Marijuana is one of the most commonly used drugs in America. The use of marijuana increases annually in high schools as it is easily available and more than 115 million Americans have used it at one time or another. Even though it is very popular and there are many movements to legalize it, it is harmful.
Marijuana itself is just the leaves and extracts of the plant Cannabis Sativa and is known by a lot of names such as weed, hash, pot and others. It is mainly a recreational drug taken because of the sense of euphoria it causes, but it also has many negative effects such as slowed reflexes, increased heart rate, impaired memory, paranoia and an altered sense of time. This happens because marijuana consists of 60 psychoactive chemicals, known as cannabinoids. These go into the brain causing an imbalance in the chemicals already presents there. Smoking causes immediate effect while ingesting it takes about 2-3 hours for the chemicals to work.
The long-term effects of consuming marijuana include respiratory problems, cardiovascular risk, mental effects, child development problems and psychological dependence. Smoking marijuana causes lung infections and chronic cough as it is just as damaging as tobacco. It also increases the heart rate for several hours which can cause a heart attack or a stroke. Heart patients are at greater risk of suffering a cardiovascular event. Since marijuana affects the brain, it decreases the abuser’s ability to recall things from his memory. It also decreases their interest and motivation in tasks and for patients who suffer from schizophrenia, it can worsen their condition. Mothers who smoke marijuana during pregnancy put the baby at risk as it has a negative effect on the fetus’s brain, it also causes the baby to be born with marijuana addiction. When it is born it will suffer from withdrawal symptoms as the intake of the drug will have stopped, this can cause death soon after its birth.
The treatment for marijuana addiction is similar to that of other drugs. There are no special medicines to help treat the addiction. The detoxification process helps rid the body of the residues of the drug residing in different parts. Once the users get the drug out of their system there recovery becomes easier, but during the detoxification process, the addict will have to face withdrawal symptoms. Since the process only takes place in hospitals or rehab centers there will be doctors to help, and medication will be given to ease the pain and reduce the effects.
It is a better choice to join a residential rehab center as an inpatient as it takes the user out of every situation that could tempt him or trigger the addiction. There are therapists and support groups to help with the process. After the treatment, it is recommended that they go to a sober home to help with the transition from the rehab center to living independently again.
If you or your loved one is facing marijuana addiction then please contact your doctor immediately to start the treatment and be on your way to recovery.