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3 min read

Can You Get Addicted To Marijuana? Yes, But There Are Treatments

man with head in hands affected by marijuana addiction

There are outpatient rehabilitation clinics for marijuana addicts. While marijuana is not physically addictive like heroin or cocaine, you can still develop a psychological addiction to it.

Key Takeaways:

  • Marijuana is a drug, and you can be addicted to it.
  • 1 in 3 marijuana users is addicted or dependent on marijuana.
  • Outpatient rehab programs exist to help marijuana addicts recover.

Marijuana addiction is no laughing matter. 30% of people who use marijuana have marijuana use disorder, which is marked by withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and continuing to use marijuana even when it's causing problems.

People often think that marijuana addiction isn't as bad as other addictions, but it can be just as severe and have life-altering effects. Let's find out what marijuana addiction and rehab are like.

Covered on this page:

How Can Weed Addiction Happen?

How To Tell If You're Addicted To Marijuana

Treatment Options For Marijuana Addiction

The Program by Williamsburg Therapy Group: Outpatient Treatment For Marijuana Addiction


Book an Appointment with The Program by Williamsburg Therapy Group


How Can Weed Addiction Happen?

Anything that feels good temporarily can lead to a chronic addiction. Take gambling, for example. Nothing about gambling permanently affects your body, but people still put their kids' college fund on a sketchy three-of-a-kind.

The same is true for marijuana addiction. The reality is that it is a drug, like alcohol, caffeine, and heroin, which means you can develop an addiction to it.

Weed addiction happens when someone uses marijuana so often and in such large quantities that the brain accounts for it by reducing its own production of chemicals.

Think of it like filling a swimming pool with rocks. One or two pebbles won't change the level of the water, but several truckloads will. Add enough stones and the water overflows. And when you try to take the stones out, you'll find that the water level is now significantly lower than it was.

In this example, the water is an analogy for a class of neurochemicals called endocannabinoids.

Endocannabinoids are responsible for making sure certain internal systems within your body are functioning properly.  


  • Sleep cycles
  • Appetite
  • Reproduction
  • Mood stability

Your body naturally produces these chemicals and sends them to receptors in the brain, which then do a bunch of brainy stuff to make you feel hungry, sleepy, aroused, etc.

When you smoke marijuana, you're artificially spiking your level of cannabinoids, which gives you that euphoric "let's make pancakes at 2:00 am" feeling.

When this happens frequently, your brain begins to reduce its own production of endocannabinoids as well as the sensitivity of its receptors. That's why long-term stoners can use large quantities and appear relatively unphased. They continue to need more THC to achieve the same effect over time.

How To Tell If You're Addicted To Marijuana

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you might be addicted to marijuana:

  1. Do you cancel plans in favor of smoking marijuana?
  2. Are you using marijuana even after a loved one has brought up concerns about it?
  3. Are you concerned about how much you're spending on weed?
  4. Do you need to take large doses to feel the same high?
  5. Do you crave marijuana during the workday or at social gatherings?

Saying yes to any of these means you may have developed a dependency on marijuana. Luckily, professionals all over the country understand that it happens and have developed strategies for marijuana addiction treatment.

Treatment Options For Marijuana Addiction

The cultural perception of marijuana is generally positive, and some studies have found that marijuana has fewer long-term harmful effects than, say, cocaine or heroin.

But don't get the wrong message. Weed can mess with your cognitive functions, and smoking anything is generally bad for your lungs. Consistent use of marijuana can also cause withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, depression, restlessness, and insomnia. 

Let's be clear: marijuana addiction can be serious.

It can ruin lives, separate people from their loved ones, and cause financial problems. People lose their jobs as a result of marijuana addiction. It is objectively bad, and if you are an addict, you should seek treatment.

At the end of the day, you don't go to rehab for the drug. You go for the addiction.

For people with an unhealthy addiction to marijuana, a combination of therapy and outpatient treatment is typically a good place to start.

Outpatient Treatment For Marijuana

Weed rehab that takes place outside of a hospital usually lasts from one to six months.

Every program is different, but you can expect these to be pretty standard across them:

One example of outpatient rehab is The Program by Williamsburg Therapy Group here in New York City.

Detoxing As Marijuana Addiction Treatment

Part of the process of working through a marijuana dependency is detoxing. During a marijuana detox, withdrawal symptoms from marijuana can become severe, especially if your sleep is impacted.

Patients who are going through detox may benefit from an outpatient program that offers support groups and tips on how to deal with symptoms.

While there are no FDA-approved medications for treating marijuana withdrawal symptoms directly, addiction specialists can recommend nutritional and homeopathic remedies that have helped other patients in the past.

The Program by Williamsburg Therapy Group: Outpatient Treatment For Marijuana Addiction

The Program is staffed by top-of-their-field addiction specialists who have seen it all before.

They work within a specifically designed program that has been proven effective in treating all kinds of addictions, using a combination of mental health practices like CBT, group therapy, and more.

If you're in New York City and are ready to give up marijuana and improve your life, The Program may be right for you.


Book an Appointment with The Program by Williamsburg Therapy Group

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