You can get addicted to marijuana; about 1 in 10 who try the drug do end up marijuana dependant.
The Myth of Non Addictive Marijuana
A lot of people mistakenly believe that marijuana is not addictive, reflecting views formed in decades past when marijuana was a lot less strong than it is today. An average joint in the 1970's contained about 10 mgs of THC, and average joint smoked today has about 150 mgs. With a potency increase of 1500%, it's not surprising that a lot of people find that with heavy use, they are no longer able to stop even when they want to.
The Harms of Heavy Marijuana Use
You can get addicted, you do develop a tolerance to the effects of marijuana, and you once addicted, you will experience a significant period of withdrawal and detox symptoms when you try to quit. Although occasional smoking does not really present with serious health risks, heavy daily use does impact on your health, your ability to think remember and concentrate, and your overall quality of life.
With marijuana addiction, most heavy users self report a significant and negative influence of the habit on areas of their lives that include job performance and career advancement, social happiness, general mental abilities and quality of life. Heavy marijuana usage is also associated with increased rates of mental illness, lowered cognitive performances on a variety of measures, and risks from carcinogenic smoke to the lungs, heart and oral cavity.
Heavy marijuana smokers also self report a lowered ambition and self initiative to achieve worthwhile goals in life, and frequent marijuana smokers also self report having given up activities they once found enjoyable due to their marijuana slowed lifestyle.
Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms
Once addicted, when you try to quit you will experience irritability, aggression, headaches, shakiness, lethargy, loss of appetite, insomnia and anxiety, and all coupled with intense cravings for the drug. The symptoms of withdrawal are severe enough that many people cannot get off marijuana on their own, and do require professional help and intervention to beat their addiction. 15% of admissions to drug treatment centers in America are for marijuana addicts seeking change.
Effective Marijuana Treatments
Cognitive behavioral therapies, as well as group and individual counseling have all shown efficacy in thee treatment of marijuana addiction, and sometimes getting away from relapse provoking temptations and into a safe residential treatment environment offers the best chance at finally beating your addiction, and breaking free from a habit that just drags you down in life.
If you can’t do it on your own, you need therapies on an in or outpatient basis that will allow you the skills, support and knowledge you need to finally break free. When a once pleasurable and recreational habit takes over and takes control, and once the harms of marijuana usage beat the pleasures, it's time to take action. There is no shame in getting help when you can’t do it on your own. Have the courage, the strength and the wisdom to do what's needed, and get off marijuana.
Page last updated Sep 16, 2010