How Support Groups Help in Marijuana Addiction Recovery
Individuals who become addicted to marijuana often attend rehab more than once and still feel as if they cannot get the treatment they need. According to the NIDA, “On average, adults seeking treatment for marijuana abuse or dependence have used marijuana nearly every day for more than 10 years and have attempted to quit more than six times.”
While rehab is beneficial to many recovering addicts, support groups are actually a big part of marijuana addiction recovery, and many patients say that these groups helped them just as much as formal treatment.
Formal Marijuana Addiction Treatment
Marijuana addiction treatment is often necessary, but a person may need extra help beyond the formal treatment. “Unfortunately… even with the most effective treatment for adults, only about 50 percent of enrollees achieve an initial 2-week period of abstinence, and among those who do, approximately half will resume use within a year.”
While the NIDA does state that “these data suggest that a chronic care model should be considered for marijuana addiction,” there is still a need for beneficial treatment now. Treatments can blend and work together in many instances, and this is one of the reasons why support groups can help in marijuana addiction recovery. Formal treatment and support groups can be used together to help a patient fight marijuana addiction in many different ways.
According to SAMHSA, “research on AA suggest that mutual-help organizations can play an important role in recovery, both alone and in combination with formal treatment programs.” Many patients are given a completely new outlook by these support groups, and the ability to meet others who are going through the same issue can be monumentally beneficial.
“Marijuana Anonymous (MA) groups, a mutual-help fellowship based on the principles and traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), exist in a number of States and internationally.” Here are some of the reason why MA would be beneficial to a patient in marijuana addiction recovery:
- Patients are encouraged to take on role models in their sponsors and fellow group members who were all at one time addicted to marijuana.
- Patients can build themselves a support system which often makes the difference between the need for inpatient treatment vs. outpatient treatment.
- Patients can still attend counseling and get some sort of treatment even if they are not able to pay for it, as organizations like MA are free.
- MA and other organizations like it are in almost every town and can be found in community centers and other places besides just clinics and hospitals.
- Support groups can teach patients strategies for fighting cravings and triggers, or for diffusing a situation that might potentially end in relapse, which are “effective coping strategies” and “specific techniques” learned in formal behavioral treatments like cognitive-behavioral therapy (NIDA).
- Patients have another, less formal layer to their treatment and are able to attend meetings on a need-based schedule.
Support groups like MA and other mutual-help groups are actually very beneficial to those in marijuana addiction recovery, especially now when there is still no official treatment plan for marijuana addiction.