As the most frequently abused illicit drug in the U.S., marijuana accounts for more than 15% of all admissions to treatment facilities. It is a product of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa, and its primary active ingredient is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Marijuana is made by drying leaves of Cannabis plant. When the leaves of this plant are dried under the sun, they are crushed and rolled in a pipe, cigarette, bong, vaporizer and hookah.
Signs of Marijuana Abuse
Marijuana is not as addictive as other drugs, but a lot of people tend to abuse the drug to get the feeling of relaxation. Over the time, they become dependent and that starts affecting their daily lives. A person abusing marijuana exhibits the following signs and symptoms.
- Dilated pupils
- Increased appetite
- Memory impairment
- Difficulty in solving problems
- Increased heart rate
- Difficulty thinking
- Distorted perceptions
Marijuana Abuse Effects
There are mild to severe effects caused by abusing Marijuana for a prolonged period of time. There are both physical and emotional consequences with both short term and long term penalties. Decreased intelligence, brain damage and respiratory diseases are a few more serious physical outcomes of Marijuana abuse. For those who start abusing marijuana in adolescent years tend to have mental decline of memory and intelligence. The effects even continue after they stop using.
Short terms Effects of Marijuana Abuse
- Dilated pupils
- Short-term memory loss
- Racing heart rate
- Blood shot eyes
- Rapid breathing
- Increased appetite
- Altered judgment
- Mood swings
Long Terms Effects
- Impaired motor skills
- Increased risk of lung cancer
- Onset of schizophrenia
- Ruined relationships
- Loss of family
- Loss of financial resources
- Loss of a job or career
Marijuana Abuse Statistics
Marijuana drug use is still a major problem is many countries around the world. Ease of accessibility and cheap dirt price makes it one of the widely used drug for recreational purpose. There is a wrong myth message being presented in the market that the drug is non-consequential, non-addictive and non-harmful to the brain. Given all the effects and long term consequences, Marijuana abuse has become a major concern for countries worldwide. The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) has already reported with objective evidence that,3 in every 5 adolescents, have had used marijuana and suffered harmful effects in the brain. This research is also a part of large-scale study conducted in New Zealand. In this study it was found that participants using cannabis in their teens and continued until adulthood showed significant drop in their IQ level between the age of 13 and 38. Those who started using the drug after the age 18 showed only minor declines. Other Marijuana addiction statistics include:
- In 2009, approximately 28.5 million people in America of age 12 and older have had abused marijuana once in that year just before the survey was conducted.
- About one in ten Americans have tried the drug at least once in their lifetime. 74.5% of them became dependent on the drug.
- If someone is using marijuana on regular basis, then he has a 50/50 chance of becoming dependent and developing tolerance.
The NIDA funded, Monitoring the Future Study in 2010 showed that about 13.7% of students in 8th grade, 27.5% of students in 10th grade, and 34.8% of students in 12th grade have had abused marijuana at least once before entering their senior year. Among other relative addictive substances such as caffeine, alcohol, cocaine, heroin and nicotine, Marijuana addictions were ranked the second least addictive. Out of all the illicit drugs, Marijuana is one of the most widely used due the ease of access. Marijuana also has some medicinal uses. In most cases, it alleviates nausea, as well as helps increasing hunger in patients taking chemotherapy. It is also medically prescribed to reduce the pressure of eyes due to glaucoma. Marijuana is commonly known as grass, pot, or weed. It sometimes also called Mary Jane, 420 and Ganja. Marijuana has the properties of a stimulant, depressant and a hallucinogen.
Marijuana Effects and Abuse Treatment Options
When marijuana is smoked, the chemical passes from the lungs into the bloodstream, carrying THC to the brain and other organs of the body. It acts on and impairs those areas of the brain that influence memory, pleasure, sensory and time perception, coordination, and concentration. Research demonstrates that marijuana has a negative impact on learning and memory, which can last for days or weeks. Daily marijuana abuse may result in diminished intellectual capacity. Research on its long-term effects indicates some changes to the brain comparable to those changes found in those who abuse other major drugs. The most recent studies have found a connection between marijuana abuse and schizophrenia and/or related disorders. There are multiple treatment options available to help an individual end marijuana dependency, with behavioral interventions, including cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational incentives, showing the greatest promise. If you feel you or your loved one must be placed in a rehabilitation treatment center for marijuana abuse, please call 888-373-5963 or fill out a patient placement form and The Way Out Recovery will aid in placement.