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Addiction & Recovery Message Board

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I really have a problem with people who say that pot is not addictive. That is just not true. Anyone can become addicted to any mind-altering chemical (that can go so far as to include food, sex, adrenaline producing activities, etc.).

To say that pot is non-addictive to someone who struggles with an addiction to it is misleading and extremely discouraging, to say the least. To make light of someone's struggle with their addiction based on their drug of choice (pot) is just plain nasty. Damned32, before you go on to tell me that you didn’t make light of Jester’s addiction or pot addiction in general, go on and re-read your posts .

Jester has decided to discontinue his use of pot and try to live life clean, without mind-altering chemicals. Jester has determined that he is addicted to pot, that it has affected his life in negative ways, and he wants to change it. I don’t think that Jester or addicts generally need to “hit their bottom” before they can clean up. But, sadly, I know that most of us did.

I know three people personally that are addicted to pot. My partner, clean for over six years, is addicted to pot. Without getting into all of the gory details, he: left pilot training in the army for it; left a woman he loved for it; stole money from jobs he worked at for it; and ended up on the skids on Welfare for it. An ex-roommate of mine, who continues to use, has all but dropped out of society, and spends any money he has on pot first; food, rent, etc. second.

Withdrawal symptoms associated with pot addiction include inability to sleep, loss of appetite, agitatation and irritability.

Addiction is a lot more than physical dependence to a substance.

“Addiction is a biopsychosocial disease.

It is psychological. As addiction progresses there are personality changes. Psychological problems relating to thinking and feeling develop. The brain and central nervous system are affected by addiction (neurological impairments). Neurological impairments include impairments in the ability to do abstract thinking, to concentrate, to remember, overreaction to stress and lowered ability to tolerate stress. As a result of these impairments addicts begin to see themselves differently than they did before. Self-image changes.

It is behavioral. As addiction progresses it affects not only the body, mind and feelings, but also behavior. It affects your actions, your performance, the way you function. In the early stages, addicts use to improve behavior, but eventually they use just in an effort to function normally. As life becomes more and more substance centered, addicts have less and less control over behavior. They lose interest in activities that were once important. Getting ready to use, using, and recovering from using become their life activities. Anything that interferes with those activities gets pushed aside. Life is consumed by the need to use. When using becomes more important than anything else, addicts begin to violate their own value systems.

It is social. The effects of addiction are far reaching. They aren’t limited to the physical, psychological, and behavioral deterioration of the addict. The lives of the people the addict lives with, works with, and associates with are affected. As life becomes more substance centered, addicts isolate themselves from other people. They give up social activities that were important to them because the activities interfere with their using. Friends and acquaintances separate themselves from the addict because his/her behavior becomes embarrassing or offensive. The family withdraws from social contacts out of fear of what the addict may do. Children stop bringing their friends around; the spouse doesn’t invite people to the house. Communication skills are lost as the addict withdraws to use alone. “

The foregoing is quoted from writings by Terence T. Gorski, M.A., former Director of treatment centres, consultant to national and international alcoholism programs, lecturer and author.

Damned32, I appreciate that you got your information from medical professionals and professors, but in all fairness, unless a doctor, psychiatrist, therapist or counselor is specifically trained in addictions, they do not have the knowledge at hand to make declarations regarding addiction.

I want to add that just because pot is addictive, people who smoke are not necessarily addicted to it, just like everyone that drinks is not an alcoholic. This post is in no way meant to judge or presume that someone is an addict if they use pot (or whatever), recreationally or otherwise. Addiction is a very personal thing - and only each person can determine if they have a substance abuse problem or not.

I want to apologize to everyone for how long this post is. I, obviously, feel very strongly about this issue.

Be well.

[This message has been edited by Casper (edited 01-25-2001).]

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