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Interventions for Marijuana Abuse


Cannabis, also known as marijuana, pot, or weed, is the most, “widely used illicit substance in the world”, according to the United Nations. Marijuana is a greenish mixture of dried and shredded leaves from the plant cannabis sativa. Although not everyone who smokes marijuana becomes addicted to it, many people find themselves smoking pot on a regular basis.

Marijuana contains the chemical tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly called, THC. While most drugs fall into the category of either a depressant, stimulant, or hallucinogen, marijuana exhibits a mix of all properties, predominately in the category of hallucinogen due to its high content of THC. When THC is smoked, a series of cellular reactions leads to the high people experience when smoking weed. The effects of marijuana are felt within minutes of inhaling and can last up to three or four hours. Depending on the dosage of weed, side effects may include anything from relaxation and altered sense of thought and expression to fragmented thoughts, image distortion, heightened awareness, and even hallucinations. Marijuana users who have smoked an extremely high dosage of weed may experience acute toxic psychosis. Acute toxic psychosis results in symptoms of hallucinations, delusions, and depersonalization. Chronic pot smokers experience depression, anxiety and disturbances in their personal lives. If any of these symptoms interfere too much in their lives, and the smoker cannot or refuses to quit, a marijuana intervention may be needed.

A marijuana intervention is orchestrated by an interventionist and preplanned along with close friends and family members. Professionals in substance intervention help provide a safe, caring environment, where friends and family can express their concern for the marijuana addict. Licensed interventionists have received professional training in facilitating interventions. They understand the importance of the timing of the intervention, along with the needs and concerns of both the concerned family members and the addict. Having a professional buffer between the addict and their family removes the chance of manipulation, denial and codependency.

Marijuana addicts are often hit with a moment of clarity after hearing letters from their family which are read during the intervention. In the letters, friends and family express their concern and love for the addict, along with how much they have been hurt by their addiction, and bottom lines if they refuse to change their lives. Most marijuana addicts are overwhelmed when hearing how destructive their lives have been since they’ve fallen deeper and deeper into their addiction. Following the intervention, marijuana addicts are given the opportunity to accept the help provided for them from the interventionist and their family. Even the most severe marijuana addicts are given the opportunity to seek treatment for their addiction and live more fulfilling lives.

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