What Is Addiction?

In my prior blog on cannabis “addiction” I felt it was already too long to go into what “addiction” means.

Nearly all the time, addiction is a term used to brand or label someone or a group as having drug/sex/other destructive behaviors that are either not good for the person or good for society.

Two years ago, at the California Medical Board classes and “rehabilitation” that I went through – I actually did learn a number of things. The UC San Diego group working with these groups of physicians were mostly great people. It did surprise me, but I do find it to be true.

One of the frequently discussed topics on one particular day was “addiction”. Specialists were brought in and the classes were excellent. I came away with the most recent definition of “addiction” according to the National Substance Use groups.

“Addiction”, whether to drugs, food or behaviors are NOT to be considered addicting until/unless the patient is performing these activities or taking the drugs while their life is crumbling and they are mostly receiving bad effects from the drug/activity.

In other words, just because someone uses or does something every day or twice a day or whatever, there is no need to label it as addictive unless it is truly hurting someone. So, if you are smoking weed every day and your life is stable, you are NOT addicted. Period.

I see patients all the day, probably every day, who went on a cannabis holiday for various reasons. They are now seeing me as they want to resume their cannabis use. Were they addicted and now in withdrawal? Hardly. Everyone of them thought they might be better off stopping or they could not get it. Everyone of them had return of their underlying symptoms – not withdrawal.

Author
Allan Frankel, MD Dr Allan Frankel is one of the few physicians in the US who truly understands Cannabis as a medicine. All treatments suggested have been well studied. Every patient seen by Dr Frankel is given a personally created Treatment Plan created with the patient's specific issues defined. Plant medicine requires "tuning" of the dosing. Dr Frankel works with his patients thru a messaging portal. The use of this portal, allows quick and simple follow up contact with Dr Frankel. Patients are not charged for these messages, as this is how Dr Frankel has learned what he has learned. Follow up appointments in person or by phone/video are also available when needed

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