Marijuana Use, Not as Harmless as You Might Think…

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Marijuana Use, Not as Harmless as You Might Think…

Marijuana, not as “safe” as advertised

Marijuana (Cannabis) has been a revered counterculture staple throughout the history of the world.  Turn on the television or radio and you can see it used in movies andhear lyrics about its “benefits.”  Marijuana use has steadily increased in the United States over the course of the last decade.  It can be found in every city from Los Angeles, California to New York, New York.  Many reports state that marijuana use is not nearly as harmful as its cigarette or alcoholic counterparts, pushing for legalization and taxation in order to improve economic conditions among individual states.  Marijuana advocates state that it is non-harmful, citing the fact that there are exactly zero reported deaths connected to marijuana use.  While there are countless documents to support many of these claims, many users ignore the health consequences that coincide with the use of marijuana.

Found on our Resources page, those who use marijuana typically do so by rolling it into joints or smoking it out of a pipe.  Some utilize blunts, which are cigars in which the tobacco is removed and replaced with marijuana.  In this particular method, those inhaling the crude combustion elements are exposed to many of the toxins that are associated with tobacco leaf.

Other health issues that are often overlooked include the rapid increase of heart rate at the time of smoking.  This can lead to cardiac arrest as the heart is working overtime to pump blood throughout the body while the ability of the blood to carry oxygen is inhibited by the inhalation of smoke.  In tests conducted on animals chronically exposed to marijuana lead to an increase in the activation of the stress-response system and changes in the activity of nerve cells containing dopamine which are responsible for the regulation of motivation and reward in humans.  This can alter the way we interpret social situations and greatly decrease productivity.

Furthermore, prolonged marijuana use can cause users to function at an intellectual level far below that of non-users.  This can greatly affect the ability of one to perform tasks whether it be at home or in the workplace, resulting in job loss or domestic issues.  Those who stop using report irritability, sleeplessness, decreased appetite, anxiety, and drug craving, all of which make it difficult to quit. These withdrawal symptoms begin within about 1 day following abstinence, peak at 2–3 days, and subside within 1 or 2 weeks following drug cessation.

So what can Seabrook do for someone dependent on marijuana?  Behavioral interventions, including cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational incentives (i.e., providing vouchers for goods or services to patients who remain abstinent) have shown efficacy in treating marijuana dependence.  Seabrook’s staff and faculty remain dedicated and support those in our programs.  This, combined with your willingness to seek treatment, is a winning combination that will help you put down the pipe and take your life back.