With the recent legalization of Cannabis (also known as marijuana, pot, weed, ganga etc.) in Canada it’s a good time to have a discussion about the difference between causal use of marijuana & being dependent or addicted to using marijuana.
So what does addiction or dependency on marijuana look like?
Addiction is cyclical meaning it follows a pretty distinct pattern ♻️.
That pattern or cycle may look similar to this:
1️⃣ We go about our day with ingrained, subconscious, pre-existing thoughts that can be activated when we come across something uncomfortable. It can be as simple as being run down (H.A.L.T.- Am I hungry, angry, lonely or tired?) or more complex such as an argument with a co-worker that…
2️⃣ Triggers our pre-existing thoughts and starts the…
3️⃣ Preoccupation with getting high. Thinking about getting high starts the…
4️⃣ Ritualization of planning the high. This can look like buying weed and rolling a joint, or preparing a bong etc.
5️⃣ Then the using occurs and at some point after the come down…
6️⃣ The uncomfortable experience or feelings return and we may be left feeling down with some shame & guilt mixed in.
Is your marijuana use problematic?
Here is a simple checklist to help determine if use is detrimental:
✅ Using marijuana is negatively impacting your life. Example: poor performance at work, not completing daily responsibilities like grocery shopping, making bill payments etc.
✅ You’ve tried to stop using and were unsuccessful.
✅ You’ve tried to reduce the amount you use and were unsuccessful.
✅ People in your life have expressed concern over your drug use.
✅ Daily drug use.
✅ Choosing relationships & activities that accommodate drug use. Example: Not doing something like attending a family get together because you wouldn’t be able to get high.
*Please note for youths age 25 and under, using marijuana daily may disrupt brain development and have long-term consequences including cognitive impairments.