Ten Signs You May Be Addicted to Marijuana

two young guys smoking weed

The evidence is quite clear now—yes, many people are becoming addicted to weed. It happens in greater numbers among those who start young, but it can happen to anyone. Once you’re addicted, the whole shape of your life begins to shift around to focus on the use of weed. You may not even realize you’ve become addicted. To find out, check your answers to these ten questions.

1. Have you abandoned activities you once enjoyed, such as sports, art, music, writing or traveling?

Research has validated the fact that marijuana brings about mental changes that can negatively affect motivation or decisions. Activities that require quick mental competence, concentration or initiative may not be as much fun anymore and may be abandoned.

2. Have goals that were once important to you gone by the wayside, such as career or education?

One study from the University of Texas found that marijuana users averaged five IQ points less than those who did not smoke the drug. Another study found that teens who used the drug lost an average of 8 IQ points and that they did not recover these points when they stopped using it. A loss like this could make it more difficult to succeed at work or school.

3. Have you noticed changes in your own mental condition, memory or ability to think clearly?

depressed man after using marijuana

Heavy and continuous use of marijuana can be associated with the following unpleasant mental conditions: anxiety, depression, forgetfulness, loss of an accurate time sense, short-term psychosis, paranoia and suicidal thoughts. Because all drug abuse results in a lowered awareness in one area or another, you may not even be fully aware of the changes in your own condition. You may want to ask those who know you best.

4. Are your relationships with spouse, children, other family or close friends deteriorating?

When a marijuana user’s interest in life wanes as a result of using this drug, it is common for her (or him) to put less effort into relationships, especially if the people in those relationships don’t use the drug or disapprove of its use. Are you encountering any conflict or unhappiness with those around you that might result from this deterioration?

How Marijuana Use Can Affect Relationships

5. Do you prefer the company of other people using this or other drugs?

This is a typical change for a person who is headed down a road toward addiction. Friends who might disapprove of their drug use are dropped and people who are themselves using the same or other drugs are chosen. Now, there’s no one around who will disagree or disapprove but it is a red flag you should pay attention to.

6. Is it harder to make decisions?

A study from 2010 showed that marijuana users involved in the study seemed to care less about the results of their decisions and so they didn’t learn from experience. Another study found that users cared less about consequences and so were less able to control their own impulsiveness, resulting in bad decisions. If it takes longer to make a decision and you are less certain of it, this should alert you to a problem.

7. Have you experienced adverse symptoms as a result of your weed use, such as intense stomach pain and vomiting, lung irritation, panic attacks or hallucinations?

distressed with stomach pain

These symptoms can all result from heavy use of marijuana. For most people, it would be logical to stop consuming marijuana if symptoms like these show up. If you see signs such as intense stomach pain and vomiting but are continuing, this is a pretty good sign that you have reached a dangerous stage of your marijuana use.

8. Have you lost a job or missed other important opportunities because of changes in your thinking or behavior that came about after you started heavy use of marijuana?

As noted earlier, it is common for a person who’s a chronic user of marijuana to become less interested in their usual activities, even to the point of losing a job or blowing off important opportunities. And when those opportunities have been missed, the person addicted to marijuana may be more unconcerned than the situation might warrant. If this has happened to you and perhaps you’re even thinking of selling weed to make ends meet and keep your own supply intact, it’s definitely time for a change.

9. Are you more concerned with making sure you have a supply of this drug than you are other important parts of your life?

This is almost a dead giveaway for an addiction. What is your attitude when you run out of weed? How much time and effort do you put into replenishing your supply? Do you ever use money that should really be allocated for something else—like rent, food or children’s needs—for your drugs?

10. And most importantly, despite the presence of some or even all of these signs, do you continue to use weed?

A person who’s not addicted is likely to quit after seeing the problems drug use creates. The addicted person may not be able to rise above his cravings and dependence unless he gets help. So the problem can continue and even get worse.

How many of these points do you find to be true in your situation? A few? All of them? Even if you only find a few of these points to be true, the key factor is whether or not you can see that damage is occurring, make the decision to quit using and then stick with that decision.

If you can’t, then you need help to break free from this dependence on weed.

Give us a call. The Narconon program has been helping people end their addictions for over fifty years.

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Sue Birkenshaw

Sue has worked in the addiction field with the Narconon network for three decades. She has developed and administered drug prevention programs worldwide and worked with numerous drug rehabilitation centers over the years. Sue is also a fine artist and painter, who enjoys traveling the world which continues to provide unlimited inspiration for her work. You can follow Sue on Twitter, or connect with her on LinkedIn.