In today’s society, there is definitely a mixed message about the use of marijuana, or more correctly Cannabis sativa or just Cannabis. For many people, it is seen as a recreational drug that is commonly used and has no side-effects or health concerns, while for others it is an addictive substance that is linked to the use of increasingly stronger drugs and high-risk behaviours. For those seeking addiction counselling in London it is an addiction and it already has had some negative impact on their life.
There are many different ways for people to use marijuana. Smoking is the most widely used option for the drug and provides a higher level of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the chemical that is responsible for creating the high associated with use. It is also possible to consume Cannabis in foods, which is also a popular option as it eliminates the highly identifiable smell of smoking pot.
Is Marijuana Addictive?
Before talking about the signs of addiction to marijuana, it is important to look at the reality of Cannabis addiction. Many people talk about the use of marijuana and the fact that it is not addictive and cannot cause addiction. However, studies on the brain and physiological aspects of those who use marijuana on a regular basis show that there are the same addictive symptoms as found with other drugs and with other addictive activities.
In reality, about 10% of those using marijuana occasionally will become addicted. However, if the use of the drug started in the early to late teen years the percentage of those addicted reaches close to 20%. In studies on individuals who use marijuana daily the rate of addiction, when comparing issues such as withdrawal issues, physical discomfort, irritability and sleep problems, rises to up to 50% in different study populations.
The main factor seems to be the increasing potency in the marijuana that is available today. With specialised modifications to the plants to boost the THC content addiction levels are increasing people are smoking the same amount but actually inhaling far more of the chemical.
Sometimes family members, spouses, and friends aren’t sure if they need to talk to a loved one about addiction counselling in London if they are chronic marijuana users.
In fact, most counsellors recommend having these conversations as sometimes the responses and reactions you hear may help you to assess any possible addiction issues.
The most common signs of Cannabis addiction include:
- An increasing need to smoke more, to smoke more frequently, or to look for specific types of marijuana that are higher THC blends or types.
- An increasing disinterest in everyday life as more and more effort and time is spent in getting high and finding drugs. For some, this can include skipping work or school to spend time looking for weed and getting high.
- Interacting only with other marijuana users or choosing friends and family to spend time with based on their willingness to allow the drug use in their home or in their presence.
- Smoking marijuana to calm down, to “get right”, or to be able to get ready to face the day.
- Smoking at work or school in clear violation of the law as well as facility policies. This is often done despite warnings that there is an awareness of the activity and that it can cause serious consequences.
- Talking about slowing down or quitting, but then always having an excuse to smoke again.
If you are concerned about the actions of a loved one around smoking pot, getting them into addiction counselling in London can allow them to change their behaviour and end their addiction before it causes significant damage to their life.