THERE’S a secret addiction sweeping across Australia and we aren’t hearing about it.
We all know the damaging effects of the monster drug ice and other hard narcotics, but what about the substances that are a little easier to get and widely spread?
Marijuana is not something you often associate with the word “addiction” or consider it to be dangerous, but many people are hooked on the drug and it’s a problem experts say we need to take more seriously.
A National Epidemiological Study of Alcohol Use and Related Disorders found adults who smoked marijuana were more likely than non-users to also abuse alcohol.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana use is also linked to other addictions like nicotine.
In 2010 National Cannabis Prevention Information Centre director, Professor Jan Copeland, said about 750,000 Australians were smoking cannabis every week and about 70 per cent of people aged between 20 and 29 had at least tried it.
Marijuana addiction is more serious than we think. Sydney’s Jason Hameister had this secret addiction and nobody knew — not even he realised how dependent he was on the drug. He had smoked cannabis for more than 20 years and at the height of his addiction, he could smoke up to 50 cones a day. Despite hiding it from those closest to him, he never really thought it was a problem.
“I’d become dependent on it and it quickly became overused to a point where I would manipulate my day so I could smoke as much as I could,” he said.
Mr Hameister would wake up early in the morning before his family so he could smoke marijuana and would stay up late to get a cone in before bed.
“If I could sway things in a way that allowed me a moment of time by myself I would do it,” he said.
“I was smoking before taking my kids to school and I could easily have a dozen cones.”
“I had this perception if nobody saw it, nobody would know.
“I thought I wasn’t doing any harm but meanwhile I was basically killing myself slowly.”
Mr Hameister, who started smoking when he was 14, had a rough upbringing and wanted to numb his anxiety.
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