How to Detox from Marijuana
Does Insurance Cover Marijuana Detox?

If you are experiencing an unhealthy dependence, how can you detox from marijuana?

Contrary to popular opinion, marijuana can be habit-forming. According to an article published by the National Institutes on Drug Abuse, roughly 30 percent of people who use marijuana regularly suffer from a diagnosable marijuana use disorder. People who begin using marijuana before the age of 18 are about seven times more likely to develop a marijuana use disorder later on in life. At CuraWest we understand how difficult it can be to break through the stigma surrounding marijuana abuse and dependence. Most people who develop marijuana dependence believe because this specific substance has been widely legalized, they can successfully quit on their own. However, the psychological drug cravings that go hand-in-hand with marijuana dependence often prevent people from completing the withdrawal process in an at-home setting.

A short stay at a marijuana detox facility  is a good idea for anyone who has attempted to quit on their own and has been unsuccessful, or for anyone who experiences withdrawal symptoms when they attempt to quit. If you or someone you love has been struggling with a marijuana use disorder you might be wondering whether or not health insurance covers medical detox. As a rule of thumb, most major regional and national health insurance providers cover behavioral health services including medical detox if a treatment provider can demonstrate that medical treatment is necessary. At CuraWest we offer a free, no obligation insurance benefit check geared towards helping you determine which of our services are going to be covered. Contact us today to get started.

Marijuana Abuse & Dependence

If a person cannot stop using marijuana despite personal consequences, there is a good chance they are struggling with a diagnosable marijuana use disorder. In the year 2015 an estimated 4 million people met the diagnostic criteria for such a disorder, however, only 138,000 of these people voluntarily sought professional addiction treatment. In most cases people opt to avoid medical detox and residential inpatient rehab because they assume professional addiction treatment is not necessary. It’s just marijuana, right? What’s the big deal? For many, marijuana addiction can actually be devastating and negatively impact all areas of life. Holding down a job becomes more difficult, motivation suffers and interpersonal relationships become strained. If you have been exhibiting any of the following symptoms, medical detox and subsequent care are highly recommended.

  • You have attempted to quit on your own or cut back on the amount of marijuana you regularly consume, only to find yourself unable to do so.
  • You have started to lose interest in activities you previously enjoyed.
  • You have started to spend time with a different group of people, people that smoke marijuana as frequently as you do and condone related behaviors.
  • You spend a significant amount of time obtaining, using and recovering from the effects of marijuana.
  • You experience intense and sometimes overwhelming marijuana cravings.
  • You have started to experience personal consequences as a direct result of your marijuana use.
  • You feel grumpy, lethargic, irritable and restless when marijuana is not readily available.
  • You have built a physical tolerance, meaning you need to smoke more marijuana in order to feel high.

It is possible to suffer from a mild, moderate or severe marijuana use disorder. If the marijuana use disorder is mild you will suffer from two or three of the above-listed symptoms. If the disorder is moderate there will be four or five symptoms present, and if the dependence is severe you will suffer from six or more symptoms. Some degree of treatment is considered appropriate when someone is experiencing a moderate or severe marijuana use disorder. However, addiction is a progressive disease, and there is truly no such thing as seeking help too early. Nipping marijuana misuse in the bud (no pun intended) is always the way to go.

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Marijuana Withdrawal

An article recently published by Harvard Health reports many members of the general public remain unaware of marijuana withdrawal. Because of this, many people who believe they’re using marijuana to treat a legitimate medical condition like depression are simply self-medicating the symptoms of withdrawal. What exactly does marijuana withdrawal look like?

marijuana addiction and withdrawal

While the symptoms associated with this type of withdrawal are not as severe as symptoms associated with highly addictive drugs like alcohol, benzodiazepines and heroin, they are certainly noticeable and can be very uncomfortable when left untreated.

Symptoms of Marijuana Withdrawal:

  • Loss of appetite, which can lead to temporary weight loss
  • Mood swings and changes to mood
  • Irritability and agitation
  • Headaches
  • Sleep-related issues, including insomnia
  • An inability to focus
  • Strong urges to use marijuana/drug cravings
  • Chills and cold sweats
  • Depressed mood
  • Anxiety
  • Gastrointestinal issues, including diarrhea and nausea

Most people who use marijuana daily report severe psychological symptoms. The majority of associated physical symptoms can be easily remedied with over-the-counter pain relievers and non-addictive sleep aids. The psychiatric symptoms, which commonly include anxiety and depression, must often be treated with a short course of antipsychotic medication. At CuraWest we effectively treat all symptoms of withdrawal, regardless of their nature. Upon admission to our medical detox center each client undergoes a detailed addiction assessment which helps our clinical team determine which detox methods are going to be the most effective for each unique case. If necessary the client also undergoes a detailed psychiatric assessment and is treated accordingly. Most clients who enter into our treatment program with a marijuana use disorder and no co-occurring disorders are discharged within a week. Marijuana withdrawal is typically short-lived — though the process can be sped along and made much easier if you make the decision to enter into an inpatient detox program.

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Medical Detox & Health Insurance

If you or someone you love has been struggling with a marijuana use disorder and has recently made the decision to seek professional help, you might be wondering whether or not health insurance covers marijuana detox services. Most private health insurance providers are now required to cover medical detox and drug rehab by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA considers addiction treatment an essential healthcare benefit. Because marijuana is not widely recognized as an addictive chemical substance with severe withdrawal symptoms, will your current insurance provider still cover behavioral healthcare services like detox?

Exact coverage varies depending on which provider you are currently insured through, though as a rule of thumb, not as many services are covered when it comes to people struggling with marijuana dependence as their only addiction. However, many people who struggle with marijuana dependence also struggle with other mental health and addictive concerns that can be used in combination with marijuana use issues to demonstrate to an insurance company that an individual has medical need for detox. CuraWest’s professional Treatment Advisors will work with you and your insurance company to try and get you the maximum coverage possible. Medical detox can, and is often, covered either partially or in full. At CuraWest we provide our clients with a range of services, most of which are typically covered by insurance and protected by the ACA.

In Most Cases Insurance Providers Cover:

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When you or your loved one is ready to ask for help, CuraWest will be here for you. Our admissions process is simple and straightforward and can be completed in as little as 15 minutes. We will provide a complimentary assessment, help you figure out how much of our services are covered by your current health insurance plan and help coordinate local travel to our facility. All you or your loved one has to do is ask for help and we will take care of the rest. We understand how difficult it can be to make the decision to seek professional treatment, especially when it comes to marijuana abuse and dependence. We also understand how difficult it can be to struggle with problem use and feel as if there is no way out. We are available to help you begin living the healthy and drug-free life you deserve while helping you become the very best version of yourself. Contact us today to learn more.

Reviewed for accuracy by:

Jasmine has worked in the mental health field for over 18 years. She earned her B.A. in Psychology with a Minor in Child and Family Relations from North Carolina Central University, and her M.A. in Mental Health Counseling from Argosy University. Jasmine is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor and has specialized in addiction for over 10 years.