Marijuana Abuse and Addiction

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Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug. While most people who use marijuana use it only occasionally, and have no trouble stopping when they want to, some people develop marijuana abuse and addiction.

Abuse and addiction to marijuana follows about the same pattern as addiction to other substances. Over a period of time, what begins as regular predictable use, turns into use that goes beyond personally set limits. Marijuana users can lose the ability to predict how much they will use, how long they will use it, and what will happen to them as a result of their use. Marijuana starts causing problems with work, school, and interpersonal relationships. Health problems, like "smoker's cough" and chronically red and dry eyes may become evident.

Marijuana use can be the source of all kinds of problems in a person's life, and over time, it makes a person's problems worse. Users can easily minimize their marijuana use, and continue in spite of the problems it is causing in their lives. More and more of their time is spent using, thinking about using, and maintaining their supply. Marijuana has become the most important thing in their lives. Life responsibilities and healthy recreation are pushed aside as marijuana takes over their lives.

Warning Signs of Marijuana Abuse and Addiction:
  • Consistently using more marijuana than intended;

  • Tolerance -- Needing to use increased amounts of marijuana to achieve the desired high, or using the same amount of marijuana and not getting the desired high;

  • Spending more time and money in getting the drug and using it;

  • Unsuccessful efforts to cut down, or to abstain from marijuana for a period of time;

  • Choosing to use marijuana rather than participate in meaningful social, occupational or recreational activities;

  • Continue to use marijuana in spite of the social, emotional, or physical problems cause by it. 

Marijuana is both emotionally and psychologically addictive. By the time someone is addicted to marijuana, it has become their identity. Marijuana is always on their mind. They have become practiced at making sure they always have a constant supply of marijuana. Their only associates are other users, and their relationship revolves around using the drug. Using the drug comes before doing almost everything.

Freedom from marijuana abuse and addiction is possible. If you are using marijuana in ways that you cannot control, and feel that marijuana has caused your life to become unmanageable, let an addiction counselor help you.

Marijuana is a drug used to self-medicate.