With the movement to legalize both medical and recreational marijuana across the country, we’re learning more and more each day about the benefits of cannabis for medical conditions like epilepsy, cancer, PTSD, even eating disorders and depression. There’s a consistent flow of stories about how marijuana has helped people quit taking dangerous prescriptions, and it’s combated the opioid addiction in many states, and there’s an equal number of stories warning us that cannabis is a gateway drug, and that it’s extremely addictive. It can be hard to sort through all of the information for the truth: is marijuana addictive?
There’s not much evidence to show that occasional users who smoke marijuana recreationally will become addicted to the drug. Unlike substances like heroin or crack, many users can use the substance occasionally for years with no adverse effects. Many medical strains of the cannabis plant are available that contain no psychoactive ingredients, lessening the risk for medical patients. For others, however, their heavy, daily use of marijuana can have negative side effects, and over time have an impact on their mental health. Depression, anxiety, even paranoia or schizophrenia are all common effects from long term use of marijuana.
The individuals who are long term, heavy users of marijuana may find themselves facing withdrawal symptoms if their access to marijuana is restricted. Irritability, changes in appetite, severe anxiety or intense mood swings are all signs that you may be struggling with withdrawal from marijuana. While these symptoms are far less severe than those related to drugs like heroin or even alcohol, they can still have a major impact on your life.
Like any substance, there are several different factors in play when it comes to whether or not you’ll become addicted to marijuana. If you’ve previously struggled with a substance abuse problem, you’re more likely to become addicted to cannabis. Family history and mental health are to be considered as well.
Cannabis isn’t a highly addictive substance like heroin or even alcohol. Some people will never struggle with an addiction to marijuana, while others will battle a strong addiction that causes them financial or personal problems. While it’s far less likely that you’ll struggle with an addiction to marijuana, it’s not out of the question if you’re a daily user who consumes a large amount of marijuana daily. Like all things, moderation is key, and when you find that you’re struggling to keep it in moderation, then it’s time to seek help.
Addiction can rob you of your health and your dignity. Our 5-week program at The Springboard Center treats the whole person, creating healing in mind, body, and spirit. Bringing together evidence-based treatments and trusted 12-step principles, our best practices create a quality, accessible treatment program serving the Permian Basin and beyond. Call us today for information on our availability: (432) 620-0255