Marijuana is one of the most commonly used substances in the United States. People have debated for years over whether or not it’s addictive. Some say it is, whereas most people believe that it’s impossible to form an addiction to it and even believe it’s beneficial in many ways.
It’s important to understand that some people are more prone to addiction, even if the drug they’re using isn’t considered to be highly addictive. The fact is that any drug can have a hold on your life. Like any substance, marijuana can be abused, which can lead to dependency or addiction. If you’re looking for a marijuana addiction treatment program in Seattle, reach out to Northpoint Seattle today.
Is Marijuana Addictive?
Many states in the U.S. have legalized marijuana, but not before considering this question. Colorado, Washington, and California are just a few, and many more are considering legalization. Now more than ever, people need to know the risk they’re taking when they start using it.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fifth Edition) or DSM-V is considered the APA’s gold standard for identifying mental illnesses. This includes identifying addictions. The DSM-V defines addiction based on years of research and clinical information. For a condition to qualify as an addiction, it must meet some basic criteria, including:
- Feeling the need to take a substance in larger amounts for longer than you mean to.
- Having a desire to cut down or stop using a substance but not being able to.
- Spending a lot of time obtaining, using, or recovering from the use of a substance.
- Experiencing cravings and urges to use.
- Being unable to manage your responsibilities as a direct result of substance use.
- Continuing to use even though it is resulting in relationship difficulties.
- Giving up important events or activities because of substance use.
- Continuing to use even when it puts you in dangerous situations.
- Continuing to use even though doing so is making a psychical or psychological problem worse.
- Forming a tolerance to a substance, and as a result, feeling the need to use more to get the desired results.
- Going through withdrawal when the substance is stopped and using can relieve these symptoms.
Some would argue that many – if not all – of these criteria can apply to marijuana. Others would argue that none of them apply. Let’s take a closer look at how this drug affects people physically and psychologically.
What Is a Marijuana Addiction?
A marijuana addiction occurs when your use of this drug moves from recreational to necessary. By this point, you believe that you need it, and without it, you won’t be yourself. You may experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop using it. Many people put themselves on a regular schedule for the times they’ll get high during the day. If they happen to miss one of these “appointments,” it’s hard for them to cope.
Any type of addiction is dangerous, even when the drug is widely known to be harmless. Marijuana is certainly not harmless, and once you get addicted to it, it’s very hard to stop. Cannabis use disorder is a diagnosis found in the DSM-V. It’s described as a condition that indicates problematic marijuana use. The use of this diagnosis indicates the possibility that using this drug can negatively impact people. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re addicted.
The truth is that not everyone who uses this drug will become addicted to it. The use of this new term allows for that. There are varying levels of severity that can be indicated when someone is given this diagnosis. People who use cannabis regularly have different experiences, which means they require more specific diagnoses.
Reach Out to Northpoint Seattle for Support for Marijuana Addiction
If you have a marijuana addiction, getting help is the best gift you could give yourself. You may not know how to quit or where to begin, and we can help you with that here at Northpoint Seattle.
Many of our staff members are former addicts themselves. They understand what you’re going through because they’ve been there. That fact alone gives them a unique empathy that’s not easy to find from other treatment providers. If you’re battling an undiagnosed co-occurring disorder, that needs to be treated. You’ll also benefit from getting to know other patients and gaining their support.
Do you have questions about whether or not marijuana is addictive? We want to help you find some answers and get the help you need to recover. Please contact us today by calling 425.414.3530.