Many of those addicted to marijuana don’t believe that they have developed an addiction because marijuana’s “not that serious”. However, there are people out there who are questioning whether or not they may have an addiction to marijuana, and there are two red flags that, when we notice both going on in our lives, probably mean getting an assessment by a professional is the best next step for us. These steps can be combined in a single sentence: We have marijuana-related problems and we keep smoking it anyway .
We have marijuana-related problems…
This part of the sentence emphasizes the idea that smoking marijuana has caused some kind of trouble for us more than once in our lives. The following list clarifies what constitutes as ‘a problem’, ‘an issue’, or ‘trouble’. Keep in mind that these sorts of things can happen to people who aren’t addicted to marijuana (or anything else), but the difference with someone who is addicted to marijuana is that they have these problems because of the marijuana use. Someone having a hectic day might forget to pick their kids up from school on time, but if we’ve done this more than once (or in addition to having forgotten other responsibilities) because we were (1) getting high, (2) recovering from getting high (sleeping, fumigating a room, or eating, for instance), or (3) trying to access (money for) marijuana, then our situation is worth being assessed by a professional.
Lack of motivation to do things we normally would (take out the trash, attend our son’s violin recital, walk our dog, etc.)
Remember the Afroman song, ” Because I Got High ” about being prepared to do something but then getting high and not doing it.
Forgetting our responsibilities (picking up kids from school, doing grocery shopping, paying a bill, etc.)
Reacting to emergency situations without a sense of urgency (house catches fire, our child steps in front of a moving car, we almost rear-end another car, etc.)
Be arrested for possession of marijuana
Being evicted from our home or apartment due to our marijuana usage
Receiving a DUI charge
Not showing up to work
Showing up to work late
Being extremely or completely unproductive while at work
Showing up to work high
Falling asleep on the job
Getting fired due to the issues listed above
Not going to classes
Not showing up for classes on time
Forgetting to study
Not being able to focus our attention on basic information that is being taught / studied
Spending excessive amounts of time studying one subject when we have multiple classes
Laughing inappropriately during lectures
Falling asleep during class
…and we keep smoking it anyway.
Even though we may have experienced any or all of these recurring problems, we continue to use marijuana.
Think about how you might feel if you noticed a child touching a hot stove, burning themselves, and then touching the hot stove again anyway. You might feel concerned about and afraid for that child. Because humans are wired to avoid things that are painful, we often feel surprised and anxious around people who do things that are obviously causing them problems in spite of the pain of those troubles.
Please don’t take this post as a virtual diagnostic tool. Use this post only as the canary in the mine: The way you might know that it’s time to get an assessment and be certain one way or another if you’ve developed an addiction.