One of the biggest gateway and justified drugs that there seems to be a big hype over is Marijuana. Being dependent upon any type of drug (and yes “weed” IS a drug) is like beating your head against the wall asking yourself, “I wonder if this will make the headache go away.” Being addicted to ANYTHING is like trying to solve a deeper emotional need through any form of external validation. What is the end result with addiction? When you are caught up in the rat race of insanity, unless you admit defeat and seek out help there is no end.

With that said, where does weed fit in to all of this? As you saw earlier, I put in parentheses that marijuana is a drug. How many times have we all heard, “Weed isn’t a drug. It’s a plant. It’s natural and God made it.” That may be true, but only to an extent. Anyone with a chemical dependency issue is more likely to experience what we call “cross-addiction”. Cross-addiction is defined as trading one addiction for another. Many people battle cross-addiction on their newly found recovery process. One addiction is conquered and BOOM, another addiction surfaces.

For those of you who have sought treatment for Alcoholism/Addiction, you are on a path moving forward! Sometimes trouble will follow when you are in treatment or freshly out of it, and you hear that little voice in your head say, “I’ve never had a problem with weed. I can smoke it.” Quieting the debating society is NEVER easy. You’ve listened to your mind and acted on all of your thoughts and feelings your entire life if you have any type of dependency. If you are debating whether to smoke weed “casually” or not, and you want to get truly honest with yourself, ask yourself this question: “Is it true or not true that listening to all of my thoughts and reacting on all of my feelings has gotten me in continuous dark places. What makes me think THIS TIME I will not fall into the dark hole of repetition?”

Sorry to bust the bubble of any addicts who have made plans about getting high again. This article may act as a divine intervention of sorts, or perhaps it will help you make a positive decision to educate yourself on what may REALLY happen if you choose to get high again. The fact is, Marijuana IS indeed a gateway drug. Most individuals, who have had a prior dependence on a drink or drug, have a higher chance of having/forming another dependency. Here are some facts on marijuana: Marijuana is dried leaves from the hemp plant know as “Cannabis Sativa” which contains a psychoactive, mind altering chemical called Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). When you smoke marijuana, it passes through the lungs, goes straight to your bloodstream, and within seconds it is released to the brain. Alcohol and other drugs effect your perception, mood, impair your motor function, and damage your memory. NEWS FLASH- Marijuana does this as well! When you think you can “hit a joint like a gentlemen,” keep these facts close:

  1. Cannabinoid receptors are found in parts of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thinking, etc.
  2. You may start out smoking “weed” occasionally, but eventually you will meet that taunting voice in your head that says, “This is not enough. I need more.” With addicts, the more you get your drug/alcohol “fix”, the emptier you become.
  3. Google “Reward System”, which will help you become familiar with how the brain is affected by drugs/alcohol verses that “Average Joe.”

The 3 preventative measures from falling into the gateway marijuana drug trap are:

  1. Honesty – Be open about your thoughts and feelings with someone that you feel you can confide in.
  2. Open-mindedness – Educate yourself and remember if you have battled or are battling addiction/alcoholism, you just aren’t that unique! Allow you to be one of many and surrender to sanity. It’s a much more peaceful side of life.
  3. Willingness – Gather another perspective from someone who has had personal experience or has a clearer conscious at that particular time who is well respected and with whom you trust.