Myths And Current Research
Second only to alcohol, marijuana is the most popular and widely used drug in the United States. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 95 million Americans age 12 and older have tried pot at least once. By 2001, the proportion of under-18 users had increased by 67% since the 1960s. Researchers attribute this to the significant increase of pro-drug messages in multimedia venues. Students of all ages today have access to the Internet where they can easily find websites that promote marijuana use, kits for beating drug tests, and can advertise and sell marijuana and paraphernalia. Meanwhile, the prevalence of higher potency marijuana is increasing.
According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, marijuana is much more powerful and so are the mind-altering effects associated with use. Average THC levels rose from less than one percent in the mid-1970s to more than six percent in 2002. This means that even what is considered just skunk weed, can be six to ten times more potent than what was available in the 60s and 70s. No marijuana is the same dealers can mix marijuana with other substances, from oregano to being laced with PCP, which means you cant rely on what you are getting. Sinsemilla potency increased in the past two decades from six percent to more than 13 percent, with some samples containing THC levels of up to 33 percent.
Is marijuana addictive? Is marijuana harmful? Is marijuana worse than alcohol?
How Marijuana Causes Addiction
When a person smokes pot, tetrahydrocannabinol , the active ingredient in marijuana, triggers a release of the feel-good chemical dopamine in the brain. Dopamine causes the euphoric sensations we recognize as the high. It also activates the brains reward pathways to remember the experience and repeat it.
Essentially, THC triggers a chemical cascade that conditions you to like pot and crave more.
Research indicates that younger people are more vulnerable to the harmful effects of marijuana, including dependence and addiction.
While one in 10 marijuana users will become addicted to the drug, that number rises to one in six for those who begin smoking pot before the age of 18. According to a 2012 study in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, the risk of developing an addiction to marijuana is almost nonexistent after the age of 25.
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Jeffrey Juergens earned his Bachelors and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida. Jeffreys desire to help others led him to focus on economic and social development and policy making. After graduation, he decided to pursue his passion of writing and editing. Jeffreys mission is to educate and inform the public on addiction issues and help those in need of treatment find the best option for them.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. . Results from the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings. Retrieved on February 12, 2014
- Brown University. . Marijuana | Brown University Health Education. Retrieved on February 12, 2014
- Frances, R. J., & Miller, S.I. Clinical Textbook of Addictive Disorders, Second Edition. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
- American Psychiatric Association . Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association.
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.
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Why Do People Think Marijuana Isn’t Addictive
Debates about the safety and addictive potential of marijuana are highly politicized. Though numerous studies have documented its potential medicinal benefits, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency maintains that it is a Schedule 1 drug, with a high potential for addiction and no potential benefits or approved medical uses.
Marijuana advocates may go to the other extreme, asserting that marijuana is safe in all contexts and is never addictive. One 2016 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences even found that doctorsâ political beliefs can sway their opinion on the addictive potential of cannabis.
You can be addicted to weed, just as you can become addicted to any other mind-altering substance of pleasurable behavior.
Warning Signs & Withdrawal Symptoms
For those concerned about whether they or a loved one are addicted to marijuana, there are some clear warning signs to look out for. These include an inability to stop smoking pot even after earnest attempts to quit, using weed as a means of relaxation or escaping reality, and having your social circle revolve around your pot use. Negative changes in school or job performance, as well as relationships with loved ones, are also warning signs for a potential marijuana addiction.
Just like any drug addiction, withdrawal symptoms are often an inevitable factor when a user stops cold turkey. Some of the psychological symptoms include:
- Insomnia and related fatigue.
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Comparison With Other Substances
All substances that affect the mind carry their own set of risks and harms, some unique to the substance. The most well-established, long term harm of regular cannabis use is addiction. It is often difficult to compare risks and harms between substances. Nevertheless, based on what is currently known, the risk of cannabis addiction is lower than the risk of addiction to alcohol, tobacco or opioids. And, unlike substances such as alcohol or opioids where overdoses may be fatal, a cannabis overdose is not fatal.
Where Can I Go To Get Help With A Marijuana Addiction Problem
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a confidential, free, 24/7, 365-day-a-year information service that anyone can call at 1-800-662-HELP . This is a good place to find options for local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations, whether or not you have insurance. Some people may need treatment at an inpatient facility, while others may be able to work with a healthcare professional in an outpatient setting to quit marijuana.
If you have health insurance, you can start by contacting your insurer for a list of covered providers and facilities that treat .
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How Do You Know If You Have Cud
Do you use marijuana every day or almost every day? Have you tried to quit but canât? Do you get unwanted symptoms when you stop, like anxiety, crankiness, or trouble sleeping? Do those go away when you use marijuana again? Do you have a strong urge, or craving, to use it? Do you keep using it even though bad things happen, like problems at work, school, or with friends and family? If you answered yes to any of these, you may have CUD.
Continuing To Smoke Pot Despite Real Evident Life
Perhaps a better measure of addiction is whether or not the person experiences harm from the use of this drug, but is so compelled to use it and the cravings for it are so strong that he continues anyway.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, heavy marijuana abuse is associated with the following problems or effects:
- Worsening mental and physical health
- Relationship problems
- Higher probability of dropping out of school or abandoning goals
- Lower grades and reduced academic success
- Increased absences from school or work
- More workers compensation claims
- Less career success compared to peers.
An addicted cannabis user will continue to use the drug despite effects like these. It is common for a heavy smoker to stop caring about the damage and just focus on staying stoned. This is what is called addiction. It applies just as much to marijuana as to crack or meth or pain pills.
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Can A Person Overdose On Marijuana
An overdose occurs when a person uses enough of the drug to produce life-threatening symptoms or death. There are no reports of teens or adults dying from marijuana alone. However, some people who use marijuana can feel some very uncomfortable side effects, especially when using marijuana products with high THC levels. People have reported symptoms such as anxiety and paranoia, and in rare cases, an extreme psychotic reaction that can lead them to seek treatment in an emergency room.
While a psychotic reaction can occur following any method of use, emergency room responders have seen an increasing number of cases involving marijuana edibles. Some people who know very little about edibles don’t realize that it takes longer for the body to feel marijuanas effects when eaten rather than smoked. So they consume more of the edible, trying to get high faster or thinking they haven’t taken enough. In addition, some babies and toddlers have been seriously ill after ingesting marijuana or marijuana edibles left around the house.
Future Directions For Treatment Research
Over the last 15 years, we have witnessed great advances in the empirical base for treatment approaches to marijuana use disorders. Clear evidence has accumulated for the efficacy of behavioral treatments similar to those used for disorders involving alcohol and other drugs of abuse. The goals for future research are more potent treatment approaches and intervention strategies.
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Why Dont Some People Consider Weed A Drug
Marijuana use is on the rise. The most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 48.2 million people reported using marijuana in 2019. By comparison, 25.8 million people reported using it in 2002. The survey also found that daily marijuana use is up in the 26 and older population.
There are many proponents of marijuana. Some people feel that the effects of marijuana have helped their medical or psychological conditions.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved the following medical uses:
- THC-based medications to treat nausea in cancer patients.
- THC-based medications to stimulate appetites in AIDS patients.
- CBD-based medications to treat severe childhood epilepsy.
There is continued debate about changing marijuanas legal status on the federal level. Some federal politicians are pushing to remove marijuana as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, which has also diluted some peoples view of marijuana as a legitimate and dangerous drug. Research also shows that there are some people especially teenagers who dont think marijuana is harmful because of its normalization in recent years due to legalized recreational and medical use.
Easy Access Leads To Tolerance
When its more convenient for marijuana users to get high, the risk of developing a habit can go up accordingly.
Medical marijuana dispensaries allow patients to bring in a card showing a physician has made a recommendation that the drug can provide relief for a health problem.
Recreational dispensaries make it readily available with convenient delivery services, where people can simply tap their choices on a smartphone screen.
And as people consume marijuana on a regular basis, the risk for marijuana abuse tends to increase. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that marijuana tolerance is likely when its easily accessible and used frequently.
This means that people may need to smoke more to achieve the same effects of marijuana, increasing the risk of cannabis addiction. The person may have to smoke, vaporize, or eat increasingly larger amounts to feel the same way.
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Early Marijuana Use & Withdrawal
The NIDA explains that approximately 30 percent of people using marijuana have marijuana use disorder, which is the medical term for marijuana addiction.
- mood disorders
- general feeling of irritability
The earlier people use marijuana on a regular basis, the more their brain gets used to the drug. This can make it hard to enjoy things without use, increasing the risk for addiction.
Are There Any Reasons I Would Be More Likely To Get Addicted To Marijuana
There are many factors that may predict how likely you are to get addicted to any drug. For marijuana, there are a few things that may put you at greater risk for an addiction. These may include:
Meanwhile, marijuana is legal for recreational use in:
District of Columbia
It is not clear if the legalization of cannabis increases the number of people who will use marijuana or the number of people who will become addicted to it. A review of 42 different studies found that the legalization of medical marijuana has little or no impact on the number of adolescents who use cannabis. But legalization may cause marijuana use to increase among people over 21 years of age. The review could not determine whether legalization leads to more individuals developing cannabis use disorder.
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A Doctors Opinion About Marijuana Addiction
A Doctors Opinion about Marijuana Addiction Marvin D. Seppala, MD Chief Medical Officer, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation
I hope that this brief writing may provide those who are seeking help a general understanding of the disease of addiction, and some specific aspects of marijuana addiction.
Many people say that marijuana is not addicting, but this is simply not accurate. People do become addicted to marijuana, just as they do to alcohol, opioids and stimulants. Marijuana addiction differs from these other types of addictions primarily by the outward or social manifestations, but internally, the same pain and anguish exist.
Studies show that about 9% of those who use marijuana become addicted to it. The unfortunate truth is that the lack of serious, early consequences to marijuana addiction allow for a long, slow decline, often without recognition, resulting in later-stage addiction before the problem is confronted. An individual may wake up years into this chronic illness, without a reasonable understanding of how their life got so far off track. Often one has no major medical or legal problems, no sudden tragedy that drives the search for an answer. However, isolation from friends and family, loss of interest and lack of participation in those activities that used to bring joy, and the crushing weight of missed opportunities add up. If this is where you find yourself, you are reading the right book .
Theoretical Model Of Addiction
Koob and Volkow define drug addiction as a chronically relapsing disorder marked by compulsive drug seeking and intake, loss of control in limiting intake, and the emergence of a negative emotional state when access to a drug is prevented. This model proposes three stages of addiction with disturbances in three major neurocircuits: the binge/intoxication stage driven by changes in the basal ganglia the withdrawal/negative affect stage driven by changes in the extended amygdala and the preoccupation/anticipation driven by changes in the prefrontal cortex . Within these domains, Koob and Volkow describe neuroadaptations in 18 subsystems including the ascending mesocorticolimbic dopamine system, corticotropin-releasing factor in the central nucleus of the amygdala, and corticostriatal glutamate projections.
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The Health And Social Effects Of Nonmedical Cannabis Use
Cannabis is globally the most commonly used psychoactive substance under international control. In 2013, an estimated 181.8 million people aged 15-64 years used cannabis for nonmedical purposes globally . There is an increasing demand of treatment for cannabis use disorders and associated health conditions in high- and middle-income countries, and there has been increased attention to the public health aspects of cannabis use and related disorders in international drug policy dialogues.
This publication builds on contributions from a broad range of experts and researchers from different parts of the world. It aims to present the current knowledge on the impact of nonmedical cannabis use on health.
Is Marijuana Addictive 7 Signs You Are Addicted To Weed
June 21, 2021 – Drug Facts – 0 Comments
Most people believe that marijuana is not addictive but research suggests otherwise. Is marijuana addictive? If so, how can you get help for addiction? People often have many different ideas about what addiction means. Some think it applies to anyone who uses marijuana regularly, while others are convinced only those with psychological disorders become addicted to drugs like pot or cocaine.
Nowadays many people use marijuana recreationally but dont realize that they could actually be addicted without even realizing it. According to many studies, its still possible for people to become addicted to pot and have their lives drastically altered because of it. If youre struggling with addiction or are just curious about whether or not youre addicted, this article will provide some information on what addiction means and how you can tell if your usage is an issue.
Read on for some insights into potential signs and symptoms of marijuana addiction.
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Other Faqs About Marijuana
- Brick: A large, compacted block of marijuana
Its difficult to say whether or not . It depends on a few factors. First and foremost, your mental state and the environment youre in when using marijuana play a big role in how you react. Marijuana and anxiety can go hand-in-hand for some people. You may not get a pleasant or relaxing experience when using it. In fact, your experience could be quite the opposite. Many people feel that marijuana can bring symptoms of anxiety or heighten their existing anxiety, particularly if they use it in a situation that isnt pleasant or trying to conceal their use of the drug.
For more information on how you or a loved one can begin on the road to a marijuana-free life, call The Recovery Village. With an abundance of rehab centers located nationwide, our treatment teams can help you gain the skills needed to live your life without relying on any sort of substance. Our representatives are eager to answer any questions you may have about addiction treatment and recovery. Each call is free and confidential.
Do I Need Health Insurance To Receive This Service
The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.
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