Chronic Marijuana Users Suffer Withdrawal Symptoms, Addiction Specialist Claims

John Kelly

John Kelly

A Massachusetts addiction treatment provider claims his study on 127 teenage chronic marijuana users proves pot is addictive. Dr. John Kelly, a psychiatrist from Massachusetts General Hospital and lead author of a recent study on the issue, tells Medical Daily: “Absolutely, no doubt about it.” What the article doesn’t tell you is that Kelly is also program director for Addiction Recovery Management Service, an outpatient treatment and recovery support service for families and youth ages 15-25.

In other words, he stands to profit from parents who believe junior’s pot habit deserves a trip to rehab. Kelly’s study profiled 127 teenagers aged 14 to 19 who were being treated at an unnamed outpatient substance abuse clinic, according to Medical Daily. He selected 90 who identified marijuana as the primary substance they abused and concludes 84 percent of them met the criteria for dependence. He determined this by guaging their increased tolerance to marijuana and unsucccessful attempts to reduce or stop using weed. His study also found two-fifths of teenage participants experienced withdrawal symptoms when abstaining from marijuana, one of the biggest signs of addiction.

Kelly told Medical Daily that the teenagers in his study exhibited irritability, anxiety, problems sleeping, and cravings. “The withdrawal symptoms are similar to sedative withdrawal. You’ll see more hyperactivity, restlessness, and sleep problems,” Kelly said.

Yet, the same article notes that Kelly estimated that about only eight to 10 percent of the population may be at risk of marijuana addiction, which is close to the same percentage of people who end up becoming alcoholics because they drink.