A pot smoking addiction is a risk to your health. Like tobacco, smoke weed, and you’re at risk. However, when you smoke weed and function, you can ask ‘why stop’? I’m often asked this question.
Smoking weed has become so common that when I do a drug assessment and ask the question ‘do you use any drugs?’ I specifically ask, “what about weed?’ This is usually met with surprise: ‘Weed? Oh sure I smoke weed’—but it’s not a smoking addiction. It’s not a problem.”
I’m not here to preach the right or wrong of smoking marijuana. Many people maintain a good career and quality of life and don’t develop a dependency. Others -- particularly those who are coping with chronic disease – benefit from the effects of relaxation and pain reduction. However, a smoking addiction to marijuana can develop, and you have to weigh the costs and benefits ~ as well as the legal issues. These facts can help you make an informed decision.
Breathing problems: Marijuana takes a huge toll on the respiratory system. You inhale deeply and your lungs can be burnt from inhaling the smoke. You can also develop a dry cough -- the “weed smokers’ cough”.
Nasal Problems: Your nose develops more mucus. When you wake up, the nasal congestion can feel as if you have a cold or suffer from allergies.
Carcinogens: You know smoking tobacco cause cancer. Marijuana has more carcinogens then cigarettes. You also inhale deeper, so you’re causing yourself even more damage.
Premature Aging: Just as tobacco affects the aging of your skin and discolors your teeth, pot does the same thing. If you stop smoking, your eyes will look clearer, your skin will be smoother and the color of your skin will look healthier.
Energy: When you smoke weed it makes you lethargic. You don’t feel like doing much and you’re OK doing nothing. You don’t have the energy or motivation, to jog, do sports, or participate in activities. Basically, you become boring.
Relationships: Your relationships with non smokers are affected. When you’re stoned, you don’t want to be with them and they aren’t interested in hanging around with you either.
Sleep: Smoking marijuana before bed disrupts sleep. When you quit (although you may think it doesn’t affect you) you’ll sleep better.
Regulation: Marijuana, is not regulated so there is no standardization. This means that it can be laced with anything. You can buy weed and not get the high you’re expecting, or it may be laced with anything – and who knows what the result will be.
Smoking Addiction: You can become dependent on marijuana. Like alcohol or any other drug, you develop a tolerance and need to use more to get the same effect.
Drugs affect people in different ways eg. some get ‘the munchies’ – not all. Continuous use can also affect your sex life.
This test will help you determine if you have a problem:
1. Has smoking marijuana stopped being fun?
2. Do you ever get high alone?
3. Is it hard for you to imagine your life without pot?
4. Do you find that your friends are deterred by your marijuana use?
5. Do you smoke to avoid dealing with your problems?
6. Do you smoke pot to cope with your feelings?
7. Does your dope use let you live in a privately defined world?
8. Have you ever failed to keep promises you made about cutting down or controlling your dope smoking?
9. Have you ever failed to keep promises you made about cutting down or controlling your dope smoking?
10. Has your drug use caused problems with memory, concentration, or motivation?
10. When your stash is nearly empty, do you feel anxious or worried about how to get more?
11. Do you plan your life around your pot use?
12. Have friends or relatives ever complained that your pot smoking is damaging your relationship with them?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you may have a problem with this drug.
The results of this self test can provide you with useful information, but it is only a self test and not a professional diagnostic assessment.
You should never a substitute a self-evaluation test for the advice of a trained professional, who can understand and evaluate you particular situation.
For further help, go to Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or (MA) Marijuana Anonymous. These meetings can be very helpful, and you'll also develop a support system of people to contact.
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