Marijuana and Addiction
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.
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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
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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