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Exploding the Myths Addiction

Exploding the Myths Addiction

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Published by Skywolf Neal Smith

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Published by: Skywolf Neal Smith on Aug 25, 2011
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01/11/2013

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Exploding the Myths: Marijuana Addiction is a Matter of SemanticsByNeal Smith03-24-2011What is an addiction?www.dictionary.comdefines addiction as:
the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, asnarcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.
 
its cessation causes severe trauma is a rather important phrase when talking about Marijuana. Nowtaking a look at the medical dictionary offered online through the National Institute of Health (NIH):
Compulsive physiological need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal;
broadly
:
persistent compulsive use of asubstance known by the user to be physically, psychologically, or socially harmful²comparehabituation 
Habituation is a word we dont see used much anymore, perhaps a laziness on the part of someresearchers, perhaps a deliberate obfuscation of definitions to reinforce negatives about Marijuana use.
1:
the act or process of making habitual or accustomed
2 a:
tolerance to the effects of a drug acquired through continued use
b:
psychological dependence on a drug after a period of use²compareaddiction 
3:
a form of nonassociative learning characterized by a decrease in responsiveness upon repeated exposure to astimulus
http://www.merriam-webster.com/medlineplus/addictionApparently NIH contracts through Merriam-Webster, a recognized and accepted dictionary.Philosophically, most human activities can be habituativesome habits are good, some are bad. Butthere is a difference between Addiction and Habituation.An industry has grown up to combat Marijuana Addiction. Theyll tell you all day long how Marijuanais physically addictive. But the truth is, It just doesnt meet the criteria for addiction.A 2009 study out of Germany shows that any Withdrawal symptoms peak on the first day of abstinence and symptoms from
"dependent" subjects are relatively mild, short-lived, and "mayonly be expected in a subgroup of ... patients," Further:
"M
ost symptoms ranged on average between low to moderate intensity. The most frequently mentioned physicalsymptoms of strong or very strong intensity on the first day were sleeping problems (21 percent), sweating (28 percent), hot flashes (21 percent), and decreased appetite (15 percent). ... Other often highly rated psychologicalsymptoms included restlessness (20 percent), nervousness (20 percent), and sadness (19 percent).
"
 
 
The abstract from this study can be found at:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19783382Fewerthan 50% of the test subjects reported any kind of withdrawal symptoms at all. That would indicatethere might be other factors involved with those who reported withdrawal symptoms that werentcontrolled for.The 1999 Institute of Medicine study showed that withdrawal from Cannabis is usually easier thanwithdrawal from caffeine.http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=6376&page=83denotes a lotof the tests conducted to back the findings.Supporters of the notion that Marijuana is addictive like to point to the number of Treatments thatare given to pot smokers. What they dont like to tell you is that a majority of people who check intoTreatment programs are there only because they were court-ordered to go rather than go to jail.According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), In 2010,Indiana had 3,852 treatment admissions for Marijuana, the most of any category, out of a total of 18,390 for all drugs and alcohol. Nationwide in 2008, the latest available, 346,679went to treatment forMarijuana, out of a total of 2,016,256. Most of those referred to treatment for Marijuana came from theCriminal Justice system, as an alternative to jail time:
y
 
The criminal justice system was the principal source of referral in SA
MH
SA's Treatment Episode Data Set(TEDS) for substance abuse treatment admissions reporting marijuana as their primary substance of abuse. The proportion of criminal justice referred treatment admissions increased from 48% of all marijuana admissions in1992 to 58% of all marijuana admissions in 2002.
y
 
Specific criminal justice venues and programs referring clients to substance abuse treatment include State andFederal courts, other courts, probation programs, other recognized legal entities (e.g., local law enforcement,corrections, or youth agencies), diversionary programs (e.g., Treatment Accountability for Safer Communities[TASC]), prisons, and
"
driving under the influence/driving while intoxicated (DUI/DWI) programs.
y
 
M
arijuana treatment admissions referred by the criminal justice system were
m
ore
likely than marijuanaadmissions referred by all other sources to be admitted to ambulatory (outpatient) treatment services (86% vs.79%) and
less
likely to be admitted to residential/rehabilitation (13% vs. 16%) or detoxification services (1% vs.4%).
Y
ou can see this and other information at:http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/2k5/MJreferrals/MJreferrals.cfm Marijuana does not meet the criteria to be a physically addictive substance. For government to forceTreatment for a substance not known to cause severe withdrawal, with no practical overdosepotential and no connection to causing violent or anti-social behavior is unnecessary and capricious.And who gets to pay a big chunk of this forced Treatment?
G
overnment programs will pay for the treatment of 62% of admissions where marijuana is the primary substance of abuse, and 60% of the admissions referred by the criminal justice system. In thousands of cases, taxpayers appear to befunding treatment for non-addicts whose only problem is that they got caught with marijuana.
This from Dr. Jon Gettman throughhttp://www.drugscience.org/Archive/bcr5/bcr5_index.html According to a study published in Addiction magazine, researchers French, et al, determined:

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