Monday, December 3, 2012

Pot a Recreational or Addictive Drug--Depends on the Person

My feelings regarding legalization of pot are mixed.  

I tend to lean on the side, making pot legal will reduce the very destructive criminal elements in the “marketing” and “distribution” of the drug.   I do believe allowing pot's  legalization will just add another legal drug along with alcohol, cigarettes, prescription pain killers etc., which have also been abused.

However, judging by some feed back on a recent blog, I was  viewed as dead wrong to suggest that pot is a drug.  According to several comments,  pot  is an herb of course therefore not addictive.

Let’s begin, not all that smoke pot will be addicted.   As is the same that not all who drink will become an alcoholic.   

There are many definitions regarding addiction, but my favorite is the following from Indiana University.   

The authors describe addictive behavior as

Any activity, substance, object, or behavior that has become the major focus of a person's life to the exclusion of other activities, or that has begun to harm the individual or others physically, mentally, or socially is considered an addictive behavior. A person can become addicted, dependent, or compulsively obsessed with anything. Some researchers imply that there are similarities between physical addiction to various chemicals, such as alcohol and heroin, and psychological dependence to activities such as compulsive gambling, sex, work, running, shopping, or eating disorders. It is thought that these behavior activities may produce beta-endorphins in the brain, which makes the person feel "high."

Source of Quote:  Indiana University  WHAT ARE ADDICTIVE BEHAVIORS?

To call yourself an addict or alcoholic (the more socially acceptable addiction) is a personal decision.   

But here is a checklist that may help you consider to decide  if you or someone you know has a substance problem:

  1. You are reading checklists to determine if you have a drinking or drug problem ---then there is a possibility you may have a problem
  2. You wish to cutback on drinking or smoking a joint and can not--- then there might be a problem
  3. You mentally obsess about the martini or cigarette and wonder how you would get through the day without these products then there might be a problem
  4. If a family member, friend, or employer suggest your drinking, pot smoking. or prescription drug use might be impacting your job and relationships then there might be a problem
  5. You start having legal problems due to drinking, pot smoking, or prescription drugs then there might be a problem
  6. You start having health issues due to drinking, smoking or whatever then there might be a problem  
  7. When you attempt to quit drinking or giving up legal and illicit drugs and cannot because you become physically ill, then there might be a problem

Based on Indiana University’s definition, an addiction is not necessarily just physical but also psychological.  For some, the psychological obsession is just as painful as the physical addiction.

This writer believes, describing yourself as an addict is a personal decision even though all the evidence from objective viewers may suggest a person have a problem.  

Think you or someone you know may have an alcohol or drug addiction problem, contact the following for resources:

Drug Addiction  (Has a 24 Hour Hot Line) 
Help Guide
Alcoholics Anonymous
Narcotics Anonymous

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