Myth, Madness and Marijuana Dependence
Not everyone who smokes marijuana grows addicted to this drug. Addiction to any substance is based upon a combination of factors: genetic, environmental, psychosocial, age of onset of use, and use of other drugs.
Many believe that marijuana is not addictive. First, it should be noted that the marijuana available on the street in 2012 is many times, sometimes up to 20 times, more powerful than it was during the 60s. THC, or the active psychotropic ingredient in marijuana, is responsible for the experience of altered senses.
Is Marijuana Addictive?
With the push to have medical marijuana use legalized, a growing debate has emerged– is marijuana addictive? The National Institute of Drug Abuse has stated that marijuana use is addictive. Some people abusing the drug have a difficult time eliminating its use. Current research indicates that 9% of those who use marijuana will become addicted. The percentage jumps to 16 when use begins in adolescents. To date, marijuana use is responsible for 61% of teens entering drug rehabilitation programs under the age of 15, and 56% between 15-19 entering drug rehabs.
If one smokes daily, marijuana can negatively affect the ability to remember, learn, pay attention, maintain coordination and respond appropriately to stimuli (reaction time). In many cases, regular marijuana smokers will suffer from motivational deficits or amotivational syndrome. Regular marijuana users report dissatisfaction with their lives.
New studies have revealed that marijuana is the most common “illegal drug found in drivers who die in accidents…often in combination with alcohol and other drugs.”
Marijuana and Madness
In 2009, a large research study examined the link between psychosis and marijuana abuse. The study also investigated the link between marijuana use and the worsening of existing mental health disorders. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, marijuana abuse can increase the risk of those who are predisposed for mental health disorders. People respond to the affects of THC differently. Some experience nothing at all. Some experience a pleasant high while others experience feelings of anxiety, paranoia, depression, and a loss of actively engaging in one’s life.
Studies have found that early abuse of marijuana (during adolescents) has been linked to adult psychosis in combination with other risk factors.
Last year, a study conducted in Germany recruited participants who had no psychotic symptoms and who had never tried marijuana at the start of the study. Once the study began and marijuana use was regular, the risk of experiencing psychotic symptoms doubled. Researches determined that marijuana use increased these episodes.
Those suffering from marijuana addiction and dependence, who wish to stop, can be helped with proper medical detox protocols followed by an integrated drug rehab program. Getting help can reduce the chances of developing psychotic episodes, regain your energy to live life, and help to find renewed motivation. Treatment works.
(Sources: http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/marijuana-facts-teens/some-things-to-think-about ,
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