The most commonly abused drug in the U.S., Marijuana is classified as a mind-altering intoxicant, stimulant, psychedelic and depressant. Contrary to common belief, Marijuana is addictive. Estimates from research suggest that about 9 percent of users become addicted to marijuana; this number increases among those who start young. Marijuana is known as the “gateway” drug because many users eventually experiment with more potent substances. Sometimes marijuana can also be laced with other drugs such as heroin, cocaine, or with insecticides and embalming fluid unbeknownst to the user. With four times the tar, three-to-five times the carbon monoxide and greater than 50 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons, smoking Marijuana puts the user at a higher risk than cigarettes.
Like other drugs, there are many dangers associated with the use of Marijuana. Short-term effects include blood-shot eyes, lack of concentration and alertness, difficulty learning and memory, distortion of perception, decrease in problem solving skills, and increased heart rate. Long-term effects may include changes in dopamine activity within the brain, respiratory problems such as heightened risk of lung infections and daily cough, impaired immune system, and trouble organizing and using information. A number of studies have shown an association between chronic Marijuana use and increased rates of anxiety, depression and schizophrenia.
As a state-licensed, substance abuse treatment center as well as a Day Treatment facility, Suncrest Counseling can customize a treatment plan to help you recover from Marijuana.