Contrary to an unfortunately common misperception, synthetic marijuana is not a safe substance. Though misleading marketing campaigns have attempted to portray it as a harmless legal alternative to natural marijuana, the truth is that synthetic marijuana has been associated with a number of potentially life-threatening effects. The physical risks of synthetic marijuana abuse include dangerously high blood pressure, elevated heart rate, respiratory distress, and seizures. Mental and emotional damage can include agitation, anxiety, hallucinations, delusions, and psychotic episodes. As bad as these immediate repercussions can be, the relative newness of this drug means that experts have not yet been able to fully determine the degree of additional devastation that will result from long-term abuse. In addition to the problems related to the abuse of synthetic marijuana, attempting to stop using this drug can be both difficult and painful. Thankfully, there is a way out. Effective comprehensive treatment programs have been successful in helping individuals end their synthetic marijuana abuse and address any underlying issues that may have contributed to the problem.
At Bowling Green, we understand the physical and mental impact that is endured by individuals who abuse synthetic marijuana. We have combined this specific knowledge with the expertise that we have acquired during our three decades of premier addiction treatment service. As a result, we have developed specialized treatment programs that are uniquely designed to meet the needs of individuals who have been engaging in the abuse of synthetic marijuana. With the help of our talented and dedicated treatment professionals, individuals who are currently trapped in a self-defeating cycle of synthetic marijuana abuse can put themselves back on the path to healthier and more promising futures.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
Confusion, frustration, and fear are common responses when a person discovers that a friend or family member has developed a problem with synthetic marijuana. If you have found yourself in this situation, know that the unpleasant emotions that you may be experiencing are normal and healthy. What is most important is how you respond to these feelings. Do not become hopeless or disengaged. Though synthetic marijuana abuse is a serious problem, you can play an important role in getting your loved one the professional help that he or she so desperately needs. Please consider the following:
- Educate yourself about synthetic marijuana abuse. This is a relatively new drug and an unfortunate amount of misinformation has been circulated regarding its safety. Find reputable sources either online or in your community to get the facts about the specific dangers that are associated with this drug.
- Learn about the nature of substance use disorders and the disease of addiction. Your research into synthetic marijuana will help you understand the danger that your loved one is facing. Learning about the disease of addiction will give you valuable insights into the behaviors, emotions, and compulsions that he or she is struggling to control.
- Research treatment options. By combining your newfound understanding of synthetic marijuana and addiction with your loved one, you will be ideally prepared to help determine the type and level of care that best fits your loved one’s needs. Because substance use disorders are often accompanied by co-occurring mental health conditions, be sure to identify programs that will be prepared to assess your loved one and provide dual diagnosis care if necessary.
- Prepare to conduct a positive discussion with your loved one. If there are other friends or family members who can support this effort, be sure to include them. Approach this conversation with an informed and open-minded perspective. Be ready for denial and pushback, understand that one discussion may not be enough to get your loved one into treatment, and have a plan to follow up in a productive manner
When your loved one enrolls in a treatment program, be sure to remain involved and supportive. Attend family sessions if they are offered at the treatment program, find out how you can send encouraging words and thoughts while your loved one is in treatment, and plan to take an active role in supporting his or her ongoing recovery efforts after treatment has been completed.
Why Consider Treatment at Bayside Marin
While the effects of long-term synthetic marijuana abuse continue to be investigated, the facts about short-term abuse have been clearly established and are not pleasant. The damage that can result from synthetic marijuana abuse can be debilitating and, in some cases, deadly. Emergency rooms are treating record numbers of patients who are suffering the effects of synthetic marijuana abuse and poison control centers are reporting a dramatic increase in calls related to this behavior. From heart attacks and strokes to psychosis and suicide, the impact of synthetic marijuana abuse on the body and mind can be devastating. Even the less-severe damage can be profoundly problematic as an individual descends deeper into synthetic marijuana abuse. He or she can lose both the ability and the desire to maintain healthy relationships, meet work-related responsibilities, and otherwise participate in a productive life. The risk of unemployment, financial problems, and legal issues becomes increasingly real. Yet it simply does not have to be this way. Effective treatment programs staffed by dedicated and experienced professionals offer a clear path to a brighter future. The pain can end, the damage can stop, and a healthier and happier life can be transformed from a distant dream into a daily reality.
Types of Treatment Offered at Bowling Green
Bowling Green has been a premier provider of highly effective residential treatment services for adults who are struggling with substance abuse, addiction, and dual diagnosis for more than three decades. Our treatment philosophy is based upon the belief that chemical dependency is a highly treatable condition that can be arrested through a comprehensive approach that incorporates medical, pharmacological, clinical, behavioral, and 12-Step interventions.
From the day we accepted our first resident, Bowling Green has been committed to being a center of healing and hope, where evidence-based, research-supported treatment is provided in an atmosphere of the utmost dignity and respect.
The treatment methods utilized at Bowling Green feature comprehensive services for men and women, ages 18 and above, via two distinct sets of focused programming that include general rehabilitation for residents who are dealing with substance problems such as synthetic marijuana abuse and addiction, as well as dual diagnosis treatment for those whose substance use disorder is accompanied by a co-occurring mental health condition. Both treatment tracks feature cognitive behavioral therapy and a person-centered therapeutic approach, and both provide individualized care while emphasizing active positive collaboration between residents and treatment professionals.
In both the rehab and dual diagnosis programs, treatment is provided by bachelor’s and master’s level counselors, case managers, psychiatrists, physician assistants, nurses, and clinical technicians.
The following are among the many elements that may be included in the personalized treatment plans of residents who are enrolled in Bowling Green’s general rehabilitation and dual diagnosis programs:
Medically monitored detoxification: Detox is the process of ridding one’s body of alcohol and other drugs, and is an essential precursor to residential treatment for a substance use disorder. Individuals who are unable to detox from synthetic marijuana prior to their arrival on our campus may complete this process at our center in a medically supervised environment that minimizes risk and discomfort. In addition to enhanced safety and comfort, other benefits of completing medically monitored detoxification at Bowling Green include being able to participate in individual and group therapy sessions, recreational activities, and relaxation training sessions. For residents in our dual diagnosis program who need detoxification services, the initial psychiatric consultation and any necessary follow-up appointments are able to take place while they are in the detox unit.
Medication management: Depending upon the specific needs of each resident, treatment at Bowling Green may include medication. The dual diagnosis program features weekly one-on-one meetings between each resident and a psychiatrist, during which time medication-related issues can be evaluated and addressed as needed. Residents who have questions or concerns about their medication management are able to meet with medical doctors, nurse practitioners, and other experienced and qualified members of our nursing staff. These professionals are also available to monitor the progress of residents who are receiving medication management services and can make adjustments to their medication regimens when necessary.
Individual therapy: Conducted at a minimum of one time each week, individual therapy sessions are one of the cornerstones of the Bowling Green treatment experience for residents who are in the rehabilitation program for synthetic marijuana abuse as well as for residents in the dual diagnosis program. These one-on-one meetings between residents and counselors provide a confidential and supportive setting for residents to discuss their progress in treatment, address any concerns, emotions, or issues that have arisen since their last session, and receive appropriate therapeutic guidance.
Family therapy: Treatment at Bowling Green does not feature regularly scheduled family therapy sessions, but residents who are in the rehabilitation program for synthetic marijuana addiction or who are in our dual diagnosis program may have family sessions scheduled on an as-needed basis when such sessions have been identified as being clinically appropriate. Bowling Green does invite and encourage loved ones of our residents to participate in our family program, which is held every Sunday. Each family program session features an hour-long presentation followed by another hour spent meeting with the resident, his or her family members, and one of our staff counselors. Representatives from Al-Anon, a peer support group for friends and family members of individuals who struggle with addiction, regularly attend our family program.
Group therapy: Group therapy provides residents with a valuable opportunity to learn from and share experiences and insights with peers and staff professionals. This form of therapy is an important daily element of treatment at Bowling Green. Residents in both the main rehab program for synthetic marijuana abuse and addiction and the dual diagnosis program will participate in a variety of groups during their time with us. Common groups at Bowling Green include psychoeducational groups, 12-Step groups, community meetings, gender-specific groups, process groups, and daily wrap-up meetings. Each of these groups is led by a skilled and experienced counselor or clinical technician.
Residents in the main rehab program may take part in the following groups:
- Breaking from Past Lifestyles
- Making the 12-Steps Work
- Guilt Traps
- Cycles of Behavior and Self-Responsibility
- Recovering Emotions
- Preventing Relapse
- The Family and Substance Use
- Stages of Change
- Anger and Substance Use
- Treating Your Own Addiction
- Stress Tricks
- Recovery Ain’t Easy
- Stink Think
When taking part in the dual diagnosis program, residents may engage in the following groups:
- Overcoming the Past
- Anger Management
- Overcoming Depression
- Focused Thinking
- Overcoming Guilt
- Impulse Control
- Clean Thinking
- Social Skills Development
- Relapse Prevention
- Recovery Ain’t Easy
- Recovering Emotions
- Cycles of Behavior and Self-Responsibility
Experiential therapy: As the name implies, experiential therapy offers more opportunities for movement, activity, and action than do the more traditional forms of talk therapy. Experiential therapy enhances the holistic nature of treatment at Bowling Green by providing innovative and dynamic therapeutic opportunities for residents of both the main rehabilitation and dual diagnosis programs on a weekly basis. Experiential therapy offerings at Bowling Green include Reiki, music therapy, and meditation. Residents also have the opportunity to participate in a variety of recreational activities every day, with extra recreation sessions scheduled on Fridays and Saturdays.
Continuing Care and Discharge Planning
When male residents complete either our main rehab program or dual diagnosis treatment, those who need a structured intermediary experience before returning home may enroll in our partial hospitalization program, which is also referred to as PHP.
The men who participate in PHP reside in off-campus housing. Each morning, they are transported to our campus, where they participate in a morning process group and variety of psychoeducational groups and other forms of group therapy. Individual therapy sessions are conducted twice each week. Men who enroll in PHP after completing our dual diagnosis program meet with a psychiatrist on a weekly basis as part of their medication management monitoring.
In the evening, residents take part in 12-Step meetings off-campus in order to provide them with an opportunity to begin working on utilizing their skills in a real world setting. The PHP residents and their loved ones are also welcome to take part in Bowling Green’s family program each Sunday.
Whether or not they enroll in PHP, all residents who complete either the main rehabilitation program or the dual diagnosis program at Bowling Green will return home with a comprehensive continuing care plan. The day a resident arrives on our campus, planning begins to ensure that his or her transition home is as seamless and productive as possible. Throughout their time in treatment, our residents work closely with their counselors to prepare for the post-residential phase of their recovery.
Continuing care planning includes identifying which services and resources will be most effective in meeting the resident’s needs and making the necessary arrangements to confirm that these services will be available and accessible. Depending upon each resident’s specific situation, continuing care planning may involve making appointments for therapy, counseling, or psychiatric sessions, connecting with community-based support groups, making transportation arrangements, and securing additional services as needed.
At Bowling Green, we understand the complex challenges posed by synthetic marijuana addiction and dual diagnoses. Perhaps more importantly, we know how to help men and women escape the downward spiral of these disorders and regain a secure foothold on the path of long-term recovery. When you or your loved one chooses to heal at Bowling Green, you can make that decision secure in the knowledge that the day you enter treatment you will join in active collaboration with a team of talented and experienced professionals whose skills are surpassed only by their commitment to improving the lives of our residents.