Marijuana, also known as weed or pot, is a hallucinatory drug that is highly addictive. Marijuana refers to the extract of the plant cannabis and is widely popular around the globe as a recreational drug. It is also the number one illicit drug in the United States and is banned in the majority of the countries around the world. The drug is specifically popular among teens, who come across it at parties and often don’t know what they’ve ingested until its too late.
National drug use survey have revealed a statistics of 2013 indicating nearly 115 Americans of different ages who have been involved in Marijuana use at some point in their life whereas data collected between 2006 and 2010 showed a 59% increase in hospital emergency departments that involved Marijuana. Prevelance rates of Marijuana use was steadily maintained in the previous years among the high school children but a slight decrease from 36.4% to 35.1% was also observed in the year 2014.
Marijuana is popular because of its euphoric effect on the user. People who smoke weed experience euphoria, drowsiness and attain an altered sense of time. The drug creates a sensation of peace within the mind of the user and relaxes the user’s body. Further symptoms include an impaired sense of memory, increased heart rate and loss of time as the user’s mind loses the sense of time and space. Slower reflexes, paranoia, and bloodshot eyes are included in the effects induced by use of marijuana.
One of the major reasons aside from its effects as to why the drug has attained such popularity is the numerous ways it can be ingested. The potency of the drug and its symptoms depends on the method and quantity of intake. Smoking pot causes immediate intoxication and the abuser enters a drug induced haze almost instantly. Consuming marijuana-infused foods slow the intoxication effect and also dilute the symptoms to some extent.
Since marijuana is an addictive drug, people who might try it for fun soon begin craving the sensation that it brings and begin to consume it in increasing amounts. Prolonged use slowly transforms into substance abuse as it becomes difficult to curb the cravings and the user begins to experience negative symptoms.
Smoking weed increases the risk of respiratory problems. Users not only have to deal with the repercussions that come with smoking, but also have a high risk of developing chronic cough and lung infections. Marijuana ingestion increases the heart rate for a few hours causing the heart to work harder and faster for long periods of time. This causes wear and tear of the heart which not only heightens chances of strokes and heart attacks but may also aggravate pre-existing conditions in the cardiovascular system of the user.
Cannabis does not only affect the body, it has long-lasting dangers for the mind too. Prolonged use causes permanent alterations in a person’s memory, causing memory loss. Depression and a decreased interest in day to day activities are also a side effect of this abuse. Furthermore, users develop dependence for the drug which requires them to increase their intake each time and causes them to experience withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, anxiety and hallucinations if the drug isn’t administered on time.
Similar to the treatments of multiple other dependence inducing addictive drugs Marijuana also does not have any specific medications available for treating dependence brought by its use. Professional detoxification can facilitate to some extent by providing a safe and supportive place for getting the drug out of the abusers system. The medical staff can ensure that the individuals do not involve in any self- harm activities. Rehabilitation facilities are also available depending upon the needs of the person recovering, they include counseling and education to help people adapt in their drug free lives whereas after recovery programs and social support from the peer group may limit the future relapses.