Marijuana and treatment
Brendan Lane Asks ...
Out of all of the users of marijuana why don't more people seek treatment if they believe they're addicted?
Zelik Mintz Says ...
Because marijuana is so widely used and most often not physically addictive, many people do not take addiction to the substance seriously. Only about 10-15% of marijuana users acquire a physically addiction to the drug - attempting to stop causes a physical craving and withdrawal symptoms. Marijuana is also not generally thought of as causing a physical deterioration with heavy use or associated with causing a physical illness. Because marijuana is thought of as fun and difficult to quantify as a problem ("pothead" is not thought of as analogous to alcoholic or junkie), the seriousness of being addicted to marijuana is greatly minimized. But with marijuana the same questions can be asked that are asked to assess any other addiction - whether with physical and/or emotional dependency: Can one stop using when one wants to? Does one need it to function (e.g. social settings)? Does using affect optimal functioning? Does using affect relationships? Marijuana addiction can indeed seriously limit motivation and contribute to the avoidance of problems (self-medicating). Treatment is vital to address what can be marijuana addiction's substantial adverse effect on one's life.