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Marijuana Addiction

The Truth About Marijuana Addiction

Back in 1971, President Richard Nixon declared a “war on drugs”. Since then, marijuana has been classified as a Schedule 1 drug. By definition, schedule 1 drugs are substances that “have high abuse potential, no medical value, and pose a serious safety concern to those who use it”.

Marijuana, however, is legal for recreational use in 4 states plus Washington D.C., and legal for restricted medical use in an additional 20 states. In the states where marijuana is legal for medical use, there is a notable body of scientific evidence suggesting that cannabis is an effective form of treatment/symptom alleviation for:

  • HIV/AIDS
  • Cancer treatment
  • PTSD/Anxiety/Depression
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases (Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and more)
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Epilepsy (Especially in children)
  • Glaucoma
  • Opiate Addiction

Clearly, the federal designation of marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug is a bit of an anachronism considering that it has been proven to possess medicinal benefits, has very low safety concerns, and not only a low potential for addiction but the potential to treat addiction to much harder drugs. On the other hand, marijuana is still a drug. And even the most harmless-looking drugs have the potential for abuse under certain circumstances.

When Marijuana Becomes a Problem

Just because cannabis has a very low potential for addiction doesn’t mean that medical or recreational users can’t develop unhealthy habits. Anything which triggers a dopamine response in the brain can turn into addiction, which explains why activities which don’t even involve drugs – such as gambling or sex, for example – can also turn into addictions.

If you suspect that your own recreational marijuana use has become a problem, or if you believe that a loved one might be developing a problem with marijuana, read the list below and check off any that apply to you or your loved one:

  • A lack of self-control with your marijuana use
  • Insomnia
  • Dramatic changes in weight and/or appetite in a short period of time
  • Health problems related to marijuana use
  • Social and/or recreational sacrifices
  • Making financial sacrifices in order to keep up your marijuana supply
  • Taking risks you otherwise would avoid while under the influence
  • Feeling like you can’t cope with stress unless you use
  • Relationship problems due to marijuana use
  • Legal troubles from marijuana possession

If any of the above apply to you, then it may be time to talk to a professional about your marijuana use. Talking with a counselor, especially one who specializes in addiction, can help you figure out whether your use is healthy or whether you are experiencing a substance abuse problem.

When It’s Time to Ask for Help

If you think that your marijuana use might be getting out of hand, don’t be afraid to talk to an addiction specialist today. They can help give you advice, assess your situation, and provide you with resources to help you on the path towards recovery.