Research- Flowers3399

Pharmaceuticals for Anxiety

Forty million people live a life consumed of fear and worry. They live like this because of their anxiety. It can cause a sense of nervousness and make it hard to do daily activities. There are ways to help those gain relief or even just cope with it. Some ways are conventional while others are not. The conventional ways are therapy, medications, specialist, and self-care. An unconventional way is smoking marijuana that provides the high. The high is believed to help reduce the anxiety but that isn’t always true. With the use of pharmaceuticals those who suffer from anxiety could have relief from their mental health, resulting in not needing the use of marijuana.

There is no cure for anxiety, however, there are ways to relieve or cope with the suffering and pain it causes. Relief and coping can start to sound the same but the words have different meanings especially when dealing with anxiety. There are many ways to treat anxiety and two of those ways are pharmaceuticals and weed to an extent. Those who suffer from anxiety could better benefit from taking pharmaceuticals over smoking weed that provides the high.                 

Relief helps to ease the pain of illnesses or wounds for an extended period of time. In this case, pharmaceuticals and weed can both give relief to those with anxiety. The relief doesn’t last for continuous days but it is enough to make it through a day and allow for daily activities to be done. Pharmaceuticals provide a longer lasting relief compared to weed. In order, for weed to provide relief it would have to be smoked at a high dosage but it would eventually wear off and need to be smoked more throughout the day. It would also take some time to set in and begin its full effect. Pharmaceuticals typically need to be taken once daily every day and bring relief almost immediately, unlike weed. According to Harvard Health, “They are uniquely effective when taken by mouth or intravenously for the rapid relief of acute anxiety… and control of anxiety.” Pharmaceuticals are the better option for anxiety relief because of their quickness and ability to help control it. The methods used for relief can also be forms of treatment for it.  

Coping is different from relief. In order to have relief from anxiety, there are medications that need to be taken. However, coping involves finding ways to deal with illnesses without medications or even the use of weed. Finding those coping methods can also allow the person to change their mood in a positive way. There are many helpful ways to cope with anxiety. In an article at the Healthline website called “6 Daily Hacks That Help Manage High-Functioning Anxiety,” the author provides ways to cope with anxiety and those ways include “recognizing your symptoms, make friends with your fear, reconnect with your body, have a mantra, intervene with yourself, and have a support group.” Although not discussed in the article, physical activity is another coping method. In a journal entry written by Sean Cai, he discusses “relaxation exercises” as a way to “balance the physical as well as mental benefits.” Exercising allows the person with anxiety to feel at ease and improve their mood. All of the previously listed ways can allow someone with anxiety to cope with it in a proper and healthy way. Coping may not be as helpful with anxiety but it is another option if the person with the illness doesn’t want to take medicine.

Over the years, pharmaceuticals have become held at a high standard for effectiveness when relieving anxiety and they continue to prove their effectiveness. Pharmaceuticals and weed meet the same criteria in certain aspects, however, one is more reliable and credible over the other. The medications are more guaranteed to relieve anxiety compared to weed because the pills react with chemicals in the brain that have an effect on mood. Smoking weed for anxiety relief can cause more problems. According to the article “5 Reasons Not to Treat Depression with Weed,” it says, “Many people report feeling more anxious and paranoid immediately after using weed, and some even experience panic attacks.” The report above clarifies that weed has a negative reaction for most users with anxiety. Seeking weed as a treatment can lead to a dependency as well. It is also not known how much needs to be smoked for its effects to kick in. Pharmaceuticals are more easily accessible compared to weed. Weed is not yet legalized and in order to obtain it, it needs to be bought from someone. Some states do allow it to be used for medical reason but there are qualifications that need to be meant. Marijuana also has a tendency to be more expensive than pharmaceuticals. It is best to stick with anti-anxiety medications instead of weed because of their reliability.

There are different forms of anxiety but the most common is generalized anxiety. This can be caused by stress or a traumatic event and it sometimes can be genetic. The anxiety caused by mental illness can interfere with relationships, job performance, academic achievement, and the simplest of daily activities. While some resort to smoking weed, pharmaceuticals are more effective at reducing anxiety.

Marijuana is used by a number of people. It can be smoked, an edible, or can even be a supplement. Prescriptions for weed can be filled out for medical reasons but for the most part, it is smoked recreationally. Some people with anxiety smoke weed to get high because the high is what does the reducing and relieving. However, smoking marijuana does not fully help reduce anxiety. Smoking it, in fact, can cause more anxiety or even heighten it. This can happen if it is smoked in low or high dosages. In the article, “Marijuana and Anxiety | Does Marijuana Help Anxiety or Cause it?”, it says “… marijuana can bring symptoms of anxiety or can heighten their existing anxiety.” For some, it can even bring about mental disorder. There are short and long-term effects that occur when using weed. The short-terms consist of but are not limited to heightened anxiety, short-term memory, increased heart rate, and a short attention span. The long-term effects are a little more alarming. These effects consist of breathing issues, depression, and changes in brain functions. Marijuana is not the drug to resort to when trying to reduce anxiety.

Anxiety causes a feeling of constant worrying or fear. These feelings can then make it hard for the person with the disorder to complete daily activities. It can also bring hardship to their families. In the article “Causes and Effects of anxiety,” it states, “He or she fears the worst outcome in every situation, even if it is illogical… person may even admit or know logically that such fears are irrational, he or she will be unable to stop the persistent worry.” Those who have anxiety experience that constant fear every day. They are not able to disregard their feelings even if they know they are being illogical. Anxiety can lead to sleeping issues, trouble interacting with others, no motivation, and disruption in other daily activities like work and school. Having trouble making it through the days without a sense of fear or worrying is rare for someone with anxiety.

Pharmaceuticals are the most effective way of reducing anxiety. Those who have anxiety have many medication options to chose from. The most common medication choice is Benzodiazepines. This medication is used a lot because it is faster acting than the other anti-anxiety medication. Benzodiazepines alone have many different types of medication that can help with anxiety. Some of those include Xanax, Valium, and Ativan. All of these drugs are effective for treating anxiety. The cause of using Benzos is to reduce anxiety and to be able to daily activities with more ease. Using these medicines can significantly help relieve anxiety. In the article “Benzodiazepines(BZs),” the author states: “Studies suggest that they are effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety in approximately 70-80% of patients.” These medications have helped more people compared to marijuana. Medications reduce anxiety, bring a sense of relaxation, and can make it easier to get through the day. Those who use pharmaceuticals experience instant relief from anxiety. Taking medication can allow someone with anxiety to not have to go around with that constant fear and worry.

When it comes to deciding how to reduce anxiety the best way to do it is by taking pharmaceuticals. The medications are fast acting and bring relief instantly versus weed which could take awhile. Anti-anxiety medicines also do not tend to heighten anxiety like marijuana does. Having anti-anxiety pharmaceuticals guarantees a life filled with more ease.

The claim advocates for weed make is that it is not possible to abuse, become addicted, or dependent on the drug, yet that is not true. Since advocates believe in their claim they tend to lean towards smoking weed to help with anxiety over pharmaceuticals. Marijuana users can experience dependency, abuse, and addiction.  

Marijuana consist of over 400 chemicals and all these chemicals enter the body when the smoke is inhaled. One of the main chemicals is THC. When THC enters the body it travels to the brain and its effects begin almost immediately. The body becomes very relaxed and a sense of happiness washes over. That might sound appealing but weed can start to hinder brain functions. In an article published by “National Institute on Drug Abuse,” the institute states, “but when THC activates the receptors, it
interferes with the normal functioning of these areas of the brain.” Interference with brain functions can cause more issues. A person can be a chronic smoker or an occasional one but both can still experience the same effects of weed once it enters the body. Even though the feelings marijuana leaves can sound appealing they are causing more harm and are not worth the couple hours of relaxation and ease.     

Contrary to popular belief marijuana users can become dependent on the drug. This drug is easily abused because most users do not think it is causing any harm to them physically or mentally so they continue to smoke it regularly. Constantly smoking it can lead to a mental dependency. The user begins to love how they feel when the drug is in their system and they want to always feel that way. Also, they begin to not feel “normal” when weed is not in their system. Users are beginning to have a dependency on the drug more often. In the article, “Marijuana Addiction and Abuse,” the author informs, “More than 4 million Americans are reported to have a dependence on marijuana.” The above statistic is already extremely high and can keep on increasing if people keep ignoring the fact that dependency on weed is possible.

Abusing the drug can happen as well. Most of the time the user does not realize they are abusing the drug. It is easy for abuse to happen because once the user has found easy access to the drug they can get it whenever they want. Most marijuana users start out at a young age and the abuse is already starting to begin. Starting out at a young age can harm the teen’s brain development. In the newsletter “Marijuana Abuse and Addiction,” the author MaryAnn DePietro exclaims, “chronic marijuana use during these early years of critical brain development can lead to long-term or permanent loss of mental abilities.” Abusing the drug at a young age can leave behind permanent damage. There are many negative health effects that can occur when someone starts to abuse the drug. Some of those effects include mood changes, memory issues, coordination loss, anxiety, lung damage, and paranoia. All of the above symptoms can start to cause hardship on the user and their family. Abuse eventually leads to an addiction.  

Addiction involves using the substance to the extreme. Those with an addiction do not lose focus on the substance they are craving. As they continue to use the substance they build up a tolerance and begin to need bigger dosages of the drug. Addiction causes changes in brain functionality. In an article called “What is Addiction” published by “American Psychiatric Association,”  it explains the changes in the brain, “areas of the brain that relate to judgment, decision making, learning, memory and behavior control.” All of the areas in the brain that change, when a substance is being addicted, are crucial. These same areas change when weed is smoked and THC is released into the brain. Addiction to weed is possible and should not be ignored.

A number of people argue that it is completely impossible to get addicted to weed but they are wrong. Marijuana abuse is more about consumption and addiction focuses on how hard it is for the user to stop smoking it all together or for a period of time. When the user becomes addicted they either constantly crave the drug itself or crave the drug’s effects. It is possible for to crave both. If the user tries to stop using the drug but they are experiencing withdrawal then they are addicted. Marijuana addiction is more common than originally believed. In the newsletter “Marijuana Abuse and Addiction” by DePietro provides proof of addiction, “according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about one in every 11 marijuana users will become addicted.” In a group of users, there will be at least one who is addicted to the drug. Just like abuse, addiction can cause mental illnesses like anxiety and depression to be present. Some users wind up in rehab for their addiction. In an article called “Marijuana Addiction is Real but Many Users Don’t Realize That” by Christine Vestal, the author interviewed a marijuana user who became addicted, “took him to Muir Wood… six weeks there, Pohl took intensive classes with about 10 other boys and talked to his therapist frequently.” The marijuana user Quintin Pohl became addicted to weed and had to go to a rehab center where he talked with a therapist about his addiction and what he was going through. Lastly, addiction to this drug can sometimes wind up in the emergency room. The article, “Marijuana History and Statistics” by Lauren Brande provides a shocking statistic, “in 2010, it was involved in 461,028 emergency department visits, up 64% since 2004.” Marijuana emergency visits have risen a huge amount since 2004 and have the potential to keep rising if users keep ignoring the fact that addiction can happen. It is important for those who smoke marijuana to realize that it does come with consequences of dependency, abuse, and addiction along with other health issues.

Anxiety is just one of the many mental health disorders that can make life harder for the person living with it. However, there are ways to help relieve some of it and become more relaxed. Pharmaceuticals are the most effective way to help with anxiety. They work at a quicker rate than weed, they don’t heighten or cause anxiety, and they make the user feel relaxed for a longer period of time. Although to some it might seem like weed is the better option for those with anxiety it is not. Marijuana is not reliable and it reacts differently for every individual who smokes it. Some users get anxious and become paranoid. It has also not been determined how much needs to be smoked and how often to make the user feel relaxed for a full 24 hours. Marijuana can also become a dependency for some users, which can lead to the user smoking the weed when it is not needed. The user can abuse or become addicted to weed which would cause more problems on top of the anxiety they are already dealing with it. The best option is to stick with anti-anxiety medications for quick and long-lasting anxiety reduction and relief.       

References

A.  (2018, November 19). Marijuana Addiction and Abuse – Understanding Marijuana Abuse. Retrieved December 4, 2018, from https://www.addictioncenter.com/drugs/marijuana/

Anxiety Causes & Effects | Covington Behavioral Health Hospital. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.covingtonbh.com/anxiety/signs-symptoms/

Benzodiazepines (BZs). (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.anxieties.com/157/benzodiazepines-bzs#.W9EljRNKhAY.

Bowden, E. (2018, November 26). Marijuana and Anxiety | Does Marijuana Help Anxiety or Cause it? Retrieved from http://www.therecoveryvillage.com/marijuana-addiction/marijuana-anxiety-marijuana-help-anxiety-cause/#gref.

Brande, L. (2017, October 28). Marijuana History and Statistics. Retrieved December 4, 2018, from https://drugabuse.com/library/marijuana-history-and-statistics/

DePietro, M. (n.d.). Marijuana Abuse and Addiction. Retrieved December 4, 2018, from https://www.healthline.com/health/marijuana-abuse-and-addiction

Harvard Health Publishing. (n.d.). Benzodiazepines (and the alternatives). Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Benzodiazepines_and_the_alternatives

Marlow, A. (2017, May 24). 6 Daily Hacks That Help Manage High-Functioning Anxiety. Retrieved November 28, 2018, from https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/hacks-high-functioning-anxiety#1

N.  (2007, June). Weeding Out the Grass. Retrieved December 4, 2018, from https://d14rmgtrwzf5a.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/2463-brain-power-grades-6-9.pdf

Ncpic. (n.d.). Five reasons not to treat depression with weed. Retrieved November 28, 2018, from https://cannabissupport.com.au/news/weed-watch-blog/2016/august-2016/five-reasons-not-to-treat-depression-with-weed/

Prescription Anxiety Medication Addiction – Benzodiazepine Abuse. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.addictioncenter.com/benzodiazepines/

Vestal, C. (2018, June 24). Marijuana addiction is real but many users don’t realize that. Retrieved December 4, 2018, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/marijuana-addiction-is-real-but-many-users-dont-realize-that/2018/06/22/4c2f557c-6e5f-11e8-bd50-b80389a4e569_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.0ba785d55218

What is Addiction. (n.d.). Retrieved December 4, 2018, from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/addiction/what-is-addiction

 

 

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