In recent years, marijuana use has become more and more socially acceptable due to the legalization of marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes in some parts of the United States. Even while marijuana usage may be more socially acceptable than it has been in decades, habitual use of marijuana often still leads to an addiction that can decrease your quality of life. While marijuana may not be as physically addictive as other illicit drugs, those who develop an addiction to marijuana still suffer from negative consequences because of using the drug. For most who use marijuana, it can be very difficult to identify when marijuana usage develops into an addiction. Following are the five most common signs of Marijuana addiction.
1. You crave marijuana
Perhaps the most obvious sign of a marijuana addiction is the constant craving of marijuana when you are not using the substance. You may find yourself fixated on how you will acquire marijuana next or when you will be able to use the substance next. You may begin to plan your life and your day around “marijuana breaks.” Quite often, you will find yourself longing for the next time which you can escape from your responsibilities and use marijuana.
2. Marijuana interferes with your everyday life
Because of the insistent cravings, you may eventually come to neglect your other responsibilities so to engage in marijuana usage. You may call off of work, miss your children’s activities, or neglect your studies because you are using too much of your time getting high on marijuana. One common side effect of chronic marijuana usage is apathy and lack of motivation, which can interfere with your ability to perform well at work and to take care of your responsibilities within your family and home life. Your marijuana usage may cause a strain on your personal relationships as your loved ones compete with marijuana for your time and attention.
3. Your tolerance has increased
With continued marijuana usage, eventually you will begin to need more and more of the substance in order to achieve the same physical high you felt using smaller dosages in the past. This phenomenon is called tolerance building, and it is the most common physical sign of addiction. When perhaps only one or two marijuana cigarettes may have been necessary to achieve the desired high in the past, you may now require three or four marijuana cigarettes to achieve the same level of high you achieved previously.
4. Marijuana Withdrawal
Another important physical sign of marijuana addiction is experiencing withdrawal when “coming down” from a marijuana high or when abstaining from marijuana usage. Common withdrawal symptoms include increased irritability, difficulty sleeping, headaches or body aches, and increased anxiety. For those who experience withdrawal, these uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms can often be enough to push them to use again. However, these withdrawal symptoms typically only last a few days and can be overcome with the right supports.
5. Inability to Stop Using
Finally, another marked sign of marijuana addiction is the inability to abstain from marijuana usage. Perhaps you have learned you may be subjected to a drug screen or you wish to stop to save money, but you find yourself struggling to quit despite a great desire to do so. If you are suffering from a marijuana addiction, you may find it extremely difficult to quit using the substance even if you are highly motivated to stop or significantly reduce your marijuana usage.
Are You Addicted to Marijuana?
If you are questioning whether or not you or a loved one you know has a marijuana addiction, ask yourself the following questions: Are you consistently craving marijuana? Does your usage of marijuana control important parts of your life and interfere with your ability to meet your responsibilities? Do you feel like you need more and more marijuana each time you use? Do you experience increased irritability, trouble sleeping or other withdrawal symptoms when you are not using marijuana? Are you not able to stop using even though you strongly desire to stop? If you answer yes to any or all of these, it is likely that you are suffering from a marijuana addiction and should seek professional treatment for your addiction.