Marijuana is a substance that comes from the leaves of the hemp plant. Its main active ingredient is the chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which causes short and long term effects on the brain. Marijuana is the most commonly abused substance in the United States.
Despite the legalization battles that have been going on across the country, marijuana is a dangerous substance and it can cause many problems, including dependence. If you or someone you care about has gotten caught up with marijuana use and can’t stop, we can help. Contact Community Rehab to learn about our marijuana recovery program, which helps individuals take back control of their life.
Abuse and Statistics
Marijuana can be used in a variety of ways, making it more difficult for those around a user to recognize the signs if they don’t know what they are looking for. It is most commonly smoked in joints, bongs, or blunts, but in recent years, many people have begun to bake marijuana into food or brew it into a drink.
Methods of Marijuana Use:
Joint: hand-rolled cigarette which is smoked
Bong: water pipe which is smoked
Blunt: emptied cigar which is refilled and smoked
Edibles: cooked in brownies, cookies, or candy and eaten
Tea: brewed and consumed as a tea
Hash Oil: liquid resin that is extracted from plant and used on the skin
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana use is a growing trend. 44.7 percent of 12th graders have used this drug in their lifetime, along with 31.1 percent of 10th graders, and 15.5 percent of 8th graders. Likewise, 52.6 percent of adults age 18-25 have used this drug, as have 46.1 percent of individuals age 25 and older.
Dangers of Marijuana Use
Marijuana use has been linked to a number of effects on the body and brain. Users often experience breathing problems from smoking the substance, including serious cough, lung infection and illness, and lung cancer. The drug increases a person’s heart rate, increasing their risk for heart attack. Marijuana is known for its effect on development, both in the juvenile brain and child development during pregnancy. This leads to attention deficit issues, problem-solving deficits, and memory problems.
Those who use marijuana experience effects on the brain, some of which can be long lasting and even permanent. Altered or heightened senses, mood changes, difficulty problem solving, memory problems, hallucinations, paranoia, depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts are just a few ways the mind is changed when a person uses marijuana.
Marijuana can be addictive. The NIDA states that about 1 in 11 users becomes addicted to marijuana (Anthony, 1994; Lopez-Quintero 2011).This number increases among those who start as teens (to about 17 percent, or 1 in 6) (Anthony, 2006) and among people who use marijuana daily (to 25-50 percent) (Hall & Pacula, 2003).
Researchers believe that the marijuana of today is more dangerous than the marijuana of two decades ago. This is because the amount of THC in the substance has increased over time, as growers and sellers have worked to “improve” the drug. This has lead to a more dangerous drug that has faster, longer lasting effects, and can lead more easily to dependence.
The Great Marijuana Debate
There has been much debate over the past decade about the legalization of marijuana. Many states have legalized this drug either for medicinal use or both medicinal and recreational use. Others are looking into it.
However, with the great debate over this substance comes an unwanted effect among youth. More youth today are using this drug, and studies show that the perception of young people toward this drug is also changing. According to the 2014 Monitoring the Future Survey, the number of young people who believe marijuana use is risky is decreasing. Young people are being confused by the talk they hear about the safety of this substance, and are beginning to believe there are no real harmful effects of using marijuana.
But the effects of this drug, especially among young, developing minds, are serious and not debatable. Young adults and adolescents that use marijuana are more likely to struggle with or drop out of school, have a poor outlook on their own future, have less ambition to succeed in life, and battle moodiness, anxiety, cravings, and depression.
Treatment for Marijuana Addiction
There is help for marijuana addiction. The best way to treat this disorder is through behavioral therapy and support. Daily therapy sessions and time spent in a supportive, encouraging atmosphere are necessary to replace the undesirable habit with productive activities, and to manage cravings. Community Rehab’s treatment program will provide you or your loved one with the support you need to heal from marijuana addiction and avoid relapse.
The main thing to remember is that if you are struggling with marijuana addiction, you are not alone. We help many people just like you who are eager to get control of their lives and get back to doing the things they enjoy. We believe in the positive power of community, and you will find that getting to know those in recovery around you can help you learn how to live a happy, sober life.
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