12 Step Program for Marijuana Addicts

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

One of the arguments marijuana advocates always make is that pot is not addictive. It's debatable whether it can be physically addictive, but there is no doubt there can be a psychological addiction.

Help is available from Marijuana Anonymous, a system that uses the same 12 step program made famous by Alcoholics Anonymous. It holds meetings in 35 states. Its newest branch opened in January in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

"I certainly thought I wasn't the only person here in Ann Arbor who had an addictive relationship with marijuana," the local group's founder, who prefers to remain, for lack of better word, anonymous, told "I think that for any mind-altering substance, there is going to be a certain proportion of users who will develop obsessive use patterns. As it becomes more readily available and socially accepted, I anticipate the number of people having an addictive relationship with it will increase."

At one recent meeting, a 37-year-old man who has been smoking pot since he was 12 told the story of his addiction.

He said drove across the country with suitcases full of pot, put his family in dangerous situations and skipped a friend’s wedding because he couldn’t go a weekend without weed.

“Being an addict is a crazy state of mind,” he said. “I did a lot of stupid stuff. Staying in the day is really important for my recovery. We talk about one day at a time in these meetings.”

Another man said he started smoking pot when he was 14 after being diagnosed with depression.

“It was just a vicious pattern of using and not being able to snap out of it,” he said. “I wasn’t living up to my full potential. It was eating away at me, the guilt of not living up to what I should be.”

"In retrospect it was really sad and pathetic just looking forward to getting high all the time."

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