When is Marijuana Addictive?

When is Marijuana Addictive?


Of course we have looked at the question before here at the Spiritual River: is marijuana addictive?  Based on that discussion, we already know that it certainly can be addictive for some people.  So the question becomes: when is it addictive?

Right now, we do not have any predictive powers when it comes to addiction and alcoholism in general.  At most, we can look at family history and say something like: “Well, you come from a long line of alcoholics, so you might avoid drinking just to be safe.”  But this type of prediction holds no real ground, and we have already proven to ourselves that we cannot make predictions like this with any accuracy at all.

So it is impossible to evaluate a person before they have tried a drug and predict if they will be addicted to it or not.  We just don’t have that ability yet (and maybe never will).

So we have to take the question as it pertains to the person who has already tried Marijuana.  If they have never even tried it, they are obviously not addicted.  Likewise, if they have only smoked it a handful of times in their life, then they are obviously not addicted either.

The question becomes: what separates the regular, “recreational user” from someone who has formed a true dependency?  It is not always easy to separate these two groups because in many cases, people will “party hard” for a long period of their life, and eventually walk away from the drug.  So quantity used and frequency of use cannot really be reliable measures for whether or not someone is addicted.  In other words, just because they smoke constantly does not mean they are addicts.  It could just “be a phase they are going through,” rather than real addiction.

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So what defines true addiction?  Let’s take a look:

1) The person does not want to smoke weed anymore, but they continue to do so anyway.

2) The person is facing serious consequences for smoking weed, yet they continue to do so even though they want to avoid those consequences.

3) The person is using the drug in order to medicate their feelings on a regular basis.  When they have strong emotions, they always mask them with the drug.

4) The person is using the drug in order to deal with reality.  They cannot “handle life” without resorting to smoking.  It has become a crutch; a dependency.

If you want to get honest with yourself then take a strong look at number 3, and really dig into the idea that you might be doing this in your life……

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