Drug addiction is a serious epidemic we can fight together.
WHEN MARIJUANA BECOMES A PROBLEM – a study
Marijuana use is commonly regarded as harmless. However, The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) has reported that marijuana may be more dangerous than previously believed, and suggested that treatment for marijuana abuse or addiction will become more prevalent in the future. Over the years, marijuana has come to be regarded as less dangerous as other drugs for the potential abuse. There is a growing need, however, for treatment centers to provide marijuana addiction rehab because people are asking for help. Treatment is available simply because there is a need, and at Resurgence, we are responding to that need at all levels of care.
The NEJM study further stated that continual use of marijuana impairs driving ability and affects the performance of students in the classroom. This has led to more people dropping out of school. Mental illnesses that can result from abuse include anxiety, depression, and psychosis. In fact, it’s believed that there’s potential to affect brain development in young people. The NEJM study supports the idea of marijuana as a “gateway” drug in that the use of marijuana can lead to the use of even more dangerous drugs. At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we understand that this could be the reason behind the surge in patients asking for help with marijuana addiction.
The NEJM study also found that by measuring THC content, it is evident that the drug has become more potent over the last couple of decades. In the 1980’s, the normal THC level, which is what gives people the high, was around three percent; that has grown to 12 percent in recent years.
This could make effective marijuana abuse/addiction treatment even more relevant. The consequences of using the drug are intensified as it gets stronger. The writers of the study point out that more people are visiting hospital emergency rooms as a result of marijuana abuse. Marijuana intoxication is also a contributing factor in fatal automobile accidents.
Evidence of Brain Changes
There’s a growing push to legalize marijuana in several states and some have done so already, such as here, in California. This is not because there is evidence that the drug is harmless. Studies show that regular use of four times per week can lead to permanent changes in the brain, and The Journal of Neuroscience claims it is possible to change critical brain structures with the regular use of marijuana.
Potential Heart Problems
Changes in the brain from regular marijuana use are a problem that has been recognized. Not as well-known is the possibility for cardiovascular problems. While using the drug, small studies have shown a potentially greater risk for heart attacks. More conclusive studies need to be done, but even so, we at Resurgence believe that excellent, evidence based care for people who believe they are struggling with a marijuana addiction is a positive thing.
More health issues
There are many studies that show there are negative effects linked to using marijuana, with one of those being the act of smoking itself. Smoking anything is unhealthy for the lungs and marijuana is no exception. It would only be logical to think that, just as tobacco harms your body due to the smoke, the smoking of cannabis would as well. People who go through treatment after having regularly smoked marijuana report better lung function as a benefit, just the same as those who quit smoking tobacco do.
The regular use of marijuana may also have a negative impact on a person’s memory.
Treatments that are available
At Resurgence, we know that marijuana use is a complicated issue because of its medicinal uses, but we are finding that our patients seek help because they realize they cannot control their marijuana use. They see it interfering with their lives, but cannot seem to shake its use. By getting help at Resurgence, our patients learn to deal with real life situations without the use of the drugs.