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Marijuana Addiction – Causes and Responses

Most people get sucked into marijuana addiction for one simple reason – they are bored. Marijuana, the “gateway” drug, the “hippy” drug, the drug of rebellion, a way to tell your parents that you are fully aware of where they can stick it. Today a child grows up in a school system that was designed at least a century ago, by a bunch of stodgy middle-aged men, who thought that they knew what they were doing. They believed that they had figured out what children needed in order to become useful members of society, and they had. The problem is that our society, our life-styles, and our expectations are now utterly different.

Environmental issues

When a child lives in an environment where both parents have to work for financial survival, let alone security, have no time or energy to spend with their children, even during weekends or holidays the family is at risk. The child that those parents are working so hard to provide for is in danger of feeling so alone and unwanted that they look for something to take them away from the pain of feeling isolated and lonely.

People, especially those who have not yet learned to achieve quiet with-in themselves, are often bored. How do they deal with the boredom? They do it by adding a bit of excitement to the mix. Sometimes it goes too far and suddenly you have the problem of marijuana addiction in the family. These are not bad kids. These are not criminals looking to blatantly break the law, and spit in the face of the lawmakers. These are kids growing up in an extremely fast-paced world, with new technology popping up by the moment. These kids have a need to stay on the cutting edge. They also have parents from a generation that did not even have tapes or CD’s let alone constantly evolving social media and flash drives that hold 64 gigs of memory, and are the size of a pen top.

Youngsters smoke because of peer pressure, and while it is true that there are rotten apples out there, preying on the innocent and naïve, the chances are that those peers are all going through the same thing that your kid is, and just happen to know someone with weed.

There is a positive effect and there is a negative effect, to everything – a Yin and Yang if you will. One of the main problems with society is that it sees the world as a segmented organism. It sees warring countries, pros and cons to everything, and grossly daggering opinions whenever possible. The world around us is a whole. Its very survival depends upon every other aspect of it. If the Wetlands die, so will the flora and fauna within them. The Wetland’s death will affect anther eco-system, which will affect another, so a small ripple creates a tidal wave of destruction. The world is a holistic organism, just as the human body is.

What does marijuana addiction do to our bodies and minds?

When someone smokes marijuana, it relaxes them. This relaxation affects their inhibitions, and while it does not remove them as alcohol might, it does significantly lessen them. Reduced inhibition leads to free and creative thinking, which in turn challenges the pre-existing models of law and society, which is not necessarily a bad thing. But no one will deny that there are negative consequences and side-effects to smoking marijuana:

  • Impaired memory
  • Sleepiness
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Anxiety
  • Possible paranoia
  • Altered perception of time
  • A desire to return to the high that smoking or eating marijuana provides

There are medical and scientifically proven positive side-effects that accompany the supervised use of marijuana as well:

  • Marijuana is used as a treatment for cancer patients because it causes a substantial increase in appetite
  • It is also used to help relax patients with MS, alleviating some of the cramps and pains that they suffer
  • Marijuana is a holistic drug, in that it works with the entire system. Where there is stress and anxiety, it serves to decrease the levels significantly.
  • Marijuana usage hyper-oxygenates the blood of the user, and the more richly oxygenated the blood is, the easier the body can heal itself.

Society has established methods of dealing with addicts and users, and generally does not differentiate between one drug and another. The only differentiation that most states make is in amount. If an individual has less than a certain amount of marijuana, as in “just enough for personal use” meaning not enough to prove intent to sell, they are usually simply let off with a warning. If however, that same individual were caught with even the smallest rock of crack, it would be tested right there on the hood of the police car and if found to be positive, the holder would be hauled off to jail immediately, no questions asked, no answers required.

All addiction can and probably should be treated holistically. The reason the individual began using in the first place does not just go away because they are in a treatment programme:

  • Pressure, be it at home from over-achieving parents, or the anxiety of living in a deeply unhappy household, peer pressure, the pressure of needing to conform, or to be different
  • Confusion about who to listen to; teachers, friends, or parents
  • Lack of self-knowledge and self-awareness
  • The near constant impact of television, video games, and the media
  • And boredom. Simple boredom. Not feeling challenged in school. Not feeling challenged by teachers, and certainly not being encouraged by parents, who may not have the greatest understanding or parental skills

It is all still there after treatment, and it still has the potential to cause damage and possible relapse into the relative safety of marijuana addiction.

Marijuana addiction – is there a solution?

So what is the solution to marijuana addiction? If marijuana smoking and addiction is a holistic problem, affecting every aspect of the users lives, then surely it must be treated holistically. It cannot be locked away, it cannot be ignored, and it certainly cannot be punished in severe ways. Marijuana use/abuse is a way to escape boredom, feelings of inequality, pressure, and persecution. The vast majority of marijuana addicts are not criminals, and should not be criminalized.

Love your children, and try not to judge them. Speak to them, but as parents who want to understand what they are going through, not as parents “attempting” to be their friends. If your child is starting to experiment with marijuana, it is because they feel that there is either something wrong or missing in their lives, and they are trying to fill the gap or right the error.

You may be a young parent, and feel as though you were the age and stage that your children are at now is not that long ago, but you need to understand and acknowledge that it is a very different world out there, kids today are facing issues that did not even exist when you were their age.

If you need support go out and get it – there are so many professionals who understand what you, and your children, might be going through out there that finding the right one for you and your family really is not that difficult.

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Marijuana Addiction – Causes and Responses
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