Facts and Myths about Marijuana Addiction

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There are quite a bit of myths out there about marijuana addiction and marijuana itself. So we are breaking it down to 10 of the most widespread myths of marijuana and laying out the truth instead. Many may wonder if marijuana prohibition is working, or can the casual, recreational use of it lead to marijuana addiction? Keep reading to find out addiction facts to trump the myths.


  • Myth: Marijuana is completely harmless.


Marijuana is actually harmful in many ways, and young people are among some of the most vulnerable to its negative impact. Using marijuana can lead to dependence and health, safety, social, learning and behavioral problems. Plus, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, today’s marijuana is actually more potent than it has ever been. Not to mention there are many negative short-term effects of smoking marijuana, such as distorted reality, anxiety, trouble with problem solving and thinking and memory loss. Traffic safety also becomes an issue when marijuana is used. In a study done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, even just a small dose of marijuana was shown to impair driving performance.


  • Myth: Marijuana is not addictive.


For a long time many people believed that marijuana was not addictive. Many people today still believe it isn’t. The use of marijuana is associated with behavior that meets the criteria for substance abuse set down by the American Psychiatric Association, such as tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, using it even when there are negative consequences and giving up on a social life, work and recreational activities. When people try to quit, they often experience symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia and irritability.


  • Myth: Marijuana is not as harmful to health as tobacco.


The truth is that marijuana has a lot of the same cancer-causing chemicals as cigarettes. The amount of tar that is inhaled and carbon monoxide that is taken in while smoking marijuana is actually three to five times greater than smoking tobacco. So chronic coughing, acute chest sicknesses and difficulty breathing are found in both marijuana and tobacco smokers.


  • Myth: Using marijuana makes you “mellow.”


Actually, research has shown that young people who smoke marijuana on a weekly basis are almost four times as likely than young people who don’t use it to engage in violent behavior. Another study published in the Journal of Addictive Diseases found a link between using marijuana and attempted homicide and reckless endangerment offenses. Physically attacking others, stealing and destroying property have been shown to increase in proportion to the number of days marijuana was smoked in the past year.


  • Myth: Buying marijuana does not hurt anyone else.


This is most definitely a myth. Marijuana and violence often go hand in hand. The trafficking of marijuana is a violent, widespread business, even if it is seen as an herb of peace and love. When dealers have conflicts with each other or growers feel their yields are threatened, violence often ensues as each party looks after their own interests. Not to mention that many of the growers cultivate their marijuana crops in national forests and parks and place booby traps around them like fishhooks dangling at eye level and rattraps rigged with shotgun shells.

We have many comprehensive programs at New Life to help you heal from marijuana addiction recovery. We understand that marijuana addiction is a real problem and negatively impacts all areas of your life. To speak confidentially with one of our recovery advisors, please call us at (855) 658-0035 to discuss what treatment plan will be most effective for you.


  • https://www.ncjrs.gov/ondcppubs/publications/pdf/marijuana_myths_facts.pdf
  • https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/practice/dsm
  • https://www.csdp.org/research/friedman_mjviolence.pdf