While the effects of cannabis are not as pronounced as most other types of drugs, there are still issues that people can fall into when it comes to their marijuana consumption habits. It can be hard to create a definitive categorization of what marijuana looks like, but professionals have developed some loose guidelines which can be used to attempt to do so.
Of course, nobody has ever managed to die as a result of a marijuana addiction, meaning that there have been no overdoses, which is an impressive statistic when you compare this to the figures of those people who die as a result of their alcohol consumption, tobacco habits or prescription pill addictions. However, because of this statistic, there are many people who believe that there is no such thing as weed addiction, which is simply not the case.
If you use anything more than moderately, there is always the chance that you will become addicted and have resulting negative consequences. While there are many great benefits that marijuana consumption can provide, such as relief of chronic pain and changing of mood, there are also side effects that can get out of hand too. It is certainly an issue that should not be taken lightly.
What does marijuana dependence or addiction look like?
As the results of being dependent on marijuana are going to be a lot less significant or severe than other types of addictions, it can be tough to nail down what dependency actually looks like. Usually, this is going to be a long term dependence, which often is based on psychological factors rather than symptoms that are expressed in a physiological manner.
There are certain indicators which are used by researchers to identify marijuana dependence. One of the key signs is that a person will continue to consume cannabis despite this activity leading to impairments in a social, physical and psychological manner. They may be utilising different types of environmental factors in order to justify this dependence, whether it is their low levels of self-esteem, difficulties with their finances, stress, guilt or relationship problems.
While addiction is an issue, the cases of people being dependent on marijuana are a lot less than with other types of drugs. It is believed that approximately 9% of people who utilize marijuana may develop a dependence on it, compared to 15% of people who utilize cocaine and 24% of people that consume heroin. However, because the amount of people consuming marijuana compared to these other drugs is much more pronounced, dependence is going to be that much more prevalent.
Are there risks associated with being dependent on cannabis?
There are, of course, going to be some people that are pre-dispositioned to having dependence issues, often categorized as those people who are suffering from a variety of mental health issues. A lot of people try to use all kinds of treatments to try and help them manage these mental disorders, whether it is anti-anxiety medications or antidepressants, so they can focus throughout their day and keep their mood and symptoms on an even keel.
A lot of these people will then self-medicate with cannabis to try and manage these issues, which of course can lead to dependence and other issues associated with the side effects of weed consumption. Just like with any dependency issue, there is going to be a lot of haze when it comes to a person identifying that they have a problem. If they have been using cannabis for a long time, then it could be very difficult to quit.
There are some indicators which may illustrate that a person is dealing with a cannabis dependency issue. You could be irritable, suffer with anxiety or not be able to cope with these issues without the use of cannabis. Addiction also manifests in the form of people who use all of their weed very quickly, especially when they were only planning on having a few hits but always devolve into heavy smoking.
If you cannot afford to keep up with the cost aspect of consuming marijuana as you are buying it so often then you may have a dependency issue. Furthermore, if your productivity levels fall, whether it is in work, school or in your day to day life as a result of your marijuana consumption, then you may be dealing with dependency issues.
Similarly, if you regularly miss out on activities and opportunities because you are not allowed to get high in these positions, whether it is due to regular drug tests or other limitations, then this will also likely be related to addiction. If your marijuana habit leads to you getting into trouble, then there is a good chance that this is also a dependency issue.
If any of these symptoms sound familiar to you, it may mean that you have some issue with marijuana dependency, and it could be something that needs to be addressed going forward. It is important to deal with these types of issues head on rather than putting them under the rug and devolving into heavier use to try and deal with your issues.
There are numerous programs and resources that can be used in order to overcome these dependency issues. Additionally, it is important that you put yourself in a position where you can avoid relapsing. Some of the common triggers for relapse include the likes of suffering from withdrawal symptoms, having poor levels of self-care, being surrounded by friends or other people who are consuming cannabis, the places you are and the things you are doing, etc.
This can involve different stages and types of relapses, whether it is physical, mental or emotional. It is important that you do not put yourself into situations where you may be inclined to consume weed. This could mean avoiding going to your friend’s house after being out drinking as this used to be your normal routine when smoking weed. You need to figure out where your trigger may lie and implement a plan in order to avoid falling victim to it.