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Cannabis and Depression Treatment in California

cannabis and depression treatment

Understanding the Relationship Between Marijuana Addiction and Depression 

Over the recent years, there have been increased conversations and focus on the relationship between marijuana and depression. California is a progressive state that has made strides to widen the approaches to health care through alternative methods of treatment and healing. As the use of marijuana becomes more prevalent in the Western world, we must understand the intricate dynamics that connect these two factors and the implications for effective treatment strategies.  

There has been a multifaceted connection between marijuana use and depression.  Some individuals turn to cannabis as a coping mechanism for the symptoms of depression, however, there are times when the use of cannabis can exacerbate their mental health symptoms. 

Understanding the psychological and physiological impacts of marijuana on the brain is a necessary starting point to gain clarity on the relationship between marijuana and depression.  The active compound in marijuana is THC which, when ingested or inhaled, can impact the brain’s neurotransmitters and cause disruption within the balance of the brain’s reward system. This can lead to the onset or exacerbation of symptoms of depression in individuals. 

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Identifying Signs and Symptoms of Marijuana Addiction

Marijuana addiction can influence and impact a person’s life in different ways. Understanding the signs and symptoms of marijuana addiction can help you recognize when your use of marijuana has changed from recreational to substance use disorder and when it is time to seek help for addiction. 

Common signs and indicators of marijuana addiction are: 

  • Impaired motor function 
  • Impaired cognitive functioning 
  • Impaired memory 
  • Increased heart rate 
  • Anxiety 
  • Overeating 
  • Paranoia 
  • Altered sense of time 
  • Panic attacks 
  • Lung infections 
  • Mood swings 
  • Unsuccessful attempts to cut down or control the use of marijuana 
  • Spending a significant amount of time planning for, obtaining, using, or recovering from substance use 
  • Developing a tolerance for marijuana 
  • Neglecting responsibilities 
  • Withdrawing from social activities 

Treatment Options for Marijuana Addiction in California

depression and cannabis treatment

If you or a loved one is experiencing a marijuana addiction, there is help available within California through evidence-based therapy methods that are tailored to meet the individual needs of each patient. Marijuana use can have influences on cognitive and emotional functioning which is why addiction treatment needs to be focused on these critical aspects with the support of evidence-based therapeutic approaches. 

Marijuana addiction is best treated through counseling and therapy. Common treatment methods used in marijuana treatment programs are: 

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) 
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) 
  • Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT)
  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET)

Other forms of effective addiction treatment methods can include support groups that help to connect you to a community of people who are going through similar healing journeys. This allows you to have the opportunity to create relationships with other individuals in recovery and develop a solid support system to help each other in your recovery journey. 

Family therapy is also an important part of your recovery process. During active addiction, there can be discord and conflict within family relationships. Family therapy offers a neutral place for families to come together, resolve conflict, and learn skills for healthy communication and boundaries that will foster sobriety, health, and well-being within the family unit. 

The Impact of Marijuana Addiction on Teens and Young Adults

When you’re exploring the impacts of marijuana use, it is important to remember that teens and young adults will have different experiences and challenges associated with marijuana use. There has been extensive research completed that suggests that early initiation of marijuana use in teens and adolescents creates an increased risk for the development of mood disorders including depression. As young adults’ brains are growing and developing, the use of marijuana can significantly impact the healthy development of the brain and result in challenges in adulthood. 

California has helped to start a variety of education initiatives, community-based supports, and school-based educational interventions to help provide young people with knowledge about the impacts of marijuana use on their developing brains. Young people are offered skills and tactics to make informed decisions about substance use to protect their developing brain, health, and well-being. 

Depression Therapy: Traditional and Innovative Approaches in California

Depression is a mental health condition that requires a broad spectrum of healing approaches. Every person is different and will respond to different treatments to aid in the treatment and recovery of depression. Treatment for depression will often include traditional psychotherapy methods including individual and group counseling. Patients will be invited to participate in therapy sessions that will help them uncover the underlying concerns with depression, develop coping strategies for managing the symptoms of depression, and learn how to foster resilience. 

California residents are also invited to participate in innovative treatment approaches that help to break down any barriers to accessing support. The new age of the digital world offers easy accessibility for therapeutic sessions through teletherapy and digital mental health platforms that allow you to access treatment from the comfort of your home. Patients also have the option to participate in mobile app therapy support, virtual reality groups, or online support communities to ensure that they have the right levels of care from anywhere they are. 

Effective Treatments for Depression: From Counseling to Medications

Depression therapy utilizes comprehensive treatment methods that help to treat the symptoms of depression while also providing the skills for managing triggers and symptoms through natural, healthy strategies. Common forms of treatment for depression are: 

  • Medication therapy: Antidepressant medications help to stabilize the symptoms of depression through the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Psychotherapy sessions both individual and group therapy options 
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy 
  • Holistic therapy methods 
  • Nutrition-based therapy regimes 
  • Exercise and physical activities that help to naturally produce serotonin 

Holistic Approaches to Treating Depression: Beyond Conventional Methods

At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we believe that treatment requires a comprehensive approach that includes both conventional therapy methods along holistic treatments. The benefit of holistic therapies is that patients can develop coping strategies and tools for emotional regulation that can be useful when symptoms of depression emerge. 

Holistic approaches can include mindfulness and meditation practices that help to provide grounding, reduce stress,  and regulate emotions. Patients are also invited to participate in art therapy, yoga, and nature-based interventions that help to minimize the severity of depression symptoms and can become a healthy practice in daily life for stress relief and optimal mental health functioning. 

The Future of Treating Depression and Marijuana Addiction in California

Resurgence Behavioral Health is a leading treatment center in California that continues to strive to find new methods of treating depression and marijuana addiction. Our multidisciplinary team is composed of medical professionals, addiction therapists, expert holistic practitioners, and support staff who share in the commitment to providing meaningful, individualized treatment programs to each patient. The extensive range of holistic therapies, evidence-based treatment methods, and medical care will ensure that you can effectively treat the dual diagnosis of marijuana addiction and depression concurrently. Contact our admission team today to discuss your treatment options, and goals for addiction recovery, and take your first steps towards a healthy, balanced lifestyle in recovery. 

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Josh Chandler
Josh Chandler
After growing up in Chicago and North Carolina, Josh chose to get help with substance use disorder and mental health in California because of the state's reputation for top-tier treatment. There, he found the treatment he needed to achieve more than five years of recovery. He's been in the drug and alcohol addiction rehab industry for four years and now serves as the Director of Admissions for Resurgence Behavioral Health. Josh remains passionate about the field because he understands that one phone call can alter the course of a person's life.

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