More and more Americans are seeking marijuana addiction treatment. This is because the number of people who struggle with a marijuana use disorder has doubled from 2001 – 2002 to 2012 – 2013. Marijuana, or cannabis, is seen as a safe and harmless drug. Many people use it for non-medical purposes, and some Americans have a legitimate prescription for it. With that said, even prescribed use can lead to substance abuse.
Regardless, the number of people who get addicted to marijuana has risen. Many people don’t realize that marijuana can be quite addictive. This is especially true since most marijuana users consume or smoke marijuana on a regular basis. Some people have several joints throughout the day. Regular use of this substance can lead to addiction and dependence. Dependence leads to withdrawal symptoms and a whole host of side effects. An addiction to weed is just as complicated as an addiction to other substances although it’s not as dangerous as, say, an addiction to crack cocaine.
Those who are seeking addiction treatment for marijuana dependence must consider the type of treatment options available. In particular, they should consider whether the marijuana rehab center offers gender-specific treatment. Each gender responds differently to marijuana. They are more likely to experience different side effects and withdrawal symptoms. The marijuana addiction treatment should account for gender differences, and personalize the treatment to fit each patient’s needs.
More Pronounced Withdrawal Symptoms Among Different Genders
Different genders are more likely to experience certain types of withdrawal symptoms more than others. This information can help rehab centers to personalize their treatment. The recovery process then becomes more comfortable. Patients are also able to enjoy a smoother recovery with fewer hiccups. One of the most important things about addiction treatment is medical detox. The cocktail of medications prescribed at the treatment facility should be different with each gender. The prescribed medications need to treat the different symptoms.
So, how do the genders differ when it comes to withdrawal symptoms?
Men are more likely to experience marijuana induced insomnia and vivid dreams when withdrawing from marijuana abuse. Women, on the other hand, are more likely to experience nausea and anxiety. Drug rehab centers should account for these differences to ensure that each patient is comfortable during recovery.
For example, men may have more of a need for sleeping pills. Good quality sleep can do wonders in speeding up the recovery process. Women, on the other hand, may need anti-anxiety pills more than men. Knowing which withdrawal symptoms each gender is most likely to experience will help each recovery center improve the quality of their treatment. It can help them improve the overall experience for each patient.
The Factors that Influence the Type of Withdrawal Symptoms that Can Be Expected
There are many factors that can also influence the severity and type of withdrawal symptoms experienced. These factors don’t have anything to do with one’s gender, and may cause one gender to experience symptoms that are considered to be atypical. Here are 5 factors to also consider.
The Presence of a Co-Occurring Disorder
Mental health disorders often interfere with withdrawal symptoms of marijuana use. Mental illnesses, like depression and bipolar disorders, change the neurochemical levels in the body. These changes can cause the body to experience more withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms also tend to be more intense.
Old age can complicate marijuana withdrawal symptoms. Those who are older tend to be taking medications that can interfere with withdrawals. Their bodies are also less efficient in returning back to its normal state. As a result, it will be much more resistant to quitting marijuana use. Longer marijuana treatments are needed. Men are more likely to use marijuana at younger ages.
Recent or Heavy Use
Those who have been using stronger marijuana or have been using more of it will have a more difficult time with withdrawal symptoms. Heavy use results in stronger effects of marijuana. Those who quit will experience a larger array of withdrawal symptoms. They’ll also experience more intense symptoms. It takes longer for the brain to adapt to the changes and to become normal again.
Length of Marijuana Abuse
The length of the marijuana abuse may also affect the length of the marijuana rehab needed. The longer that anyone engages in a behavior, the more persistent the changes in their brain become. Those who have used marijuana for a longer period of time will be more resistant to quitting. Their brain will want to continue the same habit. When met with a different routine, the brain is much more likely to display more intense withdrawal symptoms.
The Abuse of Another Substance
Past or presence use of another drug can complicate the marijuana detox process. It can cause withdrawal symptoms to worsen significantly. For example, alcohol can exacerbate the anxiety and irritability that often comes with marijuana withdrawals. Prior substance use may also come with withdrawal symptoms. If not, they may increase the severity of the withdrawal symptoms by causing a larger neurochemical imbalance.
Drug abuse can also intensify cravings. It can make it harder for the marijuana abuser to resist temptations. They may be much more likely to relapse.
Different Long-Term Effects in Both Genders
Different genders may also experience different long-term side effects of marijuana use. This is especially important when treating with marijuana abuse. It provides insight into the type of co-occurring disorders to expect. This is crucial for any type of marijuana addiction treatment.
Studies have shown that long-term marijuana use causes depression in males, but not in females. Depression is a huge obstacle for many addicts to overcome. A dual diagnosis can prevent addicts from getting better. This is because the depression is already causing a neurochemical imbalance in the brain. The addiction treatment must account for this for optimal effectiveness. Otherwise, the co-occurring disorders may work against one another and cause the addiction to worsen. One’s mental health will become even worse as well.
Medical professionals do not have to worry about depression as much when treating women. This is not to say that women cannot suffer from depression as well. It’s just not as common with marijuana abuse. Treatments for marijuana abuse should consider how the drug affects each gender’s brain.