Dangers of Marijuana
Legislative changes concerning marijuana use for medicinal and recreational purposes have Americans debating whether or not use of the drug is safe. Unfortunately, it’s not a simple answer. Like alcohol, some can use it in moderation and avoid harm while others develop a life-threatening addiction that requires treatment.
There are a number of different ways that marijuana can negatively impact the user’s life. Physical health problems – both acute and chronic – as well as mental health issues, social difficulties and financial struggles can develop as a person uses marijuana more frequently or for a longer period.
When marijuana is smoked, all the health problems related to smoke inhalation are a risk for the user, including:
- More chest colds
- Increased risk of lung infection
- Chronic cough
- Lung cancer
Additionally, marijuana use increases the heart rate by 20 percent to 100 percent, an effect that can last as long as three hours. Regular use can also alter heart rhythms, and one study suggests that heart attack in the first hour after smoking marijuana is 4.8 times more likely as compared to sober peers.
Mental Health Issues
Marijuana use has increasingly been connected to psychotic symptoms and the triggering of the onset of mental health disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in those who have a genetic predisposition to these disorders. It was shown that use of the drug was not an effort of patients to self-medicate their pre-existing symptoms but that marijuana use was often a precursor to the development of symptoms.
Additionally, two deaths have been linked to the ingestion of marijuana edibles. In Colorado, where the drug is legal, one man killed himself while another killed his spouse – both committed these acts after exhibiting psychotic symptoms caused by ingesting large amounts of THC in edible marijuana products.
But perhaps the worst danger of chronic marijuana use is the risk of addiction. When someone uses marijuana regularly, it can alter the neurotransmitters and change how they perform in the brain, thus altering the person’s ability to manage compulsive behavior and make positive choices while under the influence of the drug. It can take years of sobriety to undo the damage done by long-term marijuana use. The most effective way to start that process and progress efficiently toward sustainable sobriety is to begin with help from a comprehensive drug rehab program.
Those who begin their journey into recovery with the highest chances for success without relapse will enroll in a program that offers:
- Personalized treatment that addresses the patient’s unique experience in active addiction and his challenges to sobriety and that aids him in reaching his goals for the future
- Intensive evaluation at the start of treatment to aid in acquiring an accurate diagnosis of any co-occurring issues
- Medical care and medication if needed
- A range of psychotherapeutic treatment options that address any underlying mental health issues, including trauma and the addiction itself
- Long-term aftercare support
Here at The Canyon, our drug rehabilitation program can offer you or your loved one the help you need to start a new life in recovery. Call now to find out how we can personalize treatment to meet your needs.