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Treating cannabinoid addiction (marijuana, hashish, synthetic cannabis)
Marijuana is a drug that causes a number of harmful consequences, both health, and psychological and social. Despite the fact that it does not cause physical addiction, as the consumer, when stops taking it, does not feel a strong physical crisis, it is necessary to treat mental addiction to marijuana.
Considering the health consequences marijuana users can have, classification of marijuana as a soft drug is unjustified. All drugs are hard. Every heroin addict who was treated with us started with marijuana. Usually marijuana use starts very early, sometimes already with 11 to 12 years of age, with friends. According to statistics, more than 90% of young people try marijuana, believing that it is not a drug, that it is not dangerous as it is legalized in many countries.
It is this kind of thinking that stimulants are not a big deal that leads to experimentation with harder substances and development of drug addiction. Over time, a person loses indifference to the substance, whether it is marijuana, alcohol, gambling, or something else. The system of values changes. The addict is increasingly finding reasons to feel the substance’s effect. He creates situations himself, searches for a similar company, spends more time with them to the detriment of other interests
It is generally known that it is most difficult to treat people at the beginning of cannabinoid addiction (when a person does not believe there is a problem) and at the end of the addiction (when it is already difficult to correct it).
Effects of cannabinoid consumption
Mental effects include: Relaxation (as a countereffect, there is a feeling of anxiety, disturbance); Euphoria and good mood; Inadequate tendency to laugh; Absentmindedness; Inability to concentrate; Disturbed structure and dynamics of the thought process (“racing thoughts”); Disturbed observation (illusion, at high doses even hallucinations); Impaired memory; Talkativeness (at high doses – cluttering); Disturbed ability to design and forecast events; Frivolity; Derealisation (feeling of unnatural change in the surroundings); Depersonalization (the feeling of unnatural change in one’s own self). Somatic effects include: dilated pupils; red sclera; dry mouth and throat; Disturbed complex motor functions (At high doses – disturbed movement coordination)
Body disorders caused by long-term use of cannabinoids: System: Chronic disorders in long-term use; Psyche: Constant apathy and drowsiness; Deterioration of operational memory; Deterioration of abstract thinking; Depression and feeling of anxiety; Irritability; Emotional lability; Panic attacks; Character deterioration; Decrease in intellect; Suicide; Nervous system: Headache; Disorder of movement coordination; Slow response time; Eye reflex disorder; Disturbed visual perception of space and colors; Breathing system: Dry, unproductive cough; Chronic pharyngitis; Discoloration in the mucous membrane of the mouth, the soft palate and the uvula; Continuous nasal congestion; Deterioration of the course of asthma; Often respiratory tract infections; Chronic bronchitis; Chronic obstructive bronchitis; Lung cancer; Reproductive system: Lowered libido and feeling of pleasure; Decreased potency; Disturbed or absent menstrual cycle; Disturbance in fetal development in pregnancy; Infertility
Social consequences: Self-isolation, Reducing ambitions and losing plans to achieve a high social position; Leaving sports and other social activities; Loss of other interests.
The main goals of treatment include:
– Correcting the psychological consequences of the use of marijuana (paranoia, frivolous ideas, amotivational syndrome, depression, thought disorders, memory and attention disorder);
– Eliminating the need, the desire for marijuana
– Developing a new stereotype of behavior (abandoning old habits, contacts with friends who use narcotics, abstaining from alcohol and other psychoactive substances, respecting the daily schedule, engaging in sports and other activities, work, balanced waking and sleeping schedule).
Cannabinoid addiction treatment phases
Treating marijuana addiction implies a combination of pharmacotherapy, NeuroJet therapy, information therapy and psychotherapy, but always starts with a diagnosis.
1. Diagnostics – the first and very important phase of treatment. The essence of the diagnostic is to assess the physical and psychological condition of the patient. For the assessment of the patient’s physical condition, a standard diagnostic examination includes:
• urine test
• tests for hepatitis B and C, HIV infection
• general blood analysis
• biochemical blood testing
• internist examination
For the assessment of the patient’s psychological condition, a standard diagnostic examination implies psychodiagnostics (psychological tests that determine the level of addiction, the extent of the effect of taking benzodiazepines on mental health, whether there are signs of mental disorders, whether there is depression, what the degree of motivation for healing is, self-criticism and preservation of voluntary mechanisms.)
After diagnostics, the results are considered by a team of physicians to develop a strategy and treatment plan. In the event that the diagnosis reveals more serious deviations in the tests, the presence of a risk factor, or the patient has chronic accompanying illnesses, additional tests are organized as required, and therapy for the accompanying illnesses is prescribed. Depending on the problem, an MRT, EEG, ultrasound, X-ray, endoscopy, medicines and narcotics concentrations analysis, examinations of cardiologists, neurologists, endocrinologists, infectologists, etc. can be done. These additional tests are not included in the price of this treatment package and are charged additionally.
2.Pharmacotherapy – Sometimes only by means of a properly selected combination of preparations we succeed in restoring patient control over our own thoughts and emotions. Therapy helps to eliminate fear, the sense of “openness” of thoughts, fluctuation, suspicion, ambivalence (when a person speaks one thing, and does another), split personalities, unrealistic ideas, depersonalization.
Only after the patient is again able to adequately accept, analyze and react to events can he move to the next stage of treatment. Parents often expect that persuasion or threats can help their child stop taking a substance. However, when the use of marijuana causes disorders of perception, thought and memory, these conversations have no effect, as the addict simply ignores them.
3. N.Е.Т. (NeuroJet Therapy) – This therapy is intended to stabilize the endorphin and neuromediator systems. It is a very promising method that has been actively applied in Switzerland, Great Britain, and Russia. The purpose of this therapy is to stimulate those structures in the brain that secrete natural pleasure hormones. In the regular use of narcotics this process has been violated. When one stops taking narcotics, endorphins are not secreted and the addict feels sorrow, depression, apathy. N.Е.Т. therapy effectively establishes the balance of neuromediators, which allows the patient to return to normal mood, to eliminate his nervousness and desire for drugs.
4. Information therapy – Like a computer, the human brain functions with the help of nerve cells – neurons (hardware) and the control system – multiple nervous activities that are a complex of impressions, skills, behavior patterns, system of values, and voluntary mechanisms (software). Just as harmful information in the form of a virus can damage the computer system, addiction destroys the brain cells and the psyche of a person who consumes drugs. To restore the brain functions, an antivirus, or information therapy, is required.
The unique method of treating addiction is based primarily on the combination of pharmacotherapy and the latest computer technology. The essence of information therapy is to transfer special information in the form of encoded audio and video signals to the brain of the addict in order to erase obsessive thoughts, the desire for marihuana. The information is divided into groups of short, striking images on the subconscious level. The patient is in medical sleep for several hours when his brain receives information more efficiently. Signals are transmitted by computer using special glasses and headphones. The result of this therapy is the development of indifference and a negative attitude toward drugs.
5.Psychotherapy implies individual, family and group psychotherapy, body-oriented physiotherapy, meditation, autogenic training, communication skills development, relaxation, art therapy, transactional analysis, family therapy, individual and group education.
Our experts help patients re-establish good communication in their immediate surroundings, with their family. With our psychologists, an activity plan is developed for the following month. The patient learns how to react to challenging situations, learns methods of protection against relapse. Leisure time is provided for sports activities, walking along the Danube, swimming pool, hot tub, gym, going to museums, etc.
6.Physiotherapy implies a combination of different therapies: physical, medical or deep tissue massage. Massage has a soothing and relaxing effect! When a person goes through the process of rehab, dopamine levels are lower than in those who are not addicts. Massage helps in normalizing the process of dopamine secretion in people who go through the process of rehabilitation.
Massage also helps to detoxify by accelerating blood and lymph circulation and thus speeding up the process of releasing toxic substances from the body. One session of physiotherapy is included in the treatment package.
7.The outpatient phase of treatment begins after the patient is discharge from the institute, lasts for a year and includes regular monthly follow-ups (included in the price of the treatment package). The patient remains in contact with the hospital and doctors and receives the necessary advice, assistance at any time in case of any problems. At the discharge, the patient and his cousins receive a discharge note, detailed advice and instructions regarding the recommended therapy.
Support from people from the closest environment significantly increases your chances of success. Patients from abroad are in contact with doctors via e-mail, skype and phone.
Our program includes the transport of the patient from an airport or a station to our clinic as well as a return after treatment. At our clinic, doctors and nurses are available for patients 24 hours a day and seven days a week. All doctors are certified anesthesiologists, psychiatrists and psychologists with 10-25 years of experience. The clinic employs more than 60 people. Security of patients and staff is taken care of by the security guard. The facility is also under video surveillance.
Patients are placed in comfortable rooms that have all the elements for a comfortable stay at our clinic. Rooms are cleaned twice a day. In free time, patients can use a living room, swimming pool, hot tub, gym and a gazebo. The clinic also has a safe in which patients can leave their personal belongings that should not be left in the rooms. We can assist those foreign patients who need a visa with getting it. If patients from abroad have an escort, in the form of support, they can stay at our clinic at an extra charge.
Cannabinoid addiction treatment program
Laboratory diagnostics and exploratory – psychological testing; Pharmacotherapy; Information therapy; Psychotherapy, Physiotherapy, 12 months of outpatient control and anti-relapse support, lasts for 14 days.