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Lady Gaga & Marijuana Addiction

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Marijuana in the news this fall seems to focus on the sea change in public opinion on legalization. Colorado and Washington are ironing out the details of legal marijuana in their respective states. A new Gallup poll reveals that for the first time, a majority of Americans (58 percent) think marijuana should be legal. But the story is still not so simple, as can be seen in how it has played this week in an interview with pop star Lady Gaga. News stories of the past few years about Lady Gaga covered her outrageous costumes and drug use almost as often as her music. Now Gaga opened up about her addiction to marijuana with surprising candor. In an interview with radio station Z-100 in New York, she said that she had smoked between 15 and 20 joints a day this year while recovering from a hip injury. Her description of her use covers a lot of what experts know about marijuana use: “It’s ultimately related to anxiety coping and it’s a form of self-medication,” she told the radio station.  She also said “I actually decided to speak about this because although I do think it is the best of the drugs to choose from in terms of when you’re playing around and experimenting, I just want young kids to know that you actually can become addicted to it.” The public and private discourse on marijuana rages on, ranging from the ‘it’s no big deal, not as bad as alcohol’ on one end of the spectrum, to the ‘gateway drug’ argument on the other. There are many shades of gray in between. The important thing to remember is that the response and potential for addiction varies for everyone. Yes, maybe you were the person who tried pot a few times and doesn’t see what the fuss is about.  And despite those who say marijuana is not addictive, science says otherwise. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 9 percent of people who use marijuana are addicted to it, and between one-fourth and one-half of daily users are addicted. Of people who sought treatment for drug abuse in 2009, 18 percent named marijuana as their primary drug of abuse. There’s no way to know with that first joint or even the first few. Every addict can go back and trace their path, and as often as not, marijuana is one of the stops. If your marijuana use has gotten to be too much, Stepping Stone Center for Recovery can help. Call our intake counselors at 866-957-4960 for help getting into treatment today.

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