Much controversy surrounds marijuana use.  Some argue that marijuana is not addictive.   However, current facts speak otherwise.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) tracks national treatment data.  The results show an alarming 30% rise in marijuana treatment admissions between 1998 and 2008.   While marijuana treatment rose,  other substance abuse admissions remained at the same level.

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), an estimated 9 percent of people who use marijuana become dependent upon it or addicted.  What that means is those who use marijuana long-term can find it difficult to stop using the drug even if its use is interfering with many aspects of their life.

A growing number of youth do not see marijuana use as harmful.  According to the 2014 Arizona Youth Survey,  7% of 8th graders, 17% of 10th graders and 23% of 12 graders report using marijuana within the past 30 days.  Thirty-day use in this survey is an indication of more regular usage of the drug.  In Arizona, 30-day marijuana use among youth has risen almost 15% in just four years.

NIDA’s Research Report on Marijuana Use states that “1 in 6 youth who start using marijuana in their teens will become addicted.  That rate rises to 25-50 percent for youth who use on a daily basis. In 2008, approximately 15 percent of people entering drug abuse treatment programs reported marijuana as their primary drug of abuse; 61 percent of those were under age 15, and 56 percent were between 15 and 19 years old.”

Facts point strongly to a rise in marijuana addiction, especially among our youth.  It is time to face the fact that marijuana is not harmless.