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Question
Posted by: Cheeche | 2010-02-18

Pot head

Hey Doc,

I started to smoke weed at a young age, roundabout std 8/grd10. First it was just a social thing, then I used to smoke more and more, before eating, before a movie, before bed - you get the idea?

Well I'm 32 now, married with a wonderfull very special baby boy of 2yrs and I would really like to quit the habit. I tried before but after about a day I start to crave again and fall back to my old ways.

Why aren't I able to quit? Is weed addictive? Any help please.

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Our expert says:
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Greetings

You can't stop smoking marijuana, despite the fact that you have a young child. What does that tell you? It certainly points towards addiction.

Smoking regularly you will find that the drug begins to dominate your lifestyle. It influences how you spend your time, the people you hang around with, etc. It thus limits your freedom.

Smoking it daily also stunts your personal and emotional growth. You use it to medicate your feelings instead of learning and growing through new situations.

The biggest point here is not really physical addiction regarding Marijuana, but rather the idea of psychological addiction is what is important.

This is because Marijuana is very addictive to some people in a psychological sense because the person uses the drug to basically escape reality and to medicate their feelings.

More importantly, what sort of father and spouse can you be if you are stoned so often? You certainly can't be present 100% in your child or spouse's life?

Being stoned is like being in a semi-coma, only half-alive, drifting along as if in an under-water world.

You are robbing them and yourself of valuable quality time. You will probably also find that your motivation to engage in a meaningful way with life, your work and people will diminished.

It eats away at your ambition, relationships, hobbies and many other things.

My suggestion is that you contact us as soon as possible. Phone Ruby on Tel: 021 790 7779 or email her on ruby@harmonyclinic.co.za

She will be able to put you in touch with support groups and point you in the right direction.

Don't wait, do this today, before you wake up one day and you're a middle-aged pothead with no life.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

3
Our users say:
Posted by: ADHDude | 2010-04-09

Weed is better than prescription meds. Its therapeutic. Perhaps your brain was missing the chemicals or not producing the chemicals properly so weed helps. I do not believe in addiction. Addiction is better discribed as a need for chemicals that are not working properly in the body. Rehabs want to use that excuse to make money. I am refering to rehabs like harmonyclinic where you pay like 45 000 a month. Making money for nothing

Reply to ADHDude
Posted by: More information from Harmony Clinic | 2010-02-19

Marijuana is the most commonly abused illicit drug in the worldwide. It is a dry, shredded green and brown mix of flowers, stems, seeds, and leaves derived from the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. The main active chemical in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol  THC for short.
How is Marijuana Abused?
Marijuana is usually smoked as a cigarette (joint) or in a pipe. It is also smoked in blunts, which are cigars that have been emptied of tobacco and refilled with marijuana. Since the blunt retains the tobacco leaf used to wrap the cigar, this mode of delivery combines marijuana’ s active ingredients with nicotine and other harmful chemicals. Marijuana can also be mixed in food or brewed as a tea. As a more concentrated, resinous form it is called hashish, and as a sticky black liquid, hash oil. Marijuana smoke has a pungent and distinctive, usually sweet-and-sour odor.
Marijuana Addiction
Marijuana addiction has clear signs and indicators and this page will discuss this in depth. Marijuana addiction is simply an uncontrollable urge to possess and use the drug. Those with marijuana addiction are not able to stop using the drug even if they wish. Often a person with marijuana addiction will make continuous excuses about why now is not a good time to stop using the drug. Such people are not alone. Marijuana addiction is a disease that affects millions of people every year.
There is a good reason why admission to rehabilitation facilities has doubled for marijuana addiction. The potency of the drug continues to get more powerful and studies show that teens can get a hold of marijuana often easier than alcohol. Even those who seek treatment for drugs that are perceived has “ harder”  like heroin or cocaine will often acknowledge that marijuana is their primary drug of choice.
Marijuana addiction has the same characteristics as any other addiction to other drugs including alcohol, tobacco or even caffeine. The frequent obsession with the drug, thinking about it all the time, where to get it, when to get it, is there enough, is it good enough, will I have the money for more are frequently asked questions. Another trait of marijuana addiction is the physical craving that comes when the body adapts to the drug and begins to develop a tolerance to it. Anyone who has been smoking marijuana for awhile can tell that they must smoke more now to feel the same effect that just a few hits used to produce. It’ s not about the quality of the weed, it’ s the bodies defense mechanism as it readjusts to keep balance with the frequent supply of new chemicals being delivered by the pot.
Consequences of marijuana addiction start to take toll when the user continues to use marijuana even in the event of health or social consequences. Memory and learning problems may be causing problems at work or even result in losing a job because of high absenteeism. Increasing isolation from friends and family often puts heavy strain on relationships with loved ones. There is a vicious cycle to marijuana addiction in which these problems are often used as a rational to smoke even more pot. A trap that many fall into is that the drug that is causing the problem becomes the solution to the problem it caused.
Identifying Suspected Marijuana Abuse
Drug Addict Physical Appearance
Irritated, bloodshot, red eyes
Dazed or expressionless appearance
Dry lips or “ cotton mouth” 
Strong odor of burnt rope or grass on person or clothes.
Drug Addict Mannerisms or Behaviour
Walking around in a daze or euphoric stupor
Lack of emotion, “ whatever”  attitude
Staring out into space or at nothing
May go into fits of laughter or laugh when there is nothing to laugh about.
Putting clothes in wash immediately upon coming home
Taking a quick shower before being around other
Suddenly very hungry, “ munchies” .
Drug Addict items around or hidden in the house, bedroom, etc.
Rolling papers
“ Blunt”  cigars
Bongs
Larger bags with leafy residue or seeds in them
Small or “ designer”  pipes
Marijuana users who have taken high doses of the drug may experience acute toxic psychosis, which includes hallucinations, delusions, and depersonalization –  a loss of the sense of personal identity, or self-recognition. Although the specific causes of these symptoms remain unknown, they appear to occur more frequently when a high dose of cannabis is consumed in food or drink rather than smoked.
Marijuana has the potential to promote cancer of the lungs and other parts of the respiratory tract because it contains irritants and carcinogens. In fact, marijuana smoke contains 50 percent to 70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than does tobacco smoke. It also produces high levels of an enzyme that converts certain hydrocarbons into their carcinogenic form, levels that may accelerate the changes that ultimately produce malignant cells. Marijuana users usually inhale more deeply and hold their breath longer than tobacco smokers do, which increases the lungs’  exposure to carcinogenic smoke. These facts suggest that, puff for puff, smoking marijuana may increase the risk of cancer more than smoking tobacco does.
Getting Help
Marijuana addiction must be treated like the disease it is. The Harmony Group of treatment centres has been helping people get off of marijuana for over 7 years. Providing a specialised combination of medical treatment and behavioural therapy has seen a high success rate of recovery for marijuana abusers.

Reply to More information from Harmony Clinic
Posted by: Addictions expert forum | 2010-02-19

Greetings

You can't stop smoking marijuana, despite the fact that you have a young child. What does that tell you? It certainly points towards addiction.

Smoking regularly you will find that the drug begins to dominate your lifestyle. It influences how you spend your time, the people you hang around with, etc. It thus limits your freedom.

Smoking it daily also stunts your personal and emotional growth. You use it to medicate your feelings instead of learning and growing through new situations.

The biggest point here is not really physical addiction regarding Marijuana, but rather the idea of psychological addiction is what is important.

This is because Marijuana is very addictive to some people in a psychological sense because the person uses the drug to basically escape reality and to medicate their feelings.

More importantly, what sort of father and spouse can you be if you are stoned so often? You certainly can't be present 100% in your child or spouse's life?

Being stoned is like being in a semi-coma, only half-alive, drifting along as if in an under-water world.

You are robbing them and yourself of valuable quality time. You will probably also find that your motivation to engage in a meaningful way with life, your work and people will diminished.

It eats away at your ambition, relationships, hobbies and many other things.

My suggestion is that you contact us as soon as possible. Phone Ruby on Tel: 021 790 7779 or email her on ruby@harmonyclinic.co.za

She will be able to put you in touch with support groups and point you in the right direction.

Don't wait, do this today, before you wake up one day and you're a middle-aged pothead with no life.

Reply to Addictions expert forum

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