Marijuana is a substance that has become increasingly popular as a recreational drug and for certain medical conditions. However, there still isn’t a consensus about its effects. Some contend that marijuana is non-addictive, while others assert the opposite. Regardless, federal law still views marijuana as a narcotic even though certain states have decriminalized the use and possession. Some states allow marijuana to be used for medical purposes.
As with any drug or medication, marijuana can be abused. This abuse can lead to dependency (addiction), which can be physical or psychological. At Northpoint Washington, our marijuana rehab center can help individuals abusing this drug.
Signs You May be Addicted to Marijuana
How do you know if you’re addicted to marijuana? You may want to begin by looking for some of the more common signs of addiction. They include:
- Frequently losing control over how much or how often they use.
- Spending less time on activities they used to enjoy instead of using instead.
- Taking risks to obtain the drug.
- Struggling with relationship issues.
- Getting various complaints on the job because of questionable behaviors.
- Hiding drugs or money and maintaining secrecy about the drug use.
- Significant changes in appearance.
- Feel the need to use larger amounts of the drug than you previously did.
- Experiencing withdrawal when you attempt to quit.
- Continuing to use even though doing so has negative consequences.
Physical Dependence on Marijuana
Most people believe that marijuana is not a drug that leads to physical dependence. But, evidence suggests that it can cause physical withdrawal symptoms when it’s stopped. For instance, people who use it frequently feel restless. They may have strong, physical cravings for it and not much appetite when they quit using it.
This suggests that there is a degree of physical dependence that takes place when someone uses marijuana long-term. It may not be as physically addictive as other drugs, which may not be the case for everyone, but it can happen.
Psychological Dependence on Marijuana
Most people agree that marijuana is psychologically addictive, even if it’s not physically addictive. The research is there to back this up too. Dr. Nora Volkow, the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, states, “Psychological addiction occurs in your brain, and it’s a physical change.”
The psychological urge to use marijuana is a powerful one. In an article on the Vice website, one woman tells her story about her mental addiction to weed. She talks about how she would drag herself out of bed every morning, promising that she wouldn’t use it. By the time she made it to the shelf where she had kept her stash, she had already given in. The draw to use was just too strong.
To further support the psychologically addictive nature of marijuana, it can cause severe mental withdrawal symptoms when it’s stopped. People commonly suffer from:
- Symptoms of anxiety
- Problems with feeling motivated
- Symptoms of depression