The question of whether marijuana is addictive can be evocative, and there are so many conflicting messages about the addictive potential of marijuana that it can be hard for people who are concerned about a loved one’s marijuana use to find more objective and less emotional information on marijuana and treatment for marijuana addiction.
As a therapist who treats people with addictions and family members of loved ones with addictions, I am often faced with the issue of whether marijuana can be a problematic drug. For me, the answer is simple: if substance use is causing problems then it’s a problem!
- Does marijuana use lead to difficulties in relationships, work, school, and recreational activities?
- Is the person concerned about his/her use?
- Has the person’s world become more and more centered on marijuana use?
If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then marijuana use is likely a problem.
Once you’ve decided that marijuana use is a problem (or even if you are leaning towards the idea that marijuana use is a problem), the next step is seeking resources to treat the problem. This blog post at the addiction blog presents some thoughtful and useful advice about seeking treatment for problematic marijuana use. I highly recommend reading it if you are concerned about you or your loved one’s use of marijuana. Even if you or your addicted loved one has another substance use problem (alcohol, opiates, etc.), I think the blog provides some helpful questions and issues to consider if you are seeking substance use treatment.