Could My Son Have Marijuana Addiction?
Many parents become concerned when they believe their children are abusing marijuana. In many cases, a young person is just using it recreationally without a strong need for or addiction to the drug. However, there is a chance of addiction for someone who practices heavy marijuana abuse. If you are concerned that your son may be addicted to marijuana, consider these signs.
Does Your Son Use Marijuana in Large Amounts?
The NLM states that “some people get addicted to marijuana after using it for a while.” This can occur and is usually the concern of most parents if they believe their son is smoking marijuana. However, addiction “is more likely to happen” to those who “use marijuana every day.” This means that someone who smokes chronically is at a higher risk for addiction. If your son:
- Spends more time smoking than anything else
- Only spends time with others who smoke
- Becomes angry if you express concern over how much he is smoking
- Smokes at least every day or more often then he might be addicted to marijuana.
Does Your Son’s Behavior Follow the Pattern of Addiction?
If your son experiences certain physical effects, he is most likely addicted to marijuana. Those are:
- He smokes more of the drug because the original amount he smoked does not make him feel the same effects.
- He experiences withdrawal symptoms from marijuana if it is not readily available to him at a certain time. Withdrawal symptoms of marijuana dependence are: irritability, anxiousness, “trouble sleeping,” drug cravings, and a decrease in appetite (NIH).
- Problems focusing, concentrating, and remembering
- Marijuana abuse in the long-term does damage to a person’s ability to think cognitively and to store information. It may make your son perform worse in school or have problems learning new things. This is a sign of long-term marijuana abuse which is more likely to cause addiction.
If you notice your son’s behavior changing, it may be a sign of marijuana addiction. Possible behavioral signs are:
- Apathy toward work, school, and friendships that are uninvolved in smoking marijuana
- Paranoia about others discovering the full extent of his drug abuse or unwillingness to discuss it
- Drug-seeking behavior that puts your son in danger in order to obtain more of the drug
- Smoking marijuana becoming the only activity your son is interested in
The Issue With Teenagers and Marijuana Addiction
In many cases, teenagers who smoke marijuana are not addicted to the drug yet. However, the NLM states that those it is more likely for people to become addicted to the drug if they “started using it when they were teenagers.” Because of this, it is important to show concern if your son is using marijuana in heavy amounts. Those who start out as teenagers have a higher risk of becoming addicted to the drug and this should be addressed with your teen, even if he is not addicted yet.
Make sure you talk to your son about his marijuana use. He should know the possible effects the drug can have and may not be aware of them. Discussing it with him can do a lot to prevent addiction. And if your son is already addicted, make sure to seek treatment for him.