Having been an addict for several years, as well as going through primary and secondary treatment, I have heard more than my share of bull shit regarding the topic of addiction — some of which is, unfortunately, so widespread that it has become “common knowledge.” Being the philanthropist that I am, I’d like to clear up some of the misunderstandings and myths that I’ve come across in my journey.
The first myth I’d like to dispel is that some drugs are addictive, while others are not. This is a classic case of black-and-white thinking, which doesn’t even make sense, as I’ll show you with a bit of logic. You see, if addictiveness was an inherent quality of a particular drug, then everybody who ever used it would become addicted. Such a substance has never been found. Think about this for a minute. Wetness is an inherent quality of water, as everything that touches water becomes wet. This is not the case with psychoactive substances, as there are plenty of people who can use even hard drugs without becoming addicted, as well as plenty of people who get addicted to the softer stuff. It does not make sense to say, “Drug X is addictive. Drug Y is not.” What does, in fact, make sense is to refer to addictive potential in relative terms. For example, “Drug X is more addictive than Drug Y,” which is to say, a higher percentage of users of Drug X become addicted to Drug X than users of Drug Y become addicted to Drug Y. One could say alcohol is more addictive than weed because approximately 27 percent of drinkers become alcoholics, whereas only about 9 percent of weed-smokers become addicted (though it should be noted, using this scale, nicotine is by far the most addictive substance ever discovered).
Which leads me to my next point: marijuana addiction. People the world over love to talk about how great marijuana is because it isn’t addictive, a myth I’ve already debunked. I’m not sure where this “fact” began, but I suspect it has to do with pot legalization lobbyists finally having a say in respectable forums. What, you say? Weed isn’t addictive? Go tell that to the 150,000 Americans a year who enter rehab for marijuana addiction. (Interestingly, people with poor social skills have a much higher tendency to become addicted if they start using weed.) People love to say that it’s not addictive because there are no withdrawal symptoms, which is inaccurate on two major counts. Firstly, as anybody who works in the recovery field (or has read a book about psychology) will tell you, the disease of addiction is characterized by a hell of a lot more than the presence of physical withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of use. There’s a whole host of factors at play.
Secondly, marijuana cessation absolutely does entail withdrawal symptoms; they’re just more mild than you might encounter with a cocaine or alcohol withdrawal. ”Yeah Michael,” you may say. “But marijuana is psychologically addictive, not physically addictive.” Another common maxim. This dichotomy is not only utter bullshit, but dangerous to the well-being of marijuana addicts all over the world. It’s dangerous because this “psychologically addicted” mentality leads people to believe that someone who can’t quit smoking marijuana “just isn’t trying hard enough” or “isn’t using enough willpower.” Great, just what an addict needs: to be told they have a character defect to supplement the problems already underlying his or her addiction. Plus, do you really think whether their addiction is psychological or physical makes the slightest bit of difference to someone whose life has become unmanageable?[[Page-long paragraph?]]
Don’t believe me? Go to the next Marijuana Anonymous meeting in your town and tell the people there that their drug of choice isn’t addictive and that they could quit if only they tried hard enough. I hope you have the funding to pay for the emergency room visit you’ll need after you get your ass kicked.
Not really. We all know stoners are too lazy to kick anyone’s ass.