We now know conclusively that marijuana is addictive, and that the withdrawal symptoms of heavy marijuana usage can be very unpleasant. Marijuana use needs to be taken seriously, and marijuana addicts will often need professional treatment. Marijuana is no longer the relatively harmless drug it is perceived to be. Whether any drug is ever harmless is open to debate, but since a third of adults in America have tried marijuana, and the vast majority of these adults never grew addicted, nor ever had any problems with it, most people don’t consider it to be a very frightening substance.
But today’s marijuana bears little resemblance to what many of us may have had. No longer an innocuous weed, today’s marijuana is heavily laden with white crystals of THC, and in fact the potency of today’s common marijuana is many times stronger than even the strongest pot of a decade or more ago. With increasing strengths, also comes increasing problems, and while it used to be argued that marijuana wasn’t addictive, medical professionals can now conclusively state that it is.
Regular marijuana use causes both a development of a tolerance to the effects of the drug, and as well causes physical withdrawal symptoms when usage is stopped. Withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, insomnia, a loss of appetite and even aggression, basically the opposite and negative symptoms to the intoxicating effects of the drug.
People developing an addiction to marijuana will progress in their behaviors comparably to other drug addictions. There will be an increasing fixation on marijuana, on getting, paying for and smoking the drug. There will be a dramatic development of tolerance to the effects of the drug, there may be changes in behavior and users will feel a need to smoke the drug at regular intervals. When they try to stop using, they will feel withdrawal effects, and this can make cessation problematic.
Most people, who use the drug occasionally will not get addicted, but the risk of addiction for regular users is high; and an addiction to marijuana can have similar social consequences as an addiction to other drugs. There is a cognitive deficit, and memory loss is common, and work or school performance will often suffer as usage of the drug increases. Frequent and excessive marijuana use is not to be taken lightly, and the long term consequences of this usage can be quite severe. Users who have developed a physical and psychological addiction to the drug will often need professional treatment and long term support and care to be able to quit using for good.
If a loved one is suffering from a marijuana addiction, it needs to be taken seriously, and that person needs access to professional help to allow them to quit using for good. What always starts out as recreational can too often turn tragic, and an addiction to any drug is never enjoyable. Today’s pot is not what it was, and it needs to be taken seriously.