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Understanding Marijuana Use Disorder

Written on September 9, 2023
Understanding Marijuana Use Disorder

Marijuana use disorder is a diagnosable condition characterized by a pattern of continued marijuana use despite experiencing significant problems related to use of the substance. It can range in severity from mild to severe, depending on the number and intensity of symptoms a person experiences.

Some common symptoms of marijuana use disorder include:

  • Using marijuana in larger amounts or over a longer period of time than intended
  • Having a strong desire to use marijuana and being unable to control or reduce use
  • Spending a lot of time obtaining, using, or recovering from marijuana use
  • Experiencing cravings or strong urges to use marijuana
  • Continuing to use marijuana despite experiencing problems in relationships, work, or other areas of life as a result of use
  • Giving up important activities or hobbies in favor of using marijuana
  • Using marijuana in risky situations, such as while driving
  • Continuing to use marijuana despite physical or psychological problems caused or made worse by use

Marijuana use disorder can be treated, often through a combination of therapy, support groups, and medications. If you think you or someone you know might be experiencing marijuana use disorder, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional.


Marijuana Use Disorder and Co-occuring Mental Health Disorders

It is not uncommon for individuals with marijuana use disorder to also have a co-occurring mental health disorder, such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In fact, research suggests that people with mental health disorders may be more likely to develop marijuana use disorder, and using marijuana can exacerbate the symptoms of certain mental health conditions.

Treatment for co-occurring marijuana use disorder and mental health disorders often involves addressing both conditions at the same time. This may involve a combination of therapy, support groups, and medication. For example, a person with both marijuana use disorder and depression might participate in cognitive-behavioral therapy to address both conditions and be prescribed an antidepressant medication to treat the depression.

With appropriate treatment, it is possible to effectively manage both conditions and improve overall well-being.

Dual Diagnosis Inpatient Treatment

Dual diagnosis treatment is a type of treatment for individuals who have a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder, also known as a co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis. Dual diagnosis treatment typically involves addressing both the mental health disorder and the substance use disorder simultaneously, as they can often be interconnected and influence each other.

There are several different types of treatment approaches that may be used in dual diagnosis treatment, including:

  • Medication: Certain medications can be effective in treating both mental health disorders and substance use disorders. For example, antidepressants can be used to treat depression and naltrexone can be used to treat addiction.
  • Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, can be helpful in treating both mental health disorders and substance use disorders. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common approach used in dual diagnosis treatment that helps individuals identify and change negative patterns of thought and behavior.
    Support groups: Support groups, such as 12-step programs, can provide a sense of community and support for individuals in dual diagnosis treatment.
  • Holistic therapies: Some dual diagnosis treatment programs may also include holistic therapies, such as yoga, meditation, or art therapy, which can help individuals manage stress and improve overall well-being.
  • Inpatient dual diagnosis treatment refers to treatment that takes place in a residential setting, where the individual stays at the treatment facility for a period of time. This can be an effective option for individuals with severe or complex co-occurring disorders who may benefit from a structured, immersive treatment environment. Inpatient treatment typically involves a combination of individual and group therapy, as well as other therapeutic activities and support.


IOP for Marijuana use Disorder or Dual Diagnosis

Intensive outpatient treatment (IOP) is a type of treatment program that provides a higher level of care than traditional outpatient treatment, but is less intensive than inpatient treatment. IOP is typically recommended for individuals who do not require around-the-clock supervision, but who may benefit from more frequent support and structure than traditional outpatient treatment provides.

IOP for marijuana use disorder or dual diagnosis typically involves attending therapy sessions several times per week for several hours at a time. These sessions may include individual therapy, group therapy, and/or family therapy, depending on the individual’s needs. IOP programs may also include other therapeutic activities, such as art therapy or mindfulness practices, as well as support groups and/or medication management.

The goal of IOP is to provide individuals with the support and structure they need to make progress in their recovery while also allowing them to continue living at home and participating in their usual daily activities. IOP can be an effective treatment option for individuals with marijuana use disorder or a dual diagnosis who are motivated to make changes in their lives and are able to commit to a structured treatment program.

To learn more about our treatment options, contact us for a complimentary consultation.