Online Therapy for Cannabis Addiction

Are you looking for a discrete and effective method to beat your marijuana addiction? Our online therapy for cannabis use disorder here at CATCH Recovery London could be the answer.

This online therapy model is flexible, confidential and evidence based, making it the ideal option for those looking to overcome their marijuana addiction without committing to a traditional inpatient stay.

Do I Need Help? The Signs and Symptoms of Marijuana Addiction

Cannabis, also commonly called marijuana or weed, is the most commonly used drug in the UK. In the last year, 7.8% of 16-59-year-olds used it. It’s especially popular among young adults, with 18.7% of 16-24-year-olds reporting using it in the last year.

It is a mixture of dried leaves and flowers from the cannabis sativa plant, which are typically smoked or cooked into food. It works by affecting the central nervous system, creating feelings of relaxation.

How you react to cannabis will depend on various factors including your personality, mood, environment and how much THC, the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, is in it. So some people report feeling chilled out and relaxed, others become easily amused and chatty. It can also make people become tired, unmotivated, paranoid and anxious.

Because it is derived from a plant, many people think cannabis is harmless. Unfortunately it’s associated with a range of health issues, including the risk of developing cannabis use disorder.

Warning Signs of Marijuana Addiction

Worried you’re addicted to cannabis? Here are some of the warning signs you could have developed a marijuana addiction:

  • Needing more to achieve the same ‘high’
  • Using more than intended
  • Developing a cannabis dependence
  • Experiencing cravings
  • Experiencing marijuana withdrawal
  • Prioritising cannabis over other areas of your life like work or study, relationships and hobbies
  • Using cannabis in risky situations or engaging in risky activities while using it such as driving a car
  • Continuing to use cannabis in spite of negative health consequences

Psychological Symptoms

Some of the psychological symptoms associated with marijuana addiction use include:

  • Lethargy
  • Apathy
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Mood swings
  • Hallucinations
  • Impaired memory
  • Lack of motivation

If you have a family history of mental health issues, such as schizophrenia, persistent use of cannabis can increase your chances of developing it. This is particularly true if you start smoking as a teenager.

Physical Symptoms

Along with a range of unpleasant psychological side effects, cannabis use can take a toll on your physical health too. Some of the physical symptoms associated with marijuana addiction include:

  • Wheezing
  • Breathlessness
  • Cough
  • Worsening of asthma

Like smoking nicotine, smoking cannabis can also cause:

  • Increased risk of lung cancer
  • Increased heart rate
  • Reduce sperm count
  • Suppressed ovulation

Am I a Cannabis Addict?

Did you recognise your own behaviour in any of the warning signs above? What about symptoms? Are you experiencing any of the psychological or physical side effects of cannabis use? If you answered yes, it could be an indicator that you have an addiction to cannabis.

Are You in Denial?

If you have experienced some of the side effects associated with cannabis, along with some of the warning signs of addiction, but your first reaction is to deny you have a marijuana addiction – this could be further evidence that you’re grappling with addiction.

Denial is often a feature in drug addiction as often those that are in the throes of it don’t realise they are, or more often don’t want to admit that they are.

Denial is when you refuse to look at what is really going on, instead distorting the situation by ignoring the problem, minimising valid concerns or throwing blame elsewhere. When it comes to marijuana addiction, denial is ultimately a coping mechanism that enables the person to continue on with their behaviour and delay the truth.

This is understandable. Nobody wants to admit they have a problem with addiction, but if you want to beat your cannabis addiction and get better, admitting you have a problem is the first step.

Overcoming this denial is not easy. There are several ways you can work through this, including entering into therapy, keeping an honest written record of your addictive behaviour and evaluating it or reading up on addiction.

When to Seek Help for Marijuana Addiction?

If you have any concerns that you are dealing with a cannabis addiction, it’s important to get help as soon as possible. If the problem has got to the point where you have developed a cannabis dependence or you are experiencing marijuana withdrawal or cravings, it is definitely time to get help.

Marijuana addiction can lead to a raft of unpleasant side effects, from anxiety and hallucinations to exacerbation of psychotic disorders and lung cancer. And the longer the addiction goes untreated, the more challenging it can be to beat it.

We get it, it feels scary and insurmountable at this point. The good news is, with the right help you can overcome your marijuana addiction. Here at CATCH Recovery our non-judgemental, friendly team is here to make the recovery process less daunting for you. Please feel free to contact us for a relaxed chat.

What Is Online Therapy? Can It Help Me With My Cannabis Problem?

Perhaps you don’t have the means to travel into London for treatment, or maybe the idea of completing the program at home feels less daunting. Whatever the reason, if traditional inpatient addiction treatment doesn’t feel like a great fit for you, you might like to consider online therapy for cannabis abuse. But how does it work?

First off, it’s a collaborative program. Our team at CATCH Recovery will work with you to build a tailored online therapy programme that works around your needs and schedule. Specifically, our cannabis addiction treatment methods are delivered by an expert team of addiction therapists, who specialise in a variety of recovery techniques.

During the course of the program we will support you to find sobriety, educate you on the nature of addiction and help you to rebuild your life without cannabis. Our online therapy program includes:

  • A full assessment before treatment
  • One-on-one and group counselling sessions
  • Access to psychoeducation groups e.g. life skills, relapse prevention

How Does Online Therapy Differ From Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment?

Here are some of the main ways in which online therapy for marijuana addiction differs from traditional inpatient or outpatient treatment:

Environment: Whereby an inpatient program would see you move out of your home and into a facility for a period of time, online therapy enables you to stay in your home environment.

Money: Inpatient treatment for drug addiction can be an expensive option, so you will likely save money by opting for online therapy instead. As well as the treatment costs, you also won’t have to factor in travel costs.

Time: With no need to commute to the treatment facility, you can save money by accessing treatment as quickly as you can turn your computer on.

Reduce barriers: If the thought of accessing inpatient treatment feels too overwhelming, online therapy might feel like a more achievable way to tackle your addiction and make it more likely that you complete the treatment.

If you find that online therapy doesn’t offer you quite enough structure to overcome the psychological aspects of addiction and avoid relapse, you could look at other options.

This could involve attending inpatient rehab at one of our sister clinics Castle Craig or Smaremore Castle, or alternatively engaging with our outpatient treatment at CATCH Recovery.

In the next sections, we’ll take a look at outpatient and inpatient treatment for marijuana addiction.

Outpatient Treatment for Cannabis Abuse

If you need something more intensive than online therapy, but a residential stay in rehab is not possible for you right now (perhaps you have other commitments or are unwilling to be away from home for that length of time), you might consider outpatient treatment at CATCH Recovery.

This option works very well for those with cannabis use disorder who already benefit from a strong local support network and don’t require the round-the-clock care that our inpatient options provide. Instead, outpatient treatment offers individual counselling and support groups which you attend in-person at a schedule which suits your lifestyle. While you attend the centre for treatment, you remain based at home.

Inpatient Treatment for Marijuana Addiction

If you are struggling with an intense addiction or don’t live in an environment conducive to getting sober, inpatient treatment may be the best option. Likewise, if your addiction has got to the point that you’d benefit from a medically assisted detox, you’ll want to opt for inpatient treatment care. This will be the best option to help mitigate some of the tougher side effects associated with going through marijuana withdrawal.

Inpatient treatment typically lasts between 30 – 90 days and during this time you will have access to a range of therapies including individual counselling, group work, 12-step meetings and holistic treatments like acupuncture or yoga.

Is Online Therapy for Cannabis Addiction Effective?

Many of us are spending increasing amounts of time online for work, fun and managing life.The covid pandemic saw a range of businesses quickly scramble to upgrade their online offerings and the result is a much more seamless experience. From zoom meetings replacing transatlantic flights to taking your favourite workout class at home, many people are more comfortable operating online.

So why not therapy for cannabis abuse? Some interestingresearch out of Yale University has found in certain cases, online therapy can be more effective than traditional in-person therapy. This of course depends on the individual, but for some people, it makes it more accessible and therefore it’s more likely they’ll complete the program.

Success can mean different things to different people, but we’re talking about:

  • Completion of the CATCH Recovery online rehab
  • Finding and maintaining sobriety
  • Continuing to stay sober as part of a continuing care plan

So whatever your background, if you’re struggling with a cannabis addiction, online therapy could help. Like all addiction treatment programs, the effectiveness and outcome ultimately comes down to your willingness to engage with it and prioritise your sobriety now and in the future.

When Is Online Rehab for Cannabis Addiction Appropriate?

The most important part of getting better and beating your cannabis addiction is that you get the right care. At CATCH Recovery we’re committed to creating treatment plans that work, whether that’s on an inpatient, outpatient or online basis.

However, not every type of treatment is right for everyone. So who is online rehab appropriate for? Online rehab for cannabis addiction may be appropriate for you if you:

  • Are unable to commit to inpatient treatment
  • Are unable to travel for outpatient treatment
  • Live outside of the UK
  • Have personal or work commitments that necessitate you being based at home
  • Can’t afford residential treatment
  • Are committed to completing the program and dedicated to beating your addiction

Unlike inpatient treatment where you wake up surrounded by reminders of your dedication to beating your addiction, there is a certain level of self motivation required to complete online rehab for cannabis addiction. You will need to be motivated enough to access the treatment and stay with it for the duration of the treatment timeline.

If this is something you’re interested in, or you’ve got some questions, you’re welcome to contact us and speak to a member of our team who can tell you more about online rehab at CATCH Recovery.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Online Therapy?

The pros to receiving treatment for cannabis addiction online include:

  • The program is accessible wherever you are, all you need to access it is a device and internet connection.
  • Online therapy for cannabis addiction is a cheaper alternative when compared with inpatient treatment at a residential facility.
  • You’ll have access to leading addiction experts based in London, while you can be based anywhere in the UK or indeed the world.
  • Treatment is secure and confidential, you can access treatment without leaving your home.

Depending on your circumstances, there may be a few cons to online therapy for cannabis addiction including:

  • If you remain in the environment in which your addiction developed, it makes sense that you will be exposed to more triggers. If you find this is the case, you may benefit from temporarily removing yourself from the environment while you stay at a residential treatment centre.
  • If you are struggling with cannabis addiction along with other health issues or addictions, such as to alcohol or other drugs, you would benefit from an inpatient treatment program. Here you can go through marijuana withdrawal in a safe, clinical environment.

What Happens in Online Rehab?

If you think online rehab might be the way forward for you, perhaps you’d like to better understand what will happen.

Our online therapy programme for cannabis addiction usually involves around ten one-to-one therapy sessions. The schedule that these sessions follow can be flexible to fit around your lifestyle and work commitments.

Like with all the addiction treatment programmes offered at CATCH Recovery or our sister centres Castle Craig and Smarmore Castle, individualised treatment plans are created.

We will start with an initial CATCH Recovery assessment in which we will evaluate your cannabis use and medical history to create a personal programme of care and match you with a therapist who we think is best placed to help you recover. From here, your bespoke plan will be created which will include:

  • Therapy modalities that target the specific underlying causes of your addiction
  • Clinically proven treatment demonstrated to produce long lasting results
  • Support to develop healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with stress
  • The opportunity to build a healthy relationship with the therapy team for ongoing support
  • An introduction to 12-step recovery.

Our therapists work with different therapeutic modalities such as trauma-based therapy, dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT), or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). They also speak a range of languages including English, French, Spanish, and Russian.

CATCH Recovery’s Addiction Treatment Model

At CATCH Recovery, our treatment programs are based on the 12 Step philosophy and are informed by a range of therapies, like cognitive behavioural therapy, dialectical behavioural therapy and motivational interviewing. This structure has proven to be successful with many of the people we work with and we hope it can help you.

What Is the 12 Steps Framework?

Originally formed by Alcoholics Anonymous, the 12 step therapy model is focused on group interactions and has become an evidenced based intervention for addiction. While it was originally developed for alcohol, it can be used for all manner of addictions including cannabis. The 12 steps include:

  • Step 1: Honesty – The crucial first step means getting honest with yourself and admitting that you are powerless over your addiction.
  • Step 2: Higher power – In this step you find our own higher power (e.g. a religion, the universe or the concept of karma).
  • Step 3: Surrender – Here you learn to accept outside help and learn to trust in your definition of a higher power.
  • Step 4: Soul searching – Look for the root cause of the illness and see what issues arise.
  • Step 5: Integrity – Unburden yourself and admit any harmful behaviours that happened as a result of your addiction.
  • Step 6: Acceptance – Release the negative behaviours in the last step.
  • Step 7: Humility – Remain humble while you receive support to overcome your shortcomings.
  • Step 8: Willingness – Make a list of anyone you might have hurt or harmed during your addiction.
  • Step 9: Forgiveness – Make amends where appropriate.
  • Step 10: Maintenance – Keep your behaviours in check and when you make a mistake be quick to own it.
  • Step 11: Making contact – Remain connected with your idea of a higher power, to help keep you on the straight and narrow.
  • Step 12: Service – Once you have maintained sobriety you can inspire and guide new people on their journey towards recovery.

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