Cannabis Use – when is it a problem?
As with all substances, a compulsion to use cannabis has little to do with the substance itself. Some people can smoke a joint, hit some dab, light it up… and be absolutely alright! They might use socially, privately, either once in a while or in actual fact rather often. Regardless, they are OK. However if you have landed on this page by yourself, then you might not be one of these people. Or, maybe its not you and its actually someone you know, who might be needing some help because using cannabis just isn’t fun anymore.
So if its not (entirely) fun anymore – then why is it still happening??
We have successfully treated numerous clients with substance use disorders, all of who have come to us with a problem – not the drug, but rather the compulsion to use the drug. A wave of compulsion that they cannot control the way that they thought and hoped they could.
Perhaps you can identify with this?
Doing something that you don’t really want to do, but still do anyway, no matter how hard you try not to or no matter how bad the consequences are.
Drug use, compulsive behaviour and anything else that is hurting you (or resulting in a ‘consequence of some sort) all have something in common – a root cause. Simply put, this is whatever is going on behind the act of using cannabis.
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What we have to do is ask the incredibly complicated question of “what’s really going on here”?
The reason that is buried beneath your need to use the substance is what we have found to be really important. There may also be many reasons, propped up by a multitude of supporting circumstances. The order of the day is for us to figure out the root cause of the compulsion – when it first formed, how it first formed, how it has developed and then, finally – we figure out what we are going to do about it. By treating the underlying cause of the compulsion, the compulsion will start to diminish and more often than not, disappear completely.
No more fighting with it, about it, no more bad thoughts about how awful you are for doing it.
Just – gone.
Disclaimer: this is not easy (at all), but we have proven many times that it is completely possible. All we need is for you to commit to working together with us to achieve this, for you.
What is the root cause of my cannabis use?
The root cause of your substance use disorder can be just about anything – figuring it out is complicated and that’s why you cannot be expected to figure it out by yourself. Therefore, our job is to figure this out with you. We can already tell you that your compulsion is being driven by something (or a number of things) that you have experienced and may still be experiencing.
We also know that your cannabis use compulsion is uniquely yours – not your friends, partners, parents or anyone else. It resides in you and is sitting tight as a result of your history, your circumstances and your perception of your life experience! Therefore we need to work with you as an individual to figure out what is really going on and how are we going to fix it. This is largely why our various treatment programmes are genuinely individualized and our treatment process is focused predominantly on individual, one-on-one therapy sessions.
Do I need treatment? What criteria do I need to meet?
We have successfully treated countless people for cannabis use disorders, all unique and very interesting.
Athletes who have injured themselves and therefore cannot do what they have trained their whole lives for (i.e. who have lost their identity), people gifted with creativity who feel like they cannot properly create something without smoking. We have clients who have come from very wealthy families, very poor families and a number of people in between. We treat people who smoke all the time and then some who only smoke on the odd occasion, when they are angry, sad, happy, excited, depressed, anxious or nervous – and then, of course, people who fall somewhere in the middle on this spectrum.
In other words – although your case is unique, there is no need for concern. We specialize in understanding each unique case and figuring out the way forward.
In South Africa, cannabis use is legal – so what?
The consumption of weed, dagga, grass, pot (etc) is legal! Wait. So is alcohol. So are prescription meds. So is work and so is sex – mostly, as long as they don’t happen at the same time. Well, what we can conclusively confirm is this: even though these substances and behaviours are legal, they are still potentially harmful to our wellbeing and happiness, especially if misused or if we develop a dependency thereon.
The only important thing is to figure out why you are REALLY making use of the substance. Often, people do not really know – so we help them to find out what they really feel and why they do what they do. That’s what matters.
It’s actually never about the legality the mind uses specific substances because they work to solve a problem. Problematic substance use is more of a symptom of an underlying problem that needs to be helped. The substance itself be it marijuana, cocaine, heroin, alcohol or processes like gambling, porn or sex addictions are simply indicators that something is hurting the human being on an emotional or psychological level.
Medical cannabis – it’s medical, so it’s fine?
Yes, we hear this point made very often and yes, this may well be a legitimate reason for use. However the same concept applies as with the legality – we need to figure out WHY you are actually using the substance.
That is what matters.
Again, we find that people are often unaware as to why they are doing what they are doing. We will help you to figure out what is driving your use and then you can evaluate whether or not you wish to carry on or if there is another alternative. The outcome of your decision is completely up to you – our job is to help you to gain insight and information in order to be able to make the best decision for yourself.
Some facts about the forms and use of cannabis in South Africa:
Cannabis ordinarily comes in the form of leaves, seeds and stems – with the most psychoactive component being the flower or bud portion.
How cannabis is actually used can be in the form of smoking as a joint or out of a bong or pipe. Dried cannabis can be heated and e-liquids containing THC, CBD and/or CBN (all extracted from cannabis) can be used to create vapour that delivers the desired effect. Cannabis can also be eaten as a brownie, cake or even as a breadstick. Concentrates are made which are known as Dab (also with many other names like honey, shatter), which are intensely and used by means of a dab rig, ceramic pen or just a safety pin and a blowtorch. There are also oils, tinctures, suppositories, drops, etc.
Am I Addicted to Dagga?
Cannabis/dagga addiction is characterised by interferences with work, social life, feelings of guilt, withdrawal circumstances, irritability, mood/sleep problems, appetite loss, psychological cravings or general restlessness. People under stress or those suffering from mental illnesses, genetic predispositions and some adolescents are prone to potential dependence and addiction problems. In order to determine whether or not you are addicted to any substance, simply stop using the substance for a while, observe your reactions (physical and psychological responses to stopping) and call us if you need help.
While Cannabis has many redeeming properties if used in moderation it is not a completely harmless and risk-free drug. THC is a psychoactive compound that can in itself cause a wide range of detrimental psychological problems in individuals specifically in teens.
1 in 9 regular cannabis users mask deeper psychological problems like trauma, depression or anxiety by using Cannabis and consequentially can develop abnormal tolerances to the substance and can create spark behavioural or psychological “substance addiction” cycles of Cannabis use.
The development of a problem known as a marijuana use disorder can take the form of addiction in more severe cases. Recent data suggest that 30% of those who use marijuana may have some degree of marijuana use disorder. People who begin using marijuana before the age of 18 are four to seven times more likely to develop a marijuana use disorder than adults.
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Changes that may be symptomatic of dagga addiction include distorted perceptions, impaired coordination, difficulty in problem-solving, other problems with short-term memory loss.
Long term effects of cannabis addiction can last for well over a year for users that use cannabis even on a weekly basis. These hidden effects can include increased general hostility, irritability and impulsivity.
Recovery Direct Cannabis Rehab
Recovery Direct is a trusted and highly confidential provider of cannabis addiction treatment in Cape Town South Africa. With our addiction treatment experts, a stunning, villa setting, and specialist treatment programs, we craft a unique treatment plan for each person in order that they may find their path to long-term recovery.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a versatile therapy that is effective in the long-term treatment of dagga addiction. Behavioural therapy focuses on the patient’s ability to make sound choices and better identify and avoid risky relapse situations. By understanding the root of your emotional responses based in Recovery Directs specialised trauma resolution program clients will learn to shape their lives free from dagga addictions.
Cannabis Use Disorder Treatment
There are no specific medications available for treating cannabis dependence, thus detox involves treating symptoms as they emerge. Sedative medications may be prescribed on a short-term basis in cases where severe anxiety or panic attacks are causing distress to the person, however, we prefer to look at more long term solutions like dealing with what is causing the anxiety. Which is why we start immediately with individual-focused therapy and establish a support base to develop daily coping skills. Treatment involves the re-patterning of addictive behaviours into new and positive routines to move you forward with new motivation and personal resilience.
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If you are struggling with substance-related issues, we have ideal solutions for you. We are a dynamic, progressive centre specialising in modern addiction treatment therapies. Our techniques and options extend beyond traditional rehab approaches. They also include assistance with interventions and solutions to challenges that may take place after treatment, as well as enjoying long-term sobriety.
Public information about drug problems is aimed at a broad audience. Individuals must obtain specific advice applicable to their unique conditions. A simple phone call to one of our experienced addiction counsellors is all it takes to get the reliable and confidential advice that you need.
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Why We Have a Dedicated Marijuana / Cannabis / Dagga Addiction Online Counselling in Cape Town
Psychological Consequence of Cannabis Addiction
The vast majority of cannabis users experience an inability to stay focused, along with a range of short and sometimes long term memory lapses and concentration issues. Motivation takes it’s toll as cannabis “zoned out” state makes it easy to ignore the realities of day to day life. In the absence of the drug stress is a common problem. Users find it hard to “unwind” without the drug and may experience depression, mood swings and sometimes even anger when they are unable to “get their fix”.
The True Impact of Dagga Addiction in South Africa
Chronic dagga addiction problems in people do still require rehabilitation treatment services because the psychological impacts are not much different to any other form of substance use disorder. The transformation from casual drug use to a pronounced dependence and detrimental substance abuse occurs less frequently dagga users than for opioid, amphetamine or cocaine users. That said the reality is that so many individuals use dagga, there is still a far greater number of people that may develop addiction based behaviours. US stats claim that one out of every nine people who frequently used dagga will become dependent on the substance. Furthermore, dagga use in early adolescence exponentially increases the risks of individuals being addicted to the drug in later life and or suffering significant mental health-related issues.
The Impact of Modern Cannabis Strains on Addiction
Genetically modified strains of cannabis have been in existence for the last 5 to 10 years and the strain’s active THC yields are getting more potent each year. In addition to this, dagga users are finding ever more inventive ways to refine and take enriched THC resins, which in turn amplifies the potential of addiction. Hash oil or honey, wax or budder or shatter are concentrated THC that is so potent that their use has already sent quite a few people to the emergency room. If you are looking how to quit smoking weed then contact one of our registered counsellors today.