One of the most abused illegal drugs in the country is marijuana. While it is not physically addictive, marijuana is psychologically addictive, and individuals who use it can develop a physical dependence on it.
Withdrawal symptoms occur when the individual has become physically dependent on marijuana, but then stops using it. The drug has psychoactive effects on the central nervous system, and the body must alter its functions slightly when the individual stops smoking. Which means it has to create a new homeostasis. The body is trying to function at this altered homeostasis is what results in withdrawal symptoms.
Symptoms of Marijuana Withdrawal
The symptoms of marijuana withdrawal vary from person to person. Some of the most common marijuana withdrawal symptoms are:
- Intense cravings for the drug
- Decreased appetite
- Gastrointestinal issues
How severe the withdrawal symptoms are depends on the length of use, as well as the severity of the dependency. Some individuals may not experience any withdrawal symptoms at all when they quit using marijuana.
So how long do marijuana withdrawal symptoms last? Symptoms can begin in as little as one day after the final use, or as late as three days after. Symptoms have been known to last from a few days to a few weeks. Most, if not all, symptoms should be gone by week three. Those with severe psychological addictions have reported feelings of depression and anxiety for up to several months after discontinuing marijuana use.
Treatment for Marijuana Withdrawal
While not dangerous, marijuana withdrawal can be uncomfortable. The intense cravings for the drug are usually the hardest symptom to deal with, and if not managed, can lead to the individual relapsing. An outpatient program is best suited for those with milder forms of marijuana dependence, while inpatient programs are recommended for more severe addictions.
In most cases, tapering is the recommended method to help individual overcome withdrawal symptoms. Tapering involves reducing the amount and frequency of marijuana over a period of time, which allows the brain to slowly adjust to lower levels of the drug, making withdrawal symptoms less intense. Individual symptoms may also be treated with medications. Headaches can be treated with ibuprofen. Stomach medicine or peppermint and ginger can be helpful to treat nausea. However, it is important for the individual to consult a doctor or detox specialist about the best course of action for them to treat withdrawal symptoms.
At The Villa we know that recovery is hard work, and each person takes a different path. You don’t have to do it alone. Call us to find out how we can support your goals for sober living.