It is important to distinguish between the symptoms of recreational use and the symptoms of a cannabis addiction. Even though a lot of recreational users do not have an addiction issue, the step towards addiction is a small one. Here we explain how often smoking can lead to addiction.
SYMPTOMS OF SMOKING
Smoking a joint once in a while does not necessarily lead to addiction. But somebody who smokes all day could get into trouble. One can recognize a user by physical symptoms, such as red eyes, dry mouth and trembling. Grass and hash can be smoked, one can brew tea with it or eat it in the form of cake or cookies. The active substance is called THC. Smoking a joint is a relaxant to a lot of people. But smoking also enhances one’s personal feelings. Somebody who’s feeling well might feel better, but anybody not in the right frame of mind might just develop feelings of anxiety or depression. Even though cannabis is less addictive physically than for instance cocaine or tobacco, 10 % of the users suffers a mental dependency. This means thinking about use has priority and that you don’t function anymore without smoking. Quitting is pretty hard to do. Smoking can even induce psychosis, or if you suffered from it earlier, a relapse.
HOW DOES CANNABIS ADDICTION COME ABOUT ?
Just as with alcohol or cocaine addiction the cause for a cannabis addiction is not simple to determine. Personal issues, surroundings, psychic problems and genetics could be a factor of influence.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE AN ADDICTION ?
Anyone smoking a lot could show symptoms of mental addiction. It has a negative influence on memory and concentration. Logical thought is impeded, just as absorbing information. In users still going to school or studying low grades are often the silent witnesses. The ability to react quickly also diminishes. Besides that, depressions, sleeping problems, restlessness, hallucinations and feelings of anxiety can occur. Abundance of smoking can stunt your grow or cause impotence, and can lead to psychic problems such as depressions and psychosis. Use while pregnant can increase chances of leukemia in the unborn child.
WHEN IS THERE AN ADDICTION ?
A cannabis addiction is simple to identify. The gravity of the problem depends on a lot of factors. How often you use in general, the reasons you are using and where your threshold is at are good examples. How long you have been using is weird enough of less importance when it comes down to treating your problem. The physical addiction can be endured, but it is the mental dependency that needs to be whipped.
WHICH FORMS OF ADDICTION ARE THERE ?
You feel uncomfortable if you are not using, or don’t get the chance to do so. During work, school or any other daily activity you think about the moments that you have been using, and try to figure out how soon you’ll be able to use your drug of choice again. If you can’t answer that question, you might feel sad or even worried. This thinking pattern indicates a mental dependency, for one thing. You associate drugs with happiness, freedom and coziness. You consider drugs either as an outlet, or as a suppressant of your emotions. As long as you are not able to identify the triggers for your use, your chances of mending are slim.
You feel physically ill. You use frequently and do (illegal) things you never expected to, in order to obtain money. Not using is not a valid option anymore. You are often late at work or school and don’t function the way you used to. In the worst case you use sneaky in the presence of co-workers, your children or your parents. Co-workers, family and friends are all worried about you and offer to help, but you don’t deem it necessary. This behavior pattern indicates a mental dependency combined with a physical addiction, that you unfortunately can’t control anymore. If you don’t use you fall ill, and your instincts try to prevent such.
Do you recognize yourself in these scenarios? Then you’re addicted. You can try to do the cold turkey, but it seldom lasts long. You have to know the reasons, and what your purpose in life is in order to get through the hard times ahead. A clinic like Ready For Change can help you recognizing and dealing with your problem, to set new goals and create a structure in your life. They are not without reason a GGZ institution, a mental healthcare centre.