Marijuana is a drug that has been thrust into the spotlight in the past several years, due to the string of states that have legalized marijuana for both medical and recreational uses. Indeed, it is hard to imagine a timeline over the next decade where marijuana legalization hasn’t swept over most of the United States. While there are arguments for and against legalization, it is indisputable that the increasing regularity of marijuana usage precipitates the need for a long, hard look at what dangers marijuana can have on individuals.
One major confusion surrounding marijuana is whether or not it is actually an addictive substance. The answer is both yes and no. While marijuana is not physically addictive in the same way that heroin and cocaine are able to rewire our body’s to depend on substance abuse, marijuana can still be a mentally addictive drug. This means that there are emotional symptoms of withdrawals, rather than physical ones. While this doesn’t place a person in as immediate of danger as withdrawals from harder drugs, a marijuana addict can suffer from depression, anxiety, and a lack of appetite from marijuana withdrawals
Marijuana has a calming effect on a person’s nerves, which is why it is used as a painkiller, medically, in some states. However, the effects of marijuana can vary from person to person. Some doctors prescribe marijuana as way to alleviate anxiety, while other people report experiencing extreme paranoia and anxiety after smoking it. Marijuana also causes users to suffer a decrease in motor function, and slows reaction times. This causes problems with coordination, and is why driving under the influence of marijuana is still a DUI in states where it is legal.
Chronic marijuana usage can have a profound impact on a person’s mind, over time. Some users have been shown to have a decrease in IQ that stems from long-term marijuana abuse, which points to the possibility of brain damage. There are also social effects of marijuana usage, which should still be considered, even if they aren’t physically manifested within the substance. Marijuana users are less likely to be able to hold down a job, and are shown to struggle more with finances, on average, than peers who don’t use marijuana.
If you or someone you know struggles with marijuana abuse, don’t hesitate to call and get help, today! Renaissance Ranch has helped countless people in Utah fight addiction and take full advantage of their recovery.