Can I smoke pot without being addicted?

Jessica Kennedy, Mental Health America

About one in eight American adults smoke pot, and almost half have tried it once [1]. (http://news.gallup.com/poll/194195/adults-say-smoke-marijuana.aspx)

 The NIH reports that anywhere between 9 to 30 percent of people who use marijuana may be either physically dependent on it (they get withdrawal symptoms when they stop using it) or have what is called a marijuana use disorder (an addiction).

So yes, you can smoke pot without being addicted. A lot of people experiment with marijuana—especially in their teens or young adult years—and then stop as they grow up. Some people will recreationally use marijuana their whole lives without being addicted. There are regular pot users over the age of 65.

But for others, marijuana use can become problematic. Some research shows that using marijuana can set off psychosis early in people who are already at risk. People who develop an addiction may see problems in school, work, or relationships. And the habit can be expensive.

Marijuana is increasingly legal or decriminalized all over the country, so it may be okay for adults to use where you live. And it is possible to experiment without becoming addicted. You just have to be prepared for the consequences that come with that, which could include everything from losing scholarships at school to having to pay fines, or even go to jail.

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