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Substance Use Treatment for Teens

Teen Marijuana Addiction Treatment & Rehab

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Medical Marijuana for Teens?

What are marijuana and THC?

Marijuana refers to the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds of the Cannabis Sativa or Cannabis Indica plant.

Marijuana, also referred to as weed, is one of the most commonly used drugs among young people, along with alcohol and tobacco. People can smoke marijuana from cigarettes, pipes, blunts, or vaporizers. It can also be mixed with food and consumed or brewed as a tea.

The teen years involve many new changes, transitions, and experiences. Many teens are searching for more independence and trying to find a sense of identity. In doing so, they may start to experiment with certain substances, like marijuana.

However, many young people are unaware of the negative effects of marijuana.

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Many teens also struggle with mental health issues.

Mental illnesses like depression or anxiety are common among teens and adolescents. They may turn to substances as a way to self-medicate.

Marijuana contains the mind-altering chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is mainly responsible for the effects marijuana has on a person’s mental state. THC can affect a person’s memory, pleasure, thinking, and perception.

SAMHSA reports that today’s marijuana has three times the concentration of THC than it had 25 years ago. The higher the THC amounts, the stronger the effects are on the brain. More THC can be linked to higher rates of dependency and addiction.

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Effects of Marijuana Addiction

What are the effects of marijuana addiction?

Marijuana use and addiction can cause negative effects on both physical and mental health.

Long-term marijuana use can lead to temporary hallucinations or paranoia and worsened symptoms in other mental health problems such as anxiety or depression.

Physical effects may include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Breathing problems
  • Nausea and Vomiting

Long-term marijuana use can lead to Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome, which involves repeated cycles of severe nausea, vomiting, and dehydration, and sometimes requires medical attention.

Additionally, people who drive under the influence of marijuana put themselves and others at risk. Marijuana can cause slowed reactions, decreased coordination, and difficulty reading road signs which can result in accidents or fatality.

What are the side effects and symptoms of teen marijuana addiction?

Some side effects of marijuana use and addiction can include:

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7 Signs you may need addiction treatment
Bloodshot eyes
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Increased appetite
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Increased heart rate
Altered sense of time
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Slowed breathing
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Lack of coordination
Memory problems
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Mood swings
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The Continuum of Care

Care for Wherever You Are in Your Journey

Access a full range of treatments for mental health and substance use disorders. Whether you need a safe transitional living community, inpatient care, or outpatient therapy, we have a program to help.

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Change the story with marijuana use treatment for teens

We’re here to help. Even if Sandstone isn’t the right fit, we’ll help you find and take the next step to treat marijuana use.

Sandstone's Clint Mally talks about how to talk to your kids about treatment
Is Marijuana Addictive?

How common is teen marijuana addiction?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately 9%, or 1 in 11 people who use marijuana, will become addicted. The rate increases to about 1 in 6 when use begins in the teen years.

Additionally, the CDC reports that in 2019, 37% of high school students in the United States reported lifetime use of marijuana.

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What Is The Main Treatment For Teen Marijuana Addiction?

There is currently no medication made to treat teen marijuana addiction; however, behavioral therapies have shown to be effective.

Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, refers to a variety of different treatment techniques that can help people identify and change troubling thoughts, feelings, emotions, and behavior.

Psychotherapy can help individuals build healthy coping mechanisms, learn social and communication skills, and raise self-awareness and understanding.

What Is The Goal Of Teen Marijuana Addiction Treatment?

The goal of teen marijuana addiction treatment is to help young adults achieve and maintain sobriety, learn healthy coping skills, and improve their quality of life.

Age-specific care also highlights the importance of family involvement in treatment and academic and vocational support to help teens reach their goals and live without substances.

Therapy Treatments

Explore marijuana addiction therapy options for teens.

We deliver evidence-based therapy treatment for teens in a number of areas. We’re available 24/7 to answer any questions.

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Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET)

Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) aims to encourage individuals to engage in treatment.

MET focuses on evoking internally motivated change rather than taking the patient through the steps of recovery.

Motivational interviewing involves discussing personal substance abuse, strengthening motivation, and developing a plan for change.

MET has been used on marijuana-dependent individuals and is commonly combined with CBT.

Generally, MET has been most effective in engaging individuals in treatment rather than producing changes in substance use.

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Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) focuses on four main components: mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness.

DBT can help with marijuana addiction, mental health disorders, and substance use disorders.

DBT can help teens with marijuana addiction by targeting the specific thoughts that may lead young people to destructive behaviors.

How to tell if your teen needs marijuana addiction treatment?

Sometimes, you may be unsure of whether or not your teen needs marijuana addiction treatment.

You can always reach out to a healthcare provider or professional to provide more information and to give a proper diagnosis.

However, some signs may indicate your teen needs marijuana addiction treatment. Addiction causes a negative impact on one’s physical, mental, and overall well-being.

If your teen is engaging in marijuana use and it has begun to affect their physical health, mental health, and relationships, reach out for help. Marijuana addiction can cause young people to lose interest in things they once loved. If you notice they are isolating themselves, losing friends, or are lacking motivation due to substance use, it can also be a sign to get help.

Additionally, marijuana addiction can lead to other destructive behaviors such as lying, stealing, or getting into problems with the law.

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How to talk to your child about their substance use

Find Teen Marijuana Treatment Centers Near Me

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Naperville Drug Rehab

8140 S. Cass Avenue, Suite A, Darien, Illinois, 60561

(331) 444-7907
Age Groups: TeensYoung Adults
Levels of Care: Partial Hospitalization (PHP)Intensive Outpatient (IOP)Assessments
Treatment Programs: Substance UseDual-Diagnosis
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Alexandria Drug Rehab

5400 Shawnee Rd, Suite 101, Alexandria, Virginia, 22312

(571) 556-7505
Age Groups: TeensYoung Adults
Levels of Care: Partial Hospitalization (PHP)Intensive Outpatient (IOP)Assessments
Treatment Programs: Substance UseDual-Diagnosis
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Buffalo Grove Rehab Center

195 N Arlington Heights Rd #101a, Buffalo Grove, Illinois, 60089

Age Groups: TeensYoung Adults
Levels of Care: Partial Hospitalization (PHP)Intensive Outpatient (IOP)Assessments
Treatment Programs: Substance UseDual-Diagnosis


You have questions. We have answers.

Our goal is to provide the most helpful information. Please reach out to us if you have any additional questions. We are here to help in any way we can.

THC, one of the main chemicals found in marijuana, can impact the brain’s natural chemicals that play a role in normal development and function.

Marijuana over-activates the brain, causing a “high.”

Other effects marijuana can have on the brain include:

  • Altered senses
  • Distorted perception of time
  • Mood changes
  • Impaired coordination or movement
  • Difficulty thinking or problem-solving
  • Memory problems
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions

Marijuana may also lead to psychosis when taken in large doses over a longer period of time. Psychosis refers to a disconnection from reality.

The teenage brain goes through major development all the way through a person’s mid-twenties. This makes the teen brain more vulnerable to mental illnesses, substance abuse disorders, and addiction.

Research suggests that marijuana, alcohol, and tobacco use are likely to come before the use of other substances.

However, more research is needed because many people who use marijuana don’t go on to use other “hard” drugs.

Common signs of marijuana addiction in teens can include:

  • Negative changes in academics: skipping school, poor grades
  • Sudden or constant change in friend groups
  • Isolating themselves from family or friends
  • Lack of interest in things they used to once love
  • Engaging in secretive behaviors or lying: sneaking out or becoming defensive when asked about certain things like drug use
  • Increased anxiety or depression
  • Agitation or irritability

Family involvement is an integral part of teen marijuana addiction treatment.

Addiction can affect the whole family. An important component of the treatment process is having a strong support network that can include family, friends, peers, and others involved in your life.

Family involvement helps show teens that you are there for them and that you care. By involving the whole family, members can better understand each other, learn how to communicate, and build healthy coping mechanisms and skills.

Some people who use marijuana over long periods of time report withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit that include:

  • Irritability
  • Drowsiness
  • Changes in appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Cravings

Marijuana detox seeks to rid the body of THC and other chemicals. To detox, medical professionals can prescribe medications to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms in a safe setting.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, approximately 1 in 10 people who use marijuana will become addicted.

When marijuana use begins before the age of 18, that rate increases to 1 in 6.

Marijuana use disorders are typically associated with dependence, meaning a person experiences withdrawal symptoms when not taking the drug.

Marijuana use disorder can become marijuana addiction when the person using marijuana can not stop despite the negative impacts it is having on their lives and health.

Sometimes, people can unintentionally take high doses of marijuana and experience a “bad high” or realize that they no longer want to be high.

If you feel you are in danger or unsure what to do, reach out to a trusted adult or a professional for help.

Some ways to reverse or reduce the negative side effects that may come with marijuana use can be to take a warm shower. Warm showers can help with symptoms like vomiting, nausea, or cramps.

Another way to help is by staying relaxed and hydrated. You can try listening to music, lying down, and making sure you eat and drink water.

Based on how often and how high a dose you take, marijuana can stay in your system from days to weeks.

How long THC stays in your body can also depend on your weight, how much you exercise, and other factors.

Research done by Molecular Psychiatry suggests that cannabinoid receptors may return to normal in chronic daily cannabis users after about 4 weeks of abstinence.

Some people may experience “bad highs” from marijuana use.

Drinking water or taking a shower may help alleviate some of the symptoms of marijuana use.

Taking a shower can help with symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and cramps.

Common slang terms for marijuana include:

  • Weed
  • Pot
  • Grass
  • Dope
  • Ganja
  • Mary Jane
  • Bud

Other names for marijuana concentrates are hash, wax, oil, dabs, shatter, or crumble.

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