What Problems Does Using Marijuana Cause?
There are many good sources of information in organizations who study addiction. Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration states that Marijuana use comes with real risks that can impact a person’s health and life. Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal substance in the U.S. and its use is growing. Marijuana use among all adult age groups, both sexes, and pregnant women is going up. At the same time, the perception of how harmful marijuana use can be is declining. Increasingly, young people today do not consider marijuana use a risky behavior. But there are real risks for people who use marijuana, especially youth and young adults, and women who are pregnant or nursing. Today’s marijuana is stronger than ever before. People can and do become addicted to marijuana.
Approximately 1 in 10 people who use marijuana will become addicted. When they start before age 18, the rate of addiction rises to 1 in 6.
Marijuana Risks: Marijuana use can have negative and long-term effects:
Brain health: Marijuana can cause permanent IQ loss of as much as 8 points when people start using it at a young age. These IQ points do not come back, even after quitting marijuana.
Mental health: Studies link marijuana use to depression, anxiety, suicide planning, and psychotic episodes. It is not known, however, if marijuana use is the cause of these conditions.
Athletic Performance: Research shows that marijuana affects timing, movement, and coordination, which can harm athletic performance.
Driving: People who drive under the influence of marijuana can experience dangerous effects: slower reactions, lane weaving, decreased coordination, and difficulty reacting to signals and sounds on the road.
Baby’s health and development: Marijuana use during pregnancy may cause fetal growth restriction, premature birth, stillbirth, and problems with brain development, resulting in hyperactivity and poor cognitive function. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other chemicals from marijuana can also be passed from a mother to her baby through breast milk, further impacting a child’s healthy development.
Daily life: Using marijuana can affect performance and how well people do in life. Research shows that people who use marijuana are more likely to have relationship problems, worse educational outcomes, lower career achievement, and reduced life satisfaction.
Symptoms of Marijuana Use and Withdrawal
When cannabis develops into a problem this is known as a marijuana use disorder, which takes the form of addiction. Often when a person uses, they abuse more and more of the drug to get high. In the beginning it might have been one joint, now its smoking every hour. This is a partial list of symptoms of use and withdrawal.
• Anger and aggression
• Nervousness and anxiety
• Decreased appetite
• Weight loss
• Disrupted sleep or insomnia
• Unusual dreams
• Daytime tiredness
• Cravings for marijuana
• Abdominal pain
• Shakiness or tremors
• Loud talking and laughter
• Mood swings
• Low energy levels
• Reduced activity
• Defensiveness and secretiveness
Treatment for Substance Abuse Addiction to Marijuana in Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Dutchess County, New York
Stress Free Counseling – Chris Colasuonno, LCSW-R, MBA, CASAC has treated numerous clients addicted to cannabis and other drugs. In general, it helps to have an experienced clinician who has treated individuals and can communicate with them. Often times, the addicted person minimizes, blames, deflects, and denies they have any problem. There are different levels of addictions where most are functional addicts but might get lucky that a consequence has not happened yet. For example, a person might be driving when stoned and never get arrested for driving under the influence. This “luck” or for whatever reason this consequence has not found them yet can appear that the person is doing better then they are. Chris utilizes a partnering cognitive behavior approach that works well with most clients who enjoy working with him. The goal is not to label a person in a negative way but to show them from a strengths-based approach there can be a problem with help available. Contact Stress Free Counseling for a free consultation.