Updated: Sep 3, 2020
Let's start by clearly defining the term, "addicted."
Addicted, or addiction - a compulsive, chronic, physiological or psychological need for a habit-forming substance, behavior, or activity having harmful physical, psychological, or social effects and typically causing well-defined symptoms (such as anxiety, irritability, tremors, or nausea) upon withdrawal or abstinence : the state of being addicted. -Merriam-Webster
I can say from personal experience that I was definitely addicted to marijuana. I smoked pretty much daily, and multiple times a day for about 13 years. I tried to quit many times, but I could never do it, until I pursued a relationship with God and help with recovery.
I'm now over 11 years into my recovery journey and I've had the privilege of working with and helping countless people start their recovery journey. I have made it a point to ask as many people as possible that are caught in the throes of addiction what it was that started them on the journey of addiction.
I can honestly say that after asking hundreds and hundreds of heroin addicts, pill addicts, meth addicts, alcoholics, and so on, well over 90% of them said that the gateway to the more serious addiction was marijuana.
The discussion usually comes out about this time, "What about medical marijuana use?" I've even been speaking in middle schools and high schools and been hit with this question.
I am not a doctor, and it's a big conversation, but I'll say this. If someone has a very serious medical condition where they are terminal, or in extreme pain I can see it being a benefit. I'd be more for someone that fits that criteria smoking or ingesting marijuana for medical benefits, then that same person being prescribed multiple pills a day of intense and deadly narcotics.
As for it being legalized, it's pretty much done in most of America. But just because it's easily accessible and cultural accepted doesn't make it less harmful or addictive. Matter of fact, I'd say it's more addictive these days then it's ever been.
You can find strains of marijuana that are more than 25% THC (THC is the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis), compared to marijuana just 30 years ago in the 1980's that was under 10% THC.
But what are the "experts" saying about marijuana's addictive nature?
Kevin Hill, associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School did an interview with the Harvard Gazette and shared some interesting insights. He was asked about some of the myths surrounding marijuana.
His response, "I think the greatest example is when you talk about the addictive nature of cannabis. You can become addicted to cannabis...cannabis is not physically addictive; it’s psychological.” -Click here for the full interview.
From my experience, I can agree with his statement above. Although I did experience some headaches and minor cold sweats when I quit, it was the psychological addiction that was extremely tough for me get past.
And in my opinion, the bigger conversation that needs to be had is the overwhelming evidence that frequent marijuana use leads to much more dangerous and addictive drugs.
Our society can (and pretty much has) entirely legalize it but that doesn't magically erase it's dangers, just look at alcohol...
Erik Frederickson is Life and Recovery Coach. He has clients all over the world and he is considered an expert at helping people transform their life in powerful ways.
Contact Erik HERE - email@example.com
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