Lady Gaga has revealed details of her marijuana addiction, explaining that at one point, she was smoking 15 to 20 marijuana cigarettes a day, according to news reports.
"I have been addicted to it and it's ultimately related to anxiety coping and it's a form of self-medication," Gaga said on the Z100 Morning Show, as reported by People magazine.
"I was living on a totally other psychedelic plane, numbing myself completely, and looking back I do see now that some of it had to do with my hip pain," she told Z100, as reported by People. "I didn't know where the pain was coming from so I was just in a lot of pain and very depressed all the time and not really sure why."
While research has shown that the percentage of people who try marijuana and become addicted to it is small, it is possible to get hooked on the drug. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 9 percent of marijuana users become dependent on the drug, with that percentage going up for people who begin using the drug in adolescence.
Comparatively, Scientific American pointed out that in a 1994 study showing that 9 percent of people who've tried marijuana become dependent on it, the numbers are higher for other substances: alcohol is 15 percent, heroin is 23 percent and nicotine is 32 percent.
Marijuana withdrawal (officially called cannabis withdrawal in the recently released fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) is also sometimes seen in people who stop using marijuana, and is characterized by anxiety, problems sleeping, irritability and aggression, the NIDA reported. And while it's impossible to die from a marijuana overdose like you would from other illicit, dangerous drugs, dependence on marijuana can cause disruptions to people's lives, TIME reported.
However, TIME pointed out that addiction to marijuana does not look exactly the same as addiction to other illicit drugs, such as heroin. TIME explains:
In this view, the paradigm for addiction is heroin: the shaking, puking heroin junkie who can’t quit because the withdrawal sickness is impossible to bear. Because marijuana cessation is not linked with such severe symptoms, the drug isn’t seen as physically addictive. And considering that most people view physical addiction as uncontrollable, but psychological addiction as manageable with proper willpower, marijuana tends not to be regarded as addictive in general.
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