Recreational use of marijuana occurs across the United States. Marijuana is second only to alcohol as the most commonly used drug in the country, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. While marijuana users might argue that the drug isn’t addictive, evidence suggests that users can become dependent on the drug. So, when asking “Is marijuana addictive?” it is important to consider the impact of the drug and the withdrawal symptoms that users may experience. Learn more about marijuana use disorder, which can develop into an addiction for some users.
The Debate on “Is Marijuana Addictive?”
Researchers and marijuana users alike have debated the question of “Is marijuana addictive?” for decades. Many people do not regard marijuana as a hard drug because of a few overdoses or deaths related to its use. However, being under the influence of marijuana, like alcohol addiction, can lead to other risky behaviors. These behaviors, such as driving while impaired, can result in injury or even death. As a result, marijuana clearly isn’t a harmless drug. Plus, frequent use of the drug can increase these risks. Even more, this drug can interfere with daily life, so its overuse can have a negative impact on the quality of life.
Marijuana Use Disorder
Occasional marijuana use likely isn’t going to cause addiction. However, when someone uses marijuana frequently for at least a 12-month span, dependency can develop. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 6 million adults had signs of marijuana use disorder in the past year. Several key behaviors indicate possible marijuana use disorder:
- Craving marijuana
- Dedicating a lot of time smoking and acquiring marijuana
- Having trouble reducing marijuana use
- Building a higher tolerance for marijuana
- Choosing drug use over other activities
- Using marijuana despite negative side effects
- Letting drug use interfere with school, work, and family life
A single behavior alone does not mean you have an addiction to marijuana. However, multiple sustained behaviors can point to a problem. Marijuana use disorder can be mild, moderate, or severe. The sooner you treat the substance use disorder and reduce your dependence on the drug, the less likely you are to experience withdrawal symptoms. As a result, identifying signs of this disorder early is key in your treatment.
Treatment and Withdrawal
Like with other drugs, discontinuing prolonged and frequent marijuana use can result in withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms vary depending on the user. Some people experience mild symptoms, and others face more severe ones. If you are receiving treatment for marijuana use disorder, you may experience some of these symptoms:
- Anxiety and depression
- Insomnia or fatigue
- Loss of appetite
Typically, these symptoms last for a week or two. However, individuals with severe marijuana use disorder can experience them for up to a month. Withdrawing from marijuana under the supervision of a health professional is best so that you can manage these symptoms. Plus, professional treatment maximizes your chances of success. Fortunately, several treatment options are available to guide you as you overcome this addiction.
Getting Help With Marijuana Use Disorder
If you find yourself wondering “Is marijuana addictive?” then it’s possible you’re struggling with the overuse of this drug. Don’t let marijuana control your life. If you’re worried about your marijuana use or are experiencing symptoms of a marijuana use disorder, contact us to put yourself on the road to recovery. We offer a number of addiction treatment programs including:
- Individual therapy program
- Holistic therapy program
- Outpatient rehab treatment
- Residential treatment center