AfterParty Answers: Is Pot Addictive?

AfterParty Answers: Is Pot Addictive?


AfterPartyOver here at AfterParty, we receive an onslaught (okay, some) questions people have about addiction and recovery. While we aren’t in any way medical professions (emphasis on “aren’t in any way medical professionals”), we are sober folks who have not only grappled with some of the issues being asked about but have also written scads of articles for this very site on them. So here we are presenting our answers to you in our video series AfterParty Answers. Tune in every Wednesday to see what you, our faithful readers, want to know.

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  1. Technically, any behavior can be addictive. Addiction isn’t a binary question, it’s a range. People can certainly have a dependence on MJ, that’s doesn’t mean “addicted”.

  2. Ya know? We humans? We are pretty drugged up man. An ongoing effort to create our own individual pain free reality. Establish a balance, a sufficient level of self reliance. A way to boost our own sometimes fragmented emotional security, jockeying for position within life’s constant give and take. We are addicted to ourselves. …

    There are those like myself who for whatever reason, usually trauma? Sorry, in my case trauma..We can’t always differentiate between right and wrong. It’s almost as if the hard wiring was burnt, snuffed out, dead scar tissue.. So, there is a disconnect in my rational decision making. I skip right to survival mode. Deny and reward. As if I am brilliant in addition and multiplication but that’s it, as far as I go. Algebra simply eludes me. That’s the limit, the ceiling, I am left behind to fend for myself. ..

    i develop a history of making decisions based on self that place myself and sometimes others in a position to be hurt. A life in constant conflict, a ongoing effort to measure up. Suffering in self. Yet it continues. This becomes a way of life where I draw my self worth from multiple choice memories. All self esteem boosts include an element of denial. My delusional safety net. I have no real footing on my life, no foundation on my house, I just keep adding on and hope it’s not going to fall down, until it again falls down. I am always more or less self destructing, flying by the seat of my pants so to speak.. …

    What if pot made my life more tolerable, leveled me off, offered me the balance I was in need of? Allowed me harmony where there was only confusion. Who could say I shouldn’t have this thing. This benefit that suits me personally. Me, not you the team playa..Me, the outcast. The sub standard one who apparently is unteachable, the one always making heavy going of life. What if smoking pot made me feel normal, accepted, no longer the extremist now? A part of it all whatever it may be, a participant with purpose. I know people who are living this. They don’t harm anyone any more than anyone else who doesn’t smoke weed does… …

    I should add that I myself do not smoke dope..I never have liked pot really, I’m much too self centered for it. By the time I smoke enough to get some relief? I’m completely off the hook, gone. Like opiates for me. By the time the pain is gone I feel like my face is covered in duct tape and I’m designing the B-5 rocket in my head, oh yeah, I’m a real crowd pleaser I am…So it’s definitely not for me (BUT ) that’s not to say that anyone who benefits from weed be it relief from physical, emotional pain or a seemingly positive remedy for any soul sickness? They should have access to it. I have a symbol around my neck I got from a really stoned Indian in the middle of the desert in New Mexico. He said it would bring me good luck. I believe him. I also believe what I think good luck is, and what it means in the spiritual world may be two different things. ..

    I myself am AA Big Book. Abstinence based recovery. Spiritual program of recovery, that whole chestnut. This is what I do everyday, this is what works for me so this is what I have to offer the new man. I don’t sponsor or walk the daily path with people who smoke weed. It’s not my thing to be around people who are stoned generally. Besides, I’m not so important that I must be some kind of Missionary..I’m a Big Book 12 Step sponsor. Not a healer, not all that complicated, I follow the directions in a Book for people who can’t follow directions in a Book… ..

    One thing I do know? It’s not all about me and what I think is best for others (basic AA 12 Step). I actually learned this in AA. And the big one? It’s not stepsherpa’s anonymous…

    I have maybe two functioning brain cells left and they’re working overtime as it is. I have found relief in the realm of the Spirit. I’m good. How you choose to find your “good” is up to you. If anyone want’s some of mine it’s free, no reason to steal it. No reason to barter for emotional security, I just want to live sober, keep learning to give and not care who takes. I admit, I am afraid if I take a mind altering vacation? I may never come back. I no longer self destruct today.

  3. YES! i so agree as someone who is married to a pot head, who has struggled for the past 4 years to stay clean – it is very addictive. If he smoked 1 or 2x year I’d maybe be ok w/it, but when he smokes its all day every day and he has consequences from his relapses. He’s lost jobs, he’s lying to cover up his addiction, I’ve kicked him out a couple times, so yes, his life is totally unmanageable. Thanks ladies on your weekly show – I’m digging it!

  4. Quotes from “The Science of Addiction,” by Carleton Erickson:

    “It [marijuana] has no known lethal dose in humans, making it one of the safest drugs from a pharmacological standpoint.”

    “[Some individuals] probably have a dysregulation of endocannabinoids or cannabis receptors in the mesolimbic DA system [pleasure center of the brain] . . . . Research on this subject indicates that marijuana is definitely dependency-producing (estimated at 8-9% of users).”

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AfterParty Magazine is the editorial division of It showcases writers in recovery, some of whom choose to remain anonymous. Other stories by AfterParty Magazine are the collective effort of the AfterParty staff.