Home Health Cannabis addiction is a myth, according to an addiction expert.

Cannabis addiction is a myth, according to an addiction expert.

by druginc

Cannabis addiction is a myth, according to an addiction expert.

Canada and several US states have recently taken a strikingly different approach to drug policy by legalizing cannabis, but not everyone is on board with marijuana reform. A disturbing report from the Center for Social Justice (CSJ) of the United Kingdom recently claimed that legalizing recreational marijuana would result in hundreds of thousands of residents becoming addicted to cannabis.

But that report took quite a few liberties with facts and figures, according to Dr. MJ Milloy - UBC's inaugural Canopy Growth professor of Cannabis Science. [F] r a brief summary of the report, it appears they are using a public opinion poll to estimate the number of people who might try cannabis after legalization in the UK and the estimated lifetime prevalence of Cannabis Use Disorder in people who have ever use cannabis (about 10 percent) to come up with the number, ”said Dr. Milloy Civilized.

n that's not a very scientific approach, said Milloy and his colleague Rielle Capler - a postdoctoral research team at the BC Center for Substance Abuse. Dr. Capler says the report's claims are particularly problematic because cannabis use does not lead to physical addiction. So we should not narrow cannabis use disorders with addiction, although many news outlets and policymakers exactly that to do.

“Sometimes the wording in news stories suggests that people are addicted to cannabis; however, it is not physically addictive. When people have problems with cannabis use, it is considered a cannabis use disorder, rather than addiction per se, ”said Dr. Capler to Civilized.

Diagnosing a cannabis use disorder is also very difficult. Some of the factors considered as part of cannabis use disorders include a clear pattern of preoccupation with use, compulsive use with negative consequences, and a pattern of use over time. One problem with that approach is that it looks at frequency of use versus how much the person actually uses, Capler noted. And some of the questions pertain to whether or not to disturb your cannabis use to family and friends, which can be distorted by the stigmas surrounding cannabis use. In other words, if your family and friends think smoking a joint turns you into a lazy stoner, any amount of consumption will upset them.

Dr. Capler emphasized that she does not want to reduce the problem, because some people have difficulty controlling their cannabis use. At the same time, the public must challenge their assumptions about cannabis use disorders.

"It's important to understand that it's very different from what we think of when we think of alcohol addiction, for example, in relation to how it affects your life and health." For example, she noted that liver damage and violent outbreaks are associated with alcohol addiction, but they are uncommon with cannabis abuse, and withdrawal symptoms, if any, are milder for those with cannabis use disorder.

Read the full article Civilized.life (source)

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