Like their U.S. counterparts, U.K. drug-treatment centres say they are dealing with more problems related to marijuana, nine percent of treatment admissions now are primarily for marijuana, double the rate of a decade ago. Michael Rowlands, medical director at the Priory Farm Place in Britain, said all the classic signs of dependency are present with cannabis.”There’s a strong desire to use, which overrides other activities, so friends and hobbies and work are neglected,” he said. “There’s difficulty in controlling the amounts you use. There’s a degree of tolerance developed so you need higher doses to have the same effect. And then you persist in using despite the fact it’s causing you ill health or debt.”
Experts said what separates cannabis from heroin or nicotine addiction is that the physical withdrawal isn’t as severe. They estimate that 8-10 percent of pot users will become dependent on the drug.
Source: Guardian reported June 17.2004