The Hidden Dangers of Marijuana Abuse

There is a green wind blowing over the US, as millions of Americans use Marijuana on a daily basis. Lulled by the false notion of marijuana being harmless, the number of addicts are unfortunately only increasing.


Long-term users may face the risk of addiction, as the commonly believed idea of marijuana not being addictive is simply not true. This belief is one of the problems with marijuana abuse. Users who become addicted may grow disinterested in life, and are unable to cope with everyday tasks without using.


As the number of users is steadily increasing, so is the number of addicts, and subsequent dangers they face. Findings from the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), show there was a 59% growth in emergency hospital treatments involving marijuana abuse between 2006 and 2010.


Marijuana Abuse


The drug is extracted from the plant Cannabis sativa, and known by many names such as hash, cannabis, and weed. The most psycho-active chemical is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and the amount of THC determines how high the user gets.


Most often marijuana is dried and smoked, or even eaten; though now, harsh oils and brittle preparations called “shatter” are available. These may be especially dangerous due to the large amount of THC.


Today, the use of medical marijuana is increasing, and many people rally in its support. Despite the intoxicating effects and potential health benefits, there are several adverse consequences of marijuana abuse, both physical and mental. Drug users and medical workers alike, should not underestimate these health issues.


Dangers of long-term abuse


Users may experience mental health issues as marijuana can potentially affect memory and may cause anxiety, depression, paranoia and even in some cases, psychosis. Furthermore, marijuana addicts commonly grow passive, unmotivated and uninterested in everyday life and tasks.


In addition to the psychological dangers of cannabis, it can cause several physical problems. The substance increases the heart rate over an extended period, causing an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. Marijuana smoke has the same damaging properties as tobacco, and may cause a chronic cough and lung infections.


Recovering from addiction


Anyone who is experiencing symptoms and suffers from addiction needs to take action. As marijuana is falsely believed not to cause dependency, suffering addicts may be more hesitant to seek help than other drug users.


However, the problem and pain is real for users who become addicted, and must be treated adequately. Research from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), shows a 14% increase in treatment admissions for marijuana abuse between 2006 and 2010.


Addicts may face several unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, such sleeplessness, mood swings and of course cravings. Facing these symptoms alone may cause relapse and anxiety. By choosing professional rehab centers, marijuana users are provided with a safe place to detox and heal.


Though there is no particular medication for cannabis abuse, patients may receive sedative medication from experienced staff in case of panic attacks and severe anxiety. Patients may choose between inpatient and outpatient like other drug users, and receive adequate counseling, treatments, and after-care programs.

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