Cannabis: The Real Addiction.
There is a major thing to bear in mind with this hub.
This hub is written in first person, directly from a "stoner's" fingertips.
- Do not proceed if you are under the age of legal age of adulthood in your country/state or without guardian approval due to the (what could be considered) sensitive nature of this hub. If it affects you in any way, please check out the links at the bottom of the page for support.
- This is a guest author who wishes to remain anonymous for the time being but is happy to read and reply to comments.
- This is not intended to promote usage.
- This is not endorsing using.
- This is definitely not encouraging the sale of drugs, the use of drugs or the purchasing of drugs in any way shape or form.
With greatest appreciation, any additional support or more private queries or to offer support, correspondance can be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
A day in the life...
I wake up, if I'm lucky I'll have some leftover from the night before to get me through the ganjover, a common occurrence for me who smokes excessively before bed time. It's like a hangover when you've been drinking so much minus the sickness, just a veil over your mind and I'm irritable. If I don't have any left over, I am not a man to be reckoned with until at least midday.
You see, I don't work, that's part of the problem. I had it all going for me as a young person, great grades in school and top of my class in college. I wish I could say that lasted and don't believe for one moment that drugs contributed to this. I didn't even drink at the age of sixteen. Like a lot of unfortunate men, women and children, I hit a spell of bad luck - this bad luck was none like that of not winning on a scratch card but that of a life-ruining nature which I will neither go into or bore you with. Long story short, I was homeless and had to drop out of college. I was just a child.
After three months of living on the streets, after Social Services told me to "Go home to your parents, they have a duty to look after you." Thirteen times before I was finally put in a hostel, by then I was just waving off the first week of being sixteen and I was put in a large double room with a lad called Jack (by all means, he was a real Jack the Lad too!) Who was a heavy user of cannabis and when he offered it to me, I didn't want to look uncool and be rejected (you see, that happened a lot of school, I was a victim of bullying which contributed to my excellent grades; I kept my head down and got on with my work like the school told me to hoping it would go away) so I accepted. I loved it.
The next morning, I woke up. Clearly, I'd passed out, within half an hour I was later informed, and I was strangely clear headed. My thoughts were wondering but clear and I could remember my dreams of travelling even today, that one joint opened up a gateway for me; an entirely new path which I embraced but wish I had steered clear of now. Weed was (wrongly misconceived to be, I realise now,) a rite of passage in the hostels, it is well known that drug use is rife within homeless communities due to this same opinion at such an early time in life when over a third of the hostel community have entered 'the system' before the age of twenty-five!
Since then, I used weed like a medicine every day to open my mind and make me into who I am today. For about a year, I could make £10 of weed (a ten) last three days but shortly after that length of time became shorter and shorter due to two reasons:
- Increased usage, and;
- Supply and demand, supply went up so the amount you got for your money went down.
You understand, from that second reason, that the sale of drugs is a massive business which the government want to both promote (for their own profit through propaganda and anti-drug campaigns [reverse psychology] and also to promote safer usage) and clamp down on.
In some US states, where the sale of it has been legalised, crime rates have dropped by over 50%.
So about midday, if I haven't had any I'll carry on about my day, once the cloud has lifted. It will be fine until around 8pm (if I have good day) where I will start to think about my usual wind down joint (I rarely smoke during the day except that one in the morning, it is rare I have one left over) and if I don't have it my heartbeat rises and sure enough I'm kept awake all night, irritable and thinking of nothing, filling my time but every hour or so I will think of weed and have a cigarette and try to imagine it to be a joint; it never works.
The real problems start the next day.
I will be mad. Easily angered and I will begin arguments for no reason. I don't understand why, I could control it; if only I could remember it's just lack of weed making me mad. In school, I could easily bite my tongue but during a two year spell, at seventeen years old I became a down and out criminal, just for the fun; you see, that need to seem 'cool' and to 'fit in' made me easily susceptible to peer pressure and I was shoving a recently (at the time) legalised party drug up my nose regularly.
I was stealing catalytic converters from vans to be melted down for their precious metals, like I said I was in it for the risk but it turned out I only got ripped off for all of them, didn't see a penny. And one day, I committed a terribly invasive crime where I burgled someone's house for somebody, I was homeless and hungry and I will say now, it took four days for me to break down and feel remorse for what I had done.
A few days after I did the crime, I got a call with a date of a man who was in court for the crime I did, he was a criminal anyway who I later worked for, so I handed myself in (I'd never let another person take my punishment, ever.) I'd like to say when I was in jail I changed for the better, but this isn't a fairy tale and I didn't.
Before long, I'd moved in with this guy and started working for him, another long story short he was sent back to jail for other reasons, later the flat was seized and I was evicted and had lost everything.
Do you smoke pot?
Do you smoke pot, how often?
I'd love to leave it alone.
I actually turned my life around after losing everything the first time. I went to church but now, I know I am an atheist with a slight lean towards "but, just in case..." who helped immensely with giving me the opportunity to see there is a better way without crime but after leaving the church, I spent three years battling with cannabis (having quit the party drug once I lost the flat) until about a year ago where I smoked it day in day out.
There were always various factors which I won't go into which affected my intake, for example; a major life event brought my intake down to once a week, I was quitting and determined. But that life event was cut short for me, what should've affected my life for the better was taken away months after the start before any real improvements could be made and I was smoking more than ever. And continue to do so to this day.
Due to this, I borrow money, do anything I can to earn money and I look for cash in hand work everywhere. I'd never turn back to crime and go without as I've documented, more often these days as I have taken the step to eradicate my life of drug users and dealers (I get it through other people now to deter me from buying too much). I want to start a business, I'm still smart but unemployed. On state welfare benefits and 'sponging' off tax-payers.money.
I've spiralled into depression and suffer from anxiety now and the paranoia is extreme verging unimaginable. Some days, I don't go out. I come up with mad conspiracy theories and I have found a network of stoners who do the same, we have great talks online.
With the dealers, I got rid of all the negative influences too and prepared to move city and go cold turkey. Unfortunately, I missed an opportunity and now it's just a case of waiting for the next one. I've come off Job Seekers Only onto Employment and Support Allowance whilst my mental health is a bit iffy and hopefully, when I'm on the higher rate I can put some aside each week to move to a new city and carry out this plan, go back to work and rehabilitate myself because in the UK, there is a massive lack of rehab centres for cannabis and not many support workers able to suitably deal with addiction often believing the addiction simply doesn't exist. I can tell you it does else I wouldn't have a need to smoke it rather than a desire. It's all in the head they say, but isn't any addiction? Your head is what tells you that you need it whether it's a physical addiction or otherwise.
I have had numerous jobs, none of which I've lost due to cannabis use but I could attribute a few late marks to smoking cannabis the night before and I'm guilty of slacking when I've had a wake 'n' bake which I learned quite late not to do if I had important plans that day unless I wanted to jeopardise them, like work or interviews (once, I was refused a job in Birmingham for the only negative factor of being 'too relaxed in the interview' after having a joint in the morning).
See, although I have been a bad person, ruining lives and stuff... I'm not now, I haven't been for years and I wish I never had been. I've always been a good person except that period but I was easily mislead back then. Now I plan to get out and 'fix up' but there's not enough help out there or awareness of the addiction. So I'm stuck in a catch 22 as I can't find a job at the moment and can't afford to fix up as even now, the loneliness is attributing to cannabis intake but I don't want to socialise with them in this city because I want to leave so much. I also have no loose ends to tie up and intend to keep it that way until I'm out of my home city.
Hopefully one day, I'll find the cash in my account like a bank error or have some other good luck to just hire a van for my stuff and be dropped off at my new place in a new city to start fresh and make something of myself like I was supposed to as a kid, I know it's about time for some good luck if some should ever exist. But knowing me, that won't come any time soon and when it does, I probably won't even realise it until it's too late.
Don't get me wrong...
I am very productive and hard working, I do a lot of reading and I learn something new everyday as part of my personal philosophy, I'm well educated and well spoken but I am strongly against bigotry of any form and will defend this verbally should I need to. I have a lot of principles and by nature, a good person.
But because I use this herb, people perceive me as lazy and a menace to society, none of which I am. I often go out for bike rides and I keep myself to myself, I keep fit (not so much these days, slightly malnourished due to high intake if I'm honest) and research skills and other hobbies which I currently can't afford but may one day indulge in.
A common misconception of cannabis is that it is a gateway drug. Only if you're susceptible to peer pressure will it be, with moderation and discipline you can smoke responsibility and never progress onto harder substances as many of my friends which I do still have although I don't see often have proven for many years (more than me in most cases).
By all means, the addiction to cannabis is not that of heroin (although, I can't personally compare having never experienced heroin addiction) but it is pretty tough. For some, they can stop at a click of the fingers but for others, like me, it is our lifeline.
If I'm honest, even I haven't so far found good support for removing Mary Jane (marijuana) from my life other than a good reason to actually do it and once that reason was removed, it was like the clock had turned back and I was the same, if not worse, than I was before.
A word from AndrewHil93
Thanks for taking the time to read that, this shows us an in depth view of life from a real source from the real world who has had to endure a rough life to say the least. He recently featured in a radio interview where he revealed after only recently moving into his flat, he still struggles to adapt to life without hostel support. Even paying his own bills is a hassle whilst he battles his addiction.
What can we learn from the author?
- Cannabis is safe in moderation, although there's been no reported deaths due to cannabis that doesn't mean it can't contribute to other factors which could possibly cause it (poverty, for example).
- Cannabis addiction is very real;
- and it's very hard to overcome, but it doesn't have the same addiction level for everyone.
Please find below links to websites which can offer a range of support if you are affected in any way by this hub:
Sometimes, people just need someone to talk to. I am going to suggest a brilliant organisation called Samaritans, volunteers who will listen to you know matter how you feel. They have helped our guest in his depression and when his addiction was at it's worst. Their website can be found here.