What is the difference between Using and Misusing Marijuana?

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What is the difference between Using and Misusing Marijuana?

By: Keleigh Anderson

Published On: November 29, 2018

With the recent legalization of Cannabis (also known as marijuana, pot, weed, ganga etc.) in Canada it is a good time to have a discussion about the difference between causal use of marijuana & being dependent or addicted to using marijuana.

So what does addiction or dependency on marijuana look like?

Addiction is cyclical meaning it follows a distinct pattern.

That pattern or cycle may look similar to this:

We go about our day with ingrained, subconscious, pre-existing thoughts that can be activated when we come across something uncomfortable. It can be as simple as being run down (H.A.L.T.- Am I hungry, angry, lonely or tired?) or more complex such as an argument with a co-worker that Triggers our pre-existing thoughts and starts the preoccupation with getting high. Thinking about getting high starts the ritualization of planning the high. This can look like buying weed and rolling a joint, or preparing a bong etc. Then the using occurs and at some point after the come down. The uncomfortable experience or feelings return and we may be left feeling down with some shame & guilt mixed in.

Are you wondering if your use or a loved one’s use of marijuana is problematic?

Here is a simple checklist to help determine if use is detrimental:

  • Using marijuana is negatively impacting your life. Example: poor performance at work, not completing daily responsibilities like grocery shopping, making bill payments etc.
  • You’ve tried to stop using and were unsuccessful.
  • You’ve tried to reduce the amount you use and were unsuccessful.
  • People in your life have expressed concern over your drug use.
  • Daily drug use.
  • Choosing relationships & activities that accommodate drug use. Example: Not doing something like attending a family get together because you wouldn’t be able to get high.

*Please note for youths age 25 and under, using marijuana daily may disrupt brain development and have long-term consequences including cognitive impairments.

If you are concerned with your drug use, reach out and book an appointment today. There is help and hope for an easier tomorrow.