Did you know that 40 percent of marijuana users are parents? The use of marijuana is rising with legalization and normalization. There is a lot of misinformation out there and still plenty of controversy over what marijuana helps, who should use it, and whether it can be harmful. And yes, more people are seeking help for marijuana addiction than ever before.
Which Marijuana Users Get Addicted and Why?
Your first thought might be teenagers and young adults, but don’t fool yourself. It’s estimated that at least 6,600 people become new marijuana users every day. And use among seniors is growing faster than ever with an estimated 250 percent jump in use between 2006 and 2013.
It’s estimated that about 30 percent of the 22.2 million who used marijuana in the past month have some sort of use disorder and people who use weed before adulthood are far more likely to develop marijuana use disorder than adults who use.
Where millions of marijuana users can pick it up or put it down at any time without experiencing withdrawal, some struggle with marijuana addiction. Genes, mental illness, personal and familial support, and building up a tolerance may all play a role in dependence that leads to addiction. You see, as you become more tolerant, you may need more marijuana to feel its effects. If you use marijuana long enough, your brain may become dependent.
When you quit consuming marijuana, your body may compensate – by making your heart beat fast, by affecting your mood and even causing sweats and chills, and nausea. You may not be able to sleep, and when you do sleep, you might be affected by intense dreaming.
Some people can smoke marijuana heavily for decades and experience no real withdrawal symptoms when they quit. Some may experience some symptoms of withdrawal, but not severe enough to prevent them from doing their normal activities of daily life or meeting normal obligations and responsibilities.
For others though, weed is more important than hanging out with friends who don’t smoke, or with family. It’s more important than how they function in their job or how they handle their responsibilities.
Signs of Marijuana Abuse or Addiction
Some of the most common signs that your use of marijuana may have turned into a use disorder include:
- Needing to consume more marijuana to reach the same high;
- Consuming more marijuana than you had planned;
- Not being able to cut back or stop using altogether, despite wanting to;
- The majority of your day involves weed, whether looking for it, thinking about it, or consuming it;
- You no longer engage in your normal activities and hobbies;
- Continuing to consume marijuana despite getting into trouble or suffering problems;
- You escape problems by getting high;
- Depending on weed to help you be creative, feel relaxed, or deal with issues;
- Failing to meet your normal responsibilities and obligations;
- Choosing activities and relationships based on whether you can get high.
The first step of recovery is realizing you have a problem. If you are thinking about being high, how to get money to get high, or need to consume larger amounts to get high, you may have a use disorder. While the withdrawal process for marijuana addiction is typically not nearly as difficult as with alcohol and some other drugs, you may suffer symptoms of marijuana withdrawal for several weeks after quitting.