There certainly seems to be a disconnect in the fact that the term “problematic” can be a greyscale, rather than a matter of black-and-white extreme thinking when it comes to certain substances, like marijuana. A problematic substance does not have to mean that it causes overdose death, or severe disease and infection, which is the potential of a drug like heroin, for example. A problematic substance can mean the “non-harmful” effects like chemical dependency, neglecting responsibilities, and suffering an otherwise impaired quality of life.
The Atlantic cites, in “America’s Invisible Pot Addicts”, that national surveys reveal the most honest problems regarding marijuana addiction from the very people who are using the drug. “‘In large national surveys, about one in 10 people who smoke it say they have a lot of problems. They say things like, ‘I have trouble quitting I think a lot about quitting and I can’t do it. I smoked more than I intended to. I neglect responsibilities.’” Yet on the other end of the conversation, advocates for marijuana legalization, or marijuana usage in general, are constantly touting that marijuana is not problematic in any way.
According to 2016 data in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, reports Vox in “Why you shouldn’t dismiss the risk of marijuana addiction”, four million people aged twelve years old and older “meet the class-action for a marijuana use disorder,” for many of the same reasons pointed out by The Atlantic, the article notes. Meaning, marijuana is a problem for millions of people- young and old.
Data is still relatively thin on whether or not marijuana addiction is becoming more of a problem and especially whether or not legalization will cause the existing problem of marijuana addiction to worsen further. However, there is evidence to show that more people are experiencing problematic relationships to marijuana which meet the criteria for marijuana use disorder. Marijuana addiction may become more of a problem, which could mean that the conversations rallying against marijuana being problematic will become more problematic in and of themselves.
Just because marijuana cannot kill you by way of an overdose, does not mean it cannot hurt you, or that your addiction to marijuana cannot hurt others in your life. Addiction is hurtful, harmful, and problematic, regardless of the substance of choice. If you are experiencing an addiction to marijuana, know that recovery is possible. Call Tree House Recovery today for information on our men’s addiction treatment programs and how we are helping men transform their lives to find freedom from addiction: (503) 850-2474