Certain people are always going to dismiss marijuana addiction and minimize it in some way. They do this by comparing it to other drugs that are more addictive and have more serious withdrawal symptoms, such as opiates and alcohol. But marijuana is definitely addictive, and anyone who is using it on a regular basis needs to take a look at their using behavior and question if they are really in control or not. The consequences of marijuana use are not always as in-your-face as with some other drugs, but they are still significant and can have a seriously negative impact on a person’s life.
The marijuana addict is essentially self medicating their feelings
People who come to depend on getting high every day are doing it for a reason. Essentially they are medicating their feelings. What feelings are they medicating? Any addict who uses every day or close to every day has become reliant on the drug in order to avoid feeling any uncomfortable feelings that they don’t want to feel. This includes anger and frustration, but also loneliness or boredom too.
It does not take much to fall into this cycle of addiction if someone is using the drug on a regular basis. That moment will occur some day when they are stressed out over random events in their life, and instinctively feel the urge to get high. Marijuana is actually a very effective drug when it comes to medicating our feelings because it regulates our mood so well. If someone is angry, grumpy, upset, or frustrated, simply getting high can bring them back to a “familiar level” with their emotional state. It is like wiping the slate clean on our internal emotions. This happens because getting high basically makes it so that our mind is jumping around more and not focusing on our current emotional state. It scatters the mind and lessens the impact of our current emotions. Now is this the same as being extremely drunk? Of course not. But when it comes to medicating our emotions, it is in the same ballpark. If an addict is really upset about something, and they smoke enough marijuana, it will eventually get them to a more neutral emotional state where they are not so out of sorts any more. Thus they are using the drug to regulate their mood.
So why is this not a good thing? Because it creates dependency. The marijuana addict comes to rely on the drug to regulate their feelings. In addition to that, it is also a fairly immature way to go through life, by not facing our feelings and dealing with them in a mature manner. This is a missed opportunity for growth, and that is why marijuana addicts stagnate in their emotional growth: because they are not processing and dealing with their feelings on a daily basis. When you get high every day you stop growing.
Addiction to marijuana occurs at an emotional level
So people who get addicted to marijuana become dependent on it at an emotional level. They do not like the idea of facing life without getting high. In most cases they will rationalize this and say that they will not be able to get high and be happy, when in fact there is something deeper going on. If they really get honest and take a good look at their life, they will see that they are using marijuana as a daily coping mechanism. It is not that they are experiencing a high level of stress every day, but just that they are using marijuana to deal with any little situation that pops up. It is an automatic response because they are hooked on it and use it daily. If they are happy they get high. If they are sad or angry they get high. They do this every day and eventually they depend on the drug in order to regulate their emotional state.
It is not a physical dependency at all. Nor is it an excuse to “have fun.” Instead, the need to get high is driven by a pattern of regulating emotions.
Marijuana addiction treatment
Treatment for marijuana addiction can vary quite a bit. There are a lot of routes you can go with this, ranging from a whole bunch of different solutions and treatments, such as:
1) Quitting on your own.
2) Going to a therapist for help in quitting.
3) Outpatient therapy.
4) Inpatient treatment at a drug rehab.
5) Long term treatment.
6) 12 step groups, meetings.
One of these options might work for one person, while another one might work for someone else. And some people will need to use more than one approach from that list in order to stay clean and sober. What is important is that you keep trying different things until you figure out what works for you. Most people are not able to quit successfully on their first attempt. Therefore it is important that you be persistent and try a new approach.