Marijuana Addiction 101
Marijuana is considered next to alcohol as one of the addictive substances used among teens and adults in the United States. It is a psychoactive drug that changes the normal functioning of your brain, the main reason why it is illegal and prohibited in society.
In this read, we are going to share with you important information about this substance, marijuana addiction, and other related topics. Let’s move forward and uncover the important information that will help you recover from marijuana addiction.
What is Marijuana?
All the dried parts of the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plant are termed marijuana. Among the more than 500 compounds inside this plant, it’s the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that causes the mind-altering and addictive trait of marijuana.
How is Marijuana Used?
There are different ways of using this substance, yet the most common method is smoking rolled cigarettes. Below are other means to consume this substance.
- Using water pipes for smoking
- Mixed as food additives
- Chewed as candy or gum
- Drinking it as tea
What are the Street Names of Marijuana?
Possessing and selling marijuana is illegal in most parts of the U.S., so they invented codes and street names to hide its real identity from the authorities. Here are some of the popular street names of this plant.
- Aunt Mary
- BC Bud
- Mary Jane
- Weed, Smoke, Yerba, and Mota
How Serious Is Marijuana Addiction in the U.S.?
With its addictive nature, this substance is widely used in society, where teens are the rampant users. Below are some statistical highlights showing the condition of marijuana addiction among the Americans.
- Around 16% of the teens (age 18) in the U.S. are consuming this substance for recreational purposes.
- 10% of the adult population are dependent on this drug
- In 2017, there are around 8 million adolescents who are addicted to this substance, where most abusers are men.
- Based on a study, around 30% of those who used this substance will develop an addiction in the future.
- In 2015, approximately 4 million Americans were diagnosed with marijuana use disorder.
- Unfortunately, most of the abusers were teens in the 8th, 10th, and 12th grades. The highest abusers are grade 12 students, where 7% of them used marijuana in 2018.
- Among the emergencies happening in the hospitals, 456,000 cases were related to marijuana addiction.
What are the General Health Effects of Using Marijuana?
This dried plant contains various compounds, yet THC is the one responsible for its addictive impact to users. If you are one of the 37.6 million Americans who abused this substance, then it’s worth noting to know its typical health effects.
Effects on the Brain
- It specifically affects the parts of your brain responsible for your memory, emotions, body coordination, decision abilities, and learning.
- The visible immediate brain effects of this drug will be short-term memory loss, and sudden shifts in mood.
- If you keep using this substance, it will decrease your ability to learn and make sound decisions in the future.
Effects on Cancer Cells
- So far, there’s no in-depth research conducted yet to prove the efficacy of marijuana in killing cancer cells.
- The two active compounds of this substance are THC and cannabinoids, where the former is the addictive compound and the latter provides medicinal effects.
- Some studies report that cannabinoid helps cure diseases, alleviate pain, and reduce nausea and vomiting (after-effects of chemotherapy).
Effects on Severe Pain
- There are a few studies that reported the effectiveness of medicinal marijuana in helping pain management among patients.
Effects on the Heart
- There are a few reports saying that this substance can elevate your heartbeat, which can lead to stroke or heart attack.
- The risk for heart-related diseases is high for those who are smoking rolled marijuana cigarettes since they can absorb other harmful compounds aside from THC and cannabinoid.
Effects on the Lungs
- If you are smoking marijuana, then you are prone to lung-related diseases such as cough, bronchitis, and phlegm because smoking carries a lot of harmful toxins to your system.
Risk of Poisoning
- When you eat marijuana as food additives, you cannot directly feel its effects unlike when you’re smoking it. However, the euphoric and relaxing effects of this substance lasts longer when you orally ingest it.
- Poisoning happens because the user tends to consume more of it since they think there’s no effect happening yet.
Is there a Risk of Abusing Other Drugs When You’re Using Marijuana?
There is a continued debate that when a person is addicted to marijuana, there’s a greater risk of abusing other substances, however, there’s no strong evidence to prove that yet. Nevertheless, here are some of the factors influencing the risk for you to abuse other drugs besides marijuana.
- Pre-existing mental disorder
- Broken relationship with family and loved ones
- Lost of job
- Medical history of alcoholism and drug abuse
- Being alone
- Pressure from friends
- Abundant supplies of illicit substances
Will Marijuana Addiction Impair Driving Skills?
The THC compound inside this plant greatly reduces your body coordination, reaction time, and decision-making skills, which means it can affect your driving skills. Most drivers involved in vehicle accidents were positive for residues of marijuana in their blood.
Compared to alcohol, the presence of THC in your blood has twice the sedating effect which leads to a greater risk of car crashing incidents. Therefore, if you mix both alcohol and marijuana before driving, then there’s a 100% chance that you will suffer from a severe car accident.
Is Marijuana Addiction Treatable?
Similar to other drug abuse, marijuana abuse is highly curable under a comprehensive rehab recovery program. With that, your first step will be accepting the reality that you need external guidance in recovering from this bad habit.
Once you’ve accepted that, you can look for a reputable rehab center or talk to an addiction specialist about your marijuana addiction. These medical personnel have the extensive experience and skills of helping you achieve long-term sobriety.
Get medical help as early as today.