How heavy-marijuana smoking ruined my life, and how quitting saved me!
“It’s my opinion that smoking weed is an escapist activity. When stoned, the world slows almost to a halt, and the pressing issues of the day simply don’t hold emotional sway anymore. It’s not that you ‘forget’ about being fired from your job, it just doesn’t upset you because other things are now making you happier. With weed, your partner leaving you can be quickly and easily remedied by smoking a fat bowl and watching T.V. Put simply, pot is both a narcotic, and a serotonin-booster. You begin to develop a new serotonin-standard that will need to be met, lest anxiety take over.
So, let’s say you’re like me- devastated by a recent break up and crippled by loneliness. You have a demanding job, you’re trying to do well in school, and desperately trying to hold onto something of a social life, all at the same time. Not only does depression loom, but you’re stretched thin and have no time to commit to personal-wellness. Weed is the perfect escape. It’s a quick, efficient way to decompress, and shut out all the stressors. It works marvelously for a while. Then, you run out of pot. Since you spent all your time/money getting high, you haven’t made any life-changes which will off-put the imminent depression/anxiety. Maybe you think “if I only had the time to learn how to meditate,” “if I only had the money for a therapist,” “if only I had time/money to take a vacation.” But, you don’t have that time or money, because again, you spent your money on weed and when you’re weren’t working/going to school, you were getting high.
And so the cycle goes. Your tolerance increases fast, meaning you’ll have to sink more and more money into the drug if you want to continue to reach your happiness-standard. There are still no developments on changing your life in tangible ways, because getting high is now the only way you can logically deal with your emotions. But now you start to notice residual effects when you’re sober- it’s like a permanent hang-over that keeps you groggy, unfocused, and thinking about weed 24/7. You begin to realize- ‘this is an addiction,’ but it’s too late. You’re in the cycle, and it’ll need to get really, really,bad until you’ll have enough motivation to face the world without marijuana. It’s simply too efficient at boosting serotonin, and again, your brain now expects it.
It got really really bad, I smoked 5 times a day, 7-days a week, for 2 years. I no longer recognized myself- my moral compass ceased to exist. I found myself scouring the disgusting carpet for weed crumbs, sneaking nugglets from my friends when they weren’t looking, lying to my parents about needing more money, and having panic-attacks when I couldn’t find weed. Everyone noticed. My friends would mention their observations to me, but ultimately left me to spiral, and I lost touch with all of them. Even if an opportunity would arise to hang-out with them, or do anything proactive other than what I was specifically obliged to do, I would usually choose to instead go get baked alone”.
Marijuana Addition Is Real
We often hear comments from people claiming that marijuana isn’t addictive. A lot of people seem to think marijuana is different from other drugs. Unfortunately, it’s not the case: Just like with other drugs (including alcohol and nicotine), you can get addicted to marijuana—especially if you use it during your teen years.
Dependence vs. Addiction
Drug “dependence” means needing a drug to feel physically okay. If a person is dependent on a drug, having enough of a supply is always important to them. However, being dependent doesn’t necessarily mean they’re addicted. For example, many people can be dependent on a medication prescribed by their doctor without being addicted to it.
The difference is that people who are addicted start to think about the drug all the time and make it a larger priority than other things in their life. They often make bad decisions that work against their health and their overall well-being. In the case of a medication, they may start to abuse it (use it differently than how the doctor prescribed): taking more of it, or crushing it and injecting it. Or in the case of a drug like marijuana, they’ll be unable to stop using it even though it’s causing problems with school, a job, or relationships. People with an addiction are often unable to see—or admit—that this is happening.
That Bad Feeling …
… is called withdrawal. A person with drug dependence will experience withdrawal if they completely stop using the drug all at once. Withdrawal is what leads a lot of people who are addicted to a drug to relapse—meaning, they’ve tried to quit, but they start taking the drug again.
A new study External link, please review our disclaimer. in the Journal of Addiction Medicine shows that teens who use marijuana heavily can experience withdrawal when they stop using it. In a study of teens receiving drug abuse treatment at an outpatient clinic, nearly half of them (40 percent) experienced symptoms of withdrawal when they stopped using marijuana.
Not Just a Crummy Day
From portrayals in movies and on TV of people addicted to heroin, people have an image of drug withdrawal as sweating, shaking, and being curled up in bed with unbearable pain. Marijuana withdrawal is a lot more subtle, but every bit as real.
The main mental symptoms of marijuana withdrawal include:
- Being irritable
- Feeling anxious or worried
- Feeling depressed
- Being restless
- Having trouble sleeping at night and feeling tired during the day
- Having low appetite or losing weight.
Some people having marijuana withdrawal might not realize it. Some of the symptoms just contribute to being in a lousy mood, and it’s often easy to blame that feeling on other people annoying you or just having a bad day. You can also have physical symptoms like:
- Stomach pain
- More Use = More Problems
The longer a person uses marijuana, the more likely they are to have withdrawal symptoms when they aren’t using it. In the Journal of Addiction Medicine study, teens who had marijuana withdrawal symptoms were more likely than other marijuana users to have problems like difficulties at school or at work or trouble with relationships or money. They were also more likely to have other signs of marijuana dependence and mood disorders like depression.
And teen users who suffer marijuana withdrawal are more likely to experience marijuana addiction than adults. One in six teens who try marijuana will get addicted to it, and that goes up to as many as one-half of teens who use it every day.