ways including:

  • Smoked as a joint 
  • Eaten (e.g. hash cookies) 
  • Smoked with a bong 

The Dark Side of Cannabis

Cannabis does have medicinal uses, and there are recreational users who never develop any problems, but there are definite risks associated with this substance. It is easy to become dependent on this drug to such an extent that it makes life unbearable. Regular users can suffer from low energy with frequent episodes of depression – it can also mean being so numb to life that nothing appears meaningful. Exploring the reality of the drugs impact on your life is very much part of Cannabis treatment, we find there are high levels of denial around this issue. 

Some of the other negative effects of cannabis would include:

Many long-term users experience extreme low energy and lose the ability to self motivate. Also, if they are still young and studying, users can find learning very difficult. In addition, sleeplessness and insomnia is common, particularly when trying to stop as the dependency develops.

Signs and symptoms of cannabis addiction are often red and bloodshot eyes, increased hunger, bad cough, paranoia, slow reaction times and mood swings as well as being withdrawn and distracted.

Smoking Marijuana and Cannabis can affect your breathing or respiratory system over time and increase the risk of lung damage and getting Cancer.

 

Neuroscience of Cannabis or Marijuana Addiction

Marijuana or Cannabis concentrations of THC - the drug’s psychoactive compound, has been rising from about 3.75 percent in 1995 to 13 percent in 2014. High levels of THC are associated with paranoia and psychosis in many users.
MRI scans show what is going on neurologically causing psychotic symptoms like altered thinking and perception:

  • Reward centre: Changes in the way we experience pleasure and life
  • Impaired memory: Euphoric recall despite negative consequences of Cannabis
  • Self medicating: Numbing negative thoughts  and feelings

Hijacked brain: The human reward system is designed for survival but hijacked by chemical payoffs provided by Cannabis. The reward circuitry normally bookmarks important things: food, nurturing children, education, work and friendships. However, now it has been corrupted by the drug.

Understanding the role of the neurotransmitter dopamine in addiction is helpful for cannabis treatment.

People with addictions are low on dopamine, causing addiction, depression, loss of satisfaction, poor focus and other symptoms. Low dopamine levels cause us to consciously and unconsciously seek out dopamine raising substances or behaviours. All substances stimulate dopamine release or increase its activity and produce the hedonic response“I like that”.

“Ours is a progressive illness often leading us to addictions to other drugs, including alcohol. Our lives, our thinking, and our desires centre around marijuana - scoring it, dealing it, and finding ways to stay high.”
- Marijuana Anonymous – Introduction to MA

Recovery from Cannabis

The first step towards getting better is to admit that you have a problem. You are going to have some justification for this behaviour – maybe you believe cannabis makes your more creative or that you need it to be able to deal with stress. It is vital you are able to see how the cons of this drug outweigh the pros because this is how you develop the motivation to change.

Hope Rehab Center offers a beautiful location to overcome Cannabis or Marijuana addiction

Cannabis and Marijuana treatment at Hope Rehab Treatment Center Thailand

Counseling and Therapy: You will build a healthy relationship with your counsellor and explore your life history - unearthing reasons why you use or why you can't stop using. Find out how you process day-to-day life events, learn new coping ways rather than resorting to Cannabis.

Group work: Here we share our painful experiences and help each other find solutions. We find we are not alone and can be of value to each other.  

CBT: Cognitive behaviour therapy - short term therapy with long term results - helps with positive thinking. It also can be used to unearth the route causes of your self medicating behaviour. 

Addiction program: We use the evidence-based programme to unravel and look at your addictive behaviours. New daily recovery rituals instead of the substance use rituals you have been doing.

Mindfulness: sessions and practice helps calm your thinking and relax the mind. This also helps you manage cravings and get sleep.

Fitness and exercise program: We get up early and go for 40 minutes exercise to help restore health and ingrain a healthy behaviour pattern. I say "get up before your addiction wakes up". You will take charge of the day and your thinking.

Assignments: Hope simple but effective workbook is 100 pages long - full of exercises to complete in group, with your counsellor and as homework in the evenings. 

Treatment tasks: In the weekly goals group you are set new goals and paradoxical behaviours to complete and help you change life-long habits. 

Activities: Weekend activities include many new sober fun things to do - this gives you a chance to practise having clean and sober fun. Most weekends our clients choose to go to the island and beach.

Relapse Prevention: These classes raise your awareness and teach you to manage triggers and cravings for cannabis.

Aftercare:  We begin your aftercare plan before you leave Rehab and as part of your cannabis treatment. 

Cannabis Treatment – Hope Rehab

We offer you a cannabis treatment program here specifically designed for overcoming dependence on cannabis. It involves using evidence-based techniques like mindfulness training and cognitive-based therapy to help you develop a way of living where you no longer need to use this drug.

We will also introduce you to the 12-step groups so you will have sufficient support during early sobriety. During individual and group therapy, you can begin to explore the reasons why you have been using cannabis, and come up with more effective strategies for dealing with life.