Heated debates have risen over the issue of marijuana addiction as legalization has swept the nation, and it gets especially controversial when the topic of marijuana for medical use comes up. There’s more than enough evidence that marijuana is addictive. Approximately 1 in 15 high school seniors use cannabis daily or almost daily, according to the 2013 World Drug Report.
Shocking statistics of marijuana addiction
In 2010, of the 360,000 people were admitted to treatment for addiction, marijuana was cited as the primary drug they were abusing. For clarity, of those admitted for marijuana treatment, 18% stated that marijuana was their primary drug while 20% said it was their second or third most problematic drug. Disheartening as it may be, only one in 10 people receive treatment for marijuana addiction. That implies that over 3 million Americans could be addicted to cannabis.
The year 2011 saw a marked increase in the visits to the ERs by the marijuana users due to the increased potency, mental disorders, panic attacks and other issues brought about by the abuse. The last few decades have seen an increase in marijuana potency detected in confiscated samples. In 2014, the average THC content in seized cannabis hit 6.1%.
Marijuana use disorder
According to research, continued abuse of marijuana leads to the problem of use known as marijuana use disorder. The users continue to use the drug even after its obvious negative impacts on their lives. Thirty percent of those who use marijuana are likely to have some degree of marijuana use disorder, according to recent data. Further, data reveals that those who use marijuana before hitting 18 years are four to seven times likely to develop the marijuana use disorder.
Most victims of marijuana use disorder experience dependence. Dependence occurs when the brain gets used to large amounts of marijuana. The impact is the drastic reduction in the production and lowered sensitivity of the neurotransmitters. Those battling the addiction experience severe and sometimes prolonged withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the drug.
In 2015, four million people were diagnosed with marijuana use disorder, and an approximated 138,000 of those voluntarily sought treatment for the abuse.
Common marijuana withdrawal symptoms
The notion that marijuana does not have severe withdrawal symptoms is unfounded given that it’s two times stronger than then marijuana 20 years ago. That means you’ll likely have to grapple with dramatic withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms include the following;
- Appetite loss
- Excessive craving for cannabis
How likely is it?
Of the all the users of marijuana, an estimated one in eleven people will become addicted. Besides, there are one in six chances that a person who begins smoking during the teen years will be addicted to marijuana.
Signs you’re addicted to marijuana
It’s possible to establish if you’re addicted or are in the early stages of abusing marijuana. Discussed below are the telltale signs that you’re addicted to cannabis;
- Your body a gets used to the drug as you keep abusing the drug. You’ll need more of it as time progresses to achieve or maintain a high meaning you’re building tolerance. When your body develops a tolerance for marijuana, any attempts at quitting will result in adverse withdrawal symptoms.
- If you convince yourself that you’ll only have a few hits and then sleep only to end up smoking the entire joint before the sun rises, that’s an evident sign of addiction.
- You’re addicted to marijuana if you cannot settle and will do nothing else but search until you land a joint to achieve a high.
- It’s a definite sign of addiction if you’re no longer as physically active as the norm and now prefer hanging out in joints where people are using marijuana.
- Continued use of Marijuana even with the evident individual and social problems it causes is apparent enough you’re addicted. For instance, you maintain the lousy habit despite the issues with your family, your employer or mental and health problems due to the abuse.
- Dependence on marijuana to for comfort, calmness, joy or with the aim of enhancing creativity is another sign that you’re addicted. In fact, it increases the possibility of becoming irritable and engaging in violent actions.
- You know you’re addicted to marijuana if you continue to abscond daily duties and responsibilities consistently.If it has reached a point whereby you have to choose activities and relationships based on the possibility of getting high on marijuana, then you’re addicted.
- You’re addicted to marijuana if you’re using it as a scapegoat for your problems.
It’s beyond evident that marijuana is addictive. Worse still, it’s becoming a bigger issue demanding international attention because of recent marijuana legalization.