Marijuana: Are You Addicted?

Categories: Articles

written by Ivy Chase

Pot, Bud, Weed, Mary Jane, Cannabis or Marijuana:  also known as the gateway drug.  How harmful is it really, and can people actually become addicted to it and need treatment for marijuana abuse?  If you meet a certain criteria, the answer is YES.

Marijuana and heavy use can lead to increased tolerance, and in some cases, it leads to withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop.  For many years, weed has been labeled as harmless and non addictive as far as drug abuse goes.  From a scientific perspective, it seems that marijuana abuse clearly falls within the addiction categorization. However, recognizing this is solely up to the user.  Similar to alcohol consumption, not all who use Marijuana are in danger of becoming addicted.

Many times, if someone is using marijuana on a regular basis, it will be uncomfortable when they discontinue using it.  This can mean they may or may not have a problem.  Some serious questions a person may want to ask themselves are:

  1. Do I suffer any physical withdrawal symptoms when I stop using Marijuana? Such as Insomnia, anxiety or loss of appetite.  Usually these symptoms will last around 2 weeks if you do not use pot again.  It does get better!
  2. Do I struggle with controlling the amount of marijuana I use? In other words, do you plan on smoking just on Mondays but find yourself smoking Tuesday through Friday because you need it to cope?  This could be a sign of marijuana addiction.  Symptoms such as loss of control over intended use are common in many addictions, including to weed.
  3. Do I spend the majority of my time getting high or wishing I was high? One of the more common marijuana addiction symptoms focuses on the amount of time that is spent doing the drug or fantasizing about using the drug.  If this takes time away from other activities or involvement with family and friends, there’s a good chance a problem has developed.
  4. Do you smoke weed to just relax? Many instances people will find themselves smoking pot at the end of each day or wishing you had some to smoke at the end of each day just to unwind and calm down.  In a sense they’ve trained themselves through habit to need the drug for calming effects and relaxation.  If they don’t, they experience intense anxiety and or depression.
  5. Does Marijuana prevent you from taking care of your daily responsibilities in any way? Smoking marijuana can tend to interrupt your ability to handle daily activities such as going to school or performing well at work.  This is a problem.  Marijuana addiction symptoms relates to the lack of productivity or responsibility that comes when an individual focuses too much attention on their drug use and not enough attention on the rest of life’s demands.
  6. Have you tried to stop using marijuana and cannot stay stopped? One of the best known marijuana addiction symptoms is making attempts to cut down on using or discontinuing use and failing.  If a person lies to themselves about the amount of pot he or she will consume or he or she has told other people such as those you love that you will not smoke so much and then you still do, addiction is a problem.

These are some a few of the questions that can help decipher whether or not you’d be a good candidate for drug treatment.  Marijuana abuse can have very serious and unwanted side effects including paranoia, hallucinations, depression, and even death in some extreme cases.  Physical effects range from breathing problems, increased heart rate, and problems with child development during and after pregnancy.

There are also horror stories of incidents related to marijuana use.  In Rome, a 7-month old died of a gunshot wound to the head after his mother’s boyfriend accidentally fired the gun inside of their apartment one afternoon.  Apparently the man was cleaning his gun that day while sitting on the couch and laid the gun on his lap pointed straight at his girlfriend and her daughter across the room.  The man leaned forward to grab something and without realizing, and while under the influence of marijuana, the gun went off unexpectedly.

There have been car numerous auto crashes related to being under the influence of marijuana.  In Montana, back in July of 2015, an 18 year old boy was sentenced to prison in a hit-and-run crash that left 2 dead.  Apparently he had stolen the vehicle high on marijuana and led police on a high speed chase ending in the fatality of innocent bystanders.   In spring 2015, in Brighton Park, a man was driving high on marijuana when he caused a crash that killed his brother on the Stevenson Expressway.  The man was charged with reckless homicide and aggravated driving under the influence.  Tragedies like these are not uncommon throughout the world on an almost daily basis.

Fortunately recovery is possible for marijuana abuse and marijuana addiction.  Treatment is available if needed including inpatient and outpatient options.  Anaheim Lighthouse offers marijuana abuse treatment that works.  We provide a safe, professional and supportive environment for recovery to take place.  If you or someone you know is struggling with Marijuana dependence or drug addiction, call us today and get help (877)949-5909.



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