[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”MARIJUANA ADDICTION” font_container=”tag:h1|text_align:left” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]In a recent study, it was estimated that 4.2 million of the 6.9 million Americans who are addicted to an illicit drug were addicted to marijuana. It is estimated that nine percent of marijuana users will become addicted, and if they start using in their early teens that number increases to 17 percent. For daily users the estimated addiction rate can rise between 25 and 50 percent.
Marijuana comes from the plant cannabis sativa. The plant’s stems, leaves, and flowers are dried and most commonly smoked to induce a high. The active compound that produces the effect is THC. Over the years marijuana potency has increased greatly.
In the 1990s THC content averaged at 3.7 percent. In 2013 the potency had increased to 9.6 percent. Extracts from the plant can been made that far surpass even those numbers. These extracts can contain between 50 and 80 percent THC content.
SIGNS OF ADDICTION
Behavioral changes may be signs of marijuana addiction. Changes in friends, missing work or school, and lethargy can all indicate an addiction. The effects of marijuana vary, but can include:
- red, bloodshot eyes
- constant mucus in the throat
- dry mouth
- distorted perceptions
- impaired coordination
- difficulty in thinking and problem solving
- ongoing problems with learning and memory
EFFECTS OF MARIJUANA
Marijuana has been called a gateway drug because it tends to demystify drug use for first time users. That can lead to their trying other street drugs with more debilitating effects like cocaine or heroin.
Long-term effects are especially likely in users who begin abusing the drugs in their adolescence. Studies have shown that the drug impairs neural connectivity in specific brain regions and can affect memory, learning, and impulse control.
Those who used marijuana frequently in their adolescence were shown to lose on average eight IQ points when measured in mid-adulthood. Those who started using in adulthood did not lose any IQ points.
This suggests that marijuana has a larger impact on those who begin using while their brain is still developing. Those who had used significantly in adolescence and stopped using as adults did not regain these points.
Addiction to marijuana can lead to a number of issues ranging from relationship problems to changes in their cognitive functions. While many promote it as a natural drug, they fail to mention that opium poppy and other plants are also natural, but they can be addictive and lead to abuse.
Understanding the effects of marijuana and its addictive tendencies is the first step in avoiding it. If you or someone you know is battling marijuana addiction, consulting with a professional drug counselor can help you find the right path to overcome the addiction.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row]