Cannabis, or marijuana, is currently the most popular illicit drug in the U.S., and more young people smoke marijuana than cigarettes. Because of its widespread use, there is a lot of interest in understanding marijuana and how addiction can be treated. Here are three things you should know about marijuana addiction.
1. The Risk of Getting Caught
Although some of the issues with and effects of the drug could be compared to the legal substance alcohol, so long as it remains illegal, it creates a substantial risk for those who use it. At least 200,000 students, for example, have been denied college financial aid because they had previous drug convictions on their records. Depending on where you live and what you are carrying, getting caught can get you anything from a fine and a ticket, to time spent in jail.
2. Is Marijuana Addictive?
There has always been some debate about whether or not marijuana addiction is real, since it lacks the chemical addictiveness of cigarettes, which have nicotine. The experience of withdrawal symptoms, however, is real, and can often be the reason quitters relapse. A study by Duke University found that over 95% of marijuana smokers who tried to quit experienced at least one withdrawal symptom. Marijuana withdrawal symptoms included poor sleep, irrititability, mood swings, headaches and anxiety.
3. What Options are There for Marijuana Addiction Treatment?
There are several options for treatment depending on the circumstances of the individual and severity of the symptoms. Most addicts found that symptoms, which begin one to three days after quitting, disappeared after three weeks, although some experienced lasting effects for several months. Reading treatment books can sometimes be helpful since it reminds the individual that many other people have gone through what they are going through. Saving the money that would have been spent on weed and spending it on a fun weekend can be a positive reminder of what the quitter can do when they are not smoking. For headaches and other symptoms, doctor prescriptions can sometimes be helpful as well.