The social acceptance of recreational marijuana use has reached an all-time high. As of 2018, thirty states have adopted either legalization for medical use or recreational use, with legislation waiting to pass in many others.
When comparing the national statistics for annual causes of death, marijuana clearly is a much safer choice for recreational use than the currently legal alcohol. Thus rises the age-old debate once again: is marijuana a drug? Can someone be addicted to marijuana?
While marijuana is clearly safer in terms of lethality, this does not mean that people do not suffer from an addiction to marijuana. While some people entering treatment and subsequently recovery may feel embarrassed, the simple fact is marijuana is a mind-altering substance for which some people need help conquering, just like any other mind-altering substance.
The stigma of the idea of marijuana addiction, coupled with the popular notion of its safety, often leads people with a true problem with the substance to a state of denial. One only has to take an honest look, however, at the first step of recovery- admitted that we were powerless over our addiction and our lives had become unmanageable.
This is just as true for those addicted to marijuana as those addicted to any other substance. First, marijuana is certainly not free and thus can lead to financial instability, just like any other substance. Marijuana use actually lowers dopamine levels in the brain, which leads to the characteristic loss of ambition and motivation associated with the drug.
The long-term side effects of smoking any substance, including marijuana, is also very important to consider and part of why marijuana addiction can be just as dangerous as any other drug. The possibility of legal consequences is still very real as well, even in legal states due to driving while intoxicated.
The point of this article is not to state that everyone who uses marijuana is a drug addict. This would be as ridiculous as claiming whoever drinks are alcoholics! It is ridiculous, however, to believe that marijuana addiction cannot exist. One simply needs to take an honest inventory of if habitual use is making daily life unmanageable, whether it be financial, health-related, or long-term ambition unmanageability.
Marijuana addiction is a real problem for those affected, as evidenced by the existence of Marijuana Anonymous for decades now. There is no shame in seeking treatment for any problem you or a loved one may be having with any substance of abuse.
This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.