While marijuana is not as addictive as other drugs, such as cocaine or heroin, it is entirely possible to form a dependency upon it.
We recently published a comprehensive guide on how to quit smoking weed. If you regularly use weed, or are concerned that you or a loved one may be addicted to it, there are a number of signs to look out for. This article describes some of the strongest indicators of weed addiction.
As with most drugs, marijuana tolerance increases with use. If you notice that you continually need to use more weed to achieve the desired effect, this may be a sign of addiction.
Withdrawal From Weed
If reducing or fully stopping your weed intake causes you to experience withdrawal symptoms, this is a sign of addiction. While withdrawal symptoms for weed are not as intense as those for alcohol or other drugs, they can still be extremely disruptive and challenging. They may include irritation, anxiety, difficulty sleeping and physical discomfort. As weed functions to repress dreams, someone in withdrawal may also experience vivid, alarming dreams.
Anxiety About Not Being Able to Smoke
People struggling with addiction will often experience discomfort or anxiety at the prospect of not being able to use substances. If you notice yourself reacting in this way to the idea of being unable to smoke weed for a sustained period of time, you may be addicted. If you seek ways to avoid situations where you will be unable to smoke, this is another strong warning sign.
Using More Than Intended
If you often find yourself using significantly more weed than you’d intended or expected to, this is a sign of addiction. If you have a certain amount set aside for use but end up using more, this indicates that you may be unable to impose limits on your use. This is a strong indication of a dependence.
Dishonesty About Use
If you often lie about or hide the extent of your weed habit, this may be a sign of addiction. If you notice that you understate your own use to yourself when thinking about it, this is another strong indicator. Giving an honest account to yourself of your habits is an important step towards understanding whether you have a problem and admitting it to yourself if you do.
Avoiding Other Commitments
When a substance or behaviour causes you to avoid or cancel other commitments or activities, this is a sign of addiction. If weed takes precedence over other aspects of your life, particularly important ones, you definitely have an unhealthy relationship with the drug and may have a dependency. This is also one of the ways in which your addiction can negatively impact your life. Avoiding or cancelling commitments is likely to weaken your support network, affect your professional circumstances, and isolate you from others. Becoming isolated is also likely to worsen your addiction and any concurrent disorders you may have.
Interfering With Responsibilities
If you have identified that your use of weed has negatively impacted your relationships and professional standings, but have failed to reduce it, this is another strong sign of addiction. As soon as you observe negative patterns related to your habit, you should immediately reduce or fully end your intake. If you find this very difficult to do, it may be time to seek professional help.
Failing to Cut Down
Often one of the clearest signs of an addiction is the repeated failure to cut down. Attempting to cut down in the first place is an acknowledgement that your habit is excessive and causing some problems. It is a progressive step to accept this. However, if the attempts are unsuccessful, this suggests that you may be addicted. If repeated attempts to cut down have failed, it may be time to seek professional support.
Dependence For Relaxation
If you depend on weed to relax, sleep or concentrate on your activities, this indicates an unhealthy dependence. If you consistently use substances to achieve a comfortable mental or physical state, you are likely to develop an addiction. While some people use prescribed weed for its medicinal qualities, it is important to do so under the supervision of a medical professional. This will help to ensure that the habit does not become problematic. If you depend on weed to cope with concurrent disorders such as anxiety or depression this is also likely to increase your reliance upon it.
Treatment for Weed Addiction
If you have observed a number of these signs in yourself or a loved one, it is time to stop using weed. You may require professional help to do this. Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centres uses evidence-based methods that have proven effective in treating weed addiction. These include dialectical behavioural therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, and group counselling. We offer both residential and outpatient programs.
These methods allow our clients to identify the underlying causes and consequences of their addiction. They also help them to develop methods for dealing with them. As recovery is a lifelong process, we also provide our clients with aftercare support through our Aftercare and ContinUcare programs. Trafalgar’s support continues long after initial treatment is completed.