Wednesday, March 7, 2012


The question on most folk's minds about addiction is what is wrong with smoking marijuana. It is natural. There is no data on overdose by smoking. And most smokers agree that it is not addictive. While these things may be true, the real question is why do people continue to smoke cannabis on a daily basis. And why is there so much negative press?

The answer is that smoking marijuana changes the way we feel. It numbs us, it clouds our depression, it shifts our focus from everyday stresses to an ethereal experience which takes us out of ourselves. Is the substance itself addictive? NO. Is cannabis a gateway drug leading to more intense addiction and highly volatile drug behaviors? No. So what is the problem?

The problem is that we become attached, dependent and/or addicted to the feeling. To the escape and the method of detachment. Using this method on a daily basis keeps us from doing other things. It does not allow us to develop other coping mechanisms which we need to manage our lives. It prevents us from becoming involved in family and friendships. The loss that we experience is a loss of time. Something we cannot recover.

Marijuana may not be a gateway to other drug use. But it definitely is an obstacle to living life to the fullest.


Gerry said...

I think there is a point that everyone fails to address, that being the reason why more and more individuals are seeking to avoid reality. Until we address the root cause of 'WHY' more and more of our young people are choosing to avoid reality, their potential and the potential benefit to society will be lost to speculation.

Dr. Alicen said...

Absolutely true. In a national study ten years ago teens stated the reason they smoked marijuana was 'to be like their friends'. In a replication of the study last year, the teens overwhelmingly stated 'due to stress'.

Society is moving at a rapid pace. We never turn off. And to make certain working parents assuage their guilt from having to work so much to make ends meet, they become chauffeurs to soccer, hockey and a multitude of after school activities.

Everyone is sleep deprived. People eat in cars. And we cannot stop long enough to take a break and relax. So kids feel the stress and opt out in ways that were common to adults in the past. One of which is drugs.