Many states have legalized recreational marijuana in recent years, but few people are aware that pot use is addictive. Public health experts have known for years about the addiction, including its withdrawal symptoms and psychological dependence.
Healthcare professionals warn that marijuana addiction is on the rise because of the genetically tweaked pot plants that are highly addictive. What’s more, some users are smoking pot several times a day which boost the risk of addiction.
There should be no controversy about the existence of marijuana addiction,
addiction expert Dr. David Smith said.
Dr. Smith opened a free rehab center for drug addicts in San Francisco in the 1960s. The doctor added that the clinic sees pot addiction every day. Dr. Smith believes that the only controversy should revolve around why some people seem more addicted than others.
According to government documents, pot use has remained relatively steady in recent years. In the past three years, though, there was a slight increase in the states that recently legalized cannabis.
Around one pot user in ten becomes addicted if they start in adulthood. For teens, that figure jumps to 17%.
Pot Addiction Is a Real Issue
However, some studies believe that even more people tend to develop a marijuana addiction. This means that people otherwise considered not addicted experience withdrawal symptoms when they want to stay clean.
- The drug’s rate of addiction is lower than that of other controlled substances like cocaine (15%) and heroin (24%).
- But unlike cocaine and heroin, pot addiction has a slow onset. It may take years for a user to become an addict.
In addition, nobody has died yet of a pot overdose. Marijuana addiction’s withdrawal symptoms include cravings, chills, sweats, loss of appetite, anxiety, and moodiness.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, around 2.7 million Americans are addicted to marijuana. The number of pot addicts is slightly lower than those of alcoholics.
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