Marijuana addiction?

kkollins at kkollins at
Mon Nov 9 18:54:18 EST 1998

"Your"  "definition of "addiction" derives in only-haphazardly-accumulated
"convention". It's sustainable only if it can be demonstrated that there
exists a "palce" (a nuclear group, subsystem, etc.), within the brain, that is
entirely-disconnected from the rest of the brain.

It's demonstrable that there Exists no such "place" within the brain.

Therefore, beyond its extremely-incomplete iteration of symptomology, "your"
definition of "addiction" is False.

One can say nothing about the information-processing dynamics of the brain
while "discounting" its total-integration. K. P. Collins, Independent Scholar

Stephan Anagnostaras wrote:

> In article <7226jv$884$1 at>, cgoodin at (Charles
> Frederick Goodin) wrote:
> > I'd always heard that marijuana (or THC) wasn't physiologically
> > addictive.  Recently someone mentioned to me that there'd been some
> > research that went against this.  Has anyone heard anything?
> >
> > chuk
> The term "physiologically addictive" is meaningless.  All behavior is
> based in physiology and when people say "psychologically and not
> biologically addictive" it just means they don't know what the neural
> substrate is.  Obviously drugs produce their effects on the brain through
> physiological action (they are not your mother), and the term
> "psychologically addictive" is not really relevant (don't get me wrong,
> maybe you can be psychologically addicted to love, but not drugs).
> Now, what people are usually refering to in "physiologically" addictive is
> that the drug produces dependence. The definition of dependence is that
> there is a marked withdrawal syndrome upon abstinence from the drug. By
> this definition, THC is not addictive, because the abstinence syndrome is
> mild or nonexistent.
> However, dependence is a poor definition of addiction. In fact, lots of
> things produce dependence that don't produce any real addiction (a good
> example is aspirin, which with repeated use will cause headaches in
> withdrawal; similarly, nose drops produce a severe withdrawal syndrome).
> Sure, dependene can motivate some behavior, but it's not like real
> addiction.  Plus, lots of drugs are highly addictive that produce very
> little dependence (i.e., withdrawal). GOod examples of these are
> amphetamine and cocaine, for which the abstinence syndrome is relatively
> mild. Plus, the two drugs which produce the MOST DEPENDENCE, barbiturates
> and alcohol (for which the withdrawal is life threatening) are very
> CLEARLY not the most addictive.
> So back to the original question, then there are two prominent definitions
> of addiction. One is based on the negative reinforcement model where you
> take drugs to avoid withdrawal. By this definition, the opiates,
> barbiturates, and alcohol are the most highly addictive, and THC would
> score low or not at all.  By the second definition, which is based on
> positive reinforcement, addiction reflects the positive hedonic effecs of
> the drug (the drug rush) and conditioned effects which lead to compulsive
> drug-seeking and taking behavior. By this definition, amphetamine,
> cocaine, and heroine (but not morphine) are the most addictive. again, THC
> would score low here. So for the average person, no THC is not addictive
> by either definition of drug addiction.   Plus, generally speaking,
> animals will not self-administer THC; but they will under some conditions,
> for example, if they are under anxiety.
> Now here is where it gets complicated. Whereas most people do not show a
> big rush from THC and do not show compulsive drug seeking or drug taking,
> or dependence, some people actually do. There are well documented cases
> (although rare) of marijuana addicts who take the drug several times a
> day, and also cases of people exhibiting marked withdrawal symptoms. So
> the long and short of it is, that some people may be addictable to
> marijuana.... this is probably the case with every drug, as marked
> individual differences are observed even with the most addictive drugs
> (e.g., crack, crystal meth, and heroin). So you may become addicted,
> although this is quite unlikely. And there are plenty of drugs approved
> for medical use which have clearly higher abuse potential.
> All this said, the other negative aspects of marijuana use should be
> considered. First, smoked marijuana contains potent carcinogens which are
> plain bad for your health. Second, it is illegal for recreational use and
> you may prevent yourself from getting the job you want unwittingly... some
> drug tests are quite sensitive to marijuana use for some time.  Third, as
> with any mind-altering drug, be careful the company you keep especially if
> you are doing it for the first time, because, depending on the individual,
> these drugs can have unpredictable effects in some people.
> Cheers,
> Stephan Anagnostaras, PhD

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