There are a lot of competing perspectives on marijuana and whether it is truly addictive. So is it? A drug is considered addictive if it makes you dependent on it. In other words, you get withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking it. You also crave an addictive drug – as in you just really want to take it – even when it isn’t around. First off, anything that you are using habitually to change your mood, you probably have a craving for.
At some point today you probably thought to yourself, “I really want a cup of coffee.” Or even: “I really need a cup of coffee.” So, for the majority of people, habitual marijuana use certainly fits that criteria. Does it lead to physical dependence? In short, yes. According to PsychCentral, marijuana withdrawal symptoms include depression, anxiety, loss of appetite, difficulty concentrating, irritability, restlessness, insomnia, abdominal pain, sweating, shakiness, chills, headache and even fever. And some of these symptoms, like insomnia, can last more than a month.
The thing is, like with so many drugs, it is easy to start to tell yourself that you need it – to feel less anxious, to eat, to sleep, etc. Just like we think we need our coffee to wake up in the morning, when really we can’t wake up because we have conditioned ourselves to need coffee.
The truth is, marijuana makes these things worse. Yes, even anxiety. Just think about your coffee!
Kirsten Helgager, Psy.D. – PSY27247
AToN Center 888-535-1516