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Though seen as relatively harmless by some people, marijuana can cause many problems, ranging from tense family relationships to brain damage.
According to the National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 2.1 million people start using marijuana every year. It is the most common illicit drug in the United States. The hemp plant, Cannabis sativa contains the chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Though marijuana is seen as relatively harmless by many people, it can (and does) cause many problems. It is important for someone suffering from marijuana abuse to get help quitting, as it can have an effect later in life. It is also important to realize that the potency of marijuana has increased over the last two decades making the effects even more pronounced.
How is Marijuana Used?
Marijuana is usually smoked, most commonly in homemade cigarettes made from rolling papers (known as joints). Bongs, pipes, and emptied cigars(blunts) can also be used. Some brew their marijuana in tea, some use vaporizers, while others bake their marijuana in baked items, like cookies or brownies. Marijuana is most common in people ages 18 to 25.
Effects of Marijuana
THC passes from the lungs to the bloodstream, and then eventually to the brain. It can be relaxing and stimulating, and leads to enhanced senses and appetites. Larger doses can create effects similar to LSD. If a person begins using marijuana at a younger age, it can affect their brain development, including reduce thinking, memory, and learning. It can also lead to breathing problems, coughing, lung illness, increased heart rate, problems with child development during pregnancy, hallucinations, depression, anxiety, and paranoia. Marijuana users who have mental disorders such as schizophrenia can worsen their condition.
Signs of Marijuana Use: The warning signs of marijuana substance abuse are most apparent right after a person finishes smoking the drug. It is also important to watch for other signs that may indicate marijuana use in your friends, loved ones or children.
Bloodshot eyes. This is one of the most well known signs of marijuana use. The smoke can irritate the eyes, giving them a bloodshot appearance. Other factors (like loss of sleep due to substance abuse problem) can also contribute to bloodshot eyes.
Dilated pupils. Marijuana use can cause pupils to dilate (enlarge) dramatically.
Smell. One of the most telling signs of marijuana substance abuse is an accompanying smell. It is possible to smell marijuana smoke on the clothes and hair of a user. Personal areas, such as a room or a car, may also have the smell of marijuana smoke.
Marijuana paraphernalia. Merchandise and objects connected with marijuana use can be a warning sign of marijuana substance abuse. Seeds from marijuana plants (and in some case the plant or a cutting) can be telling. Materials for making homemade joints, especially cigarette papers, can be indicative. Pipes and bongs, including those that are homemade, are also warning signs of marijuana use. Some of the items may have a sticky residue from the burned marijuana.
Sleepiness. Someone who is under the influence of marijuana may seem sleepy and very relaxed.
Decrease motivation. Marijuana use tends to remove motivation. Regular use can lead to less interest in work or school. Additionally, someone using marijuana tends to stop trying to make and achieve goals.
Short-term memory loss and forgetfulness.
Signs of respiratory problems. A persistent cough and other respiratory problems, similar to those experienced by smokers, can indicate marijuana use.
Street Terms for Marijuana
BC bud or kind bud.
Mow the grass
Getting Help If you recognize the warning signs of marijuana use in someone you know, you should try and get help for him or her. Make sure that you show your concern for the person, and that you express a desire to help. Call 1.855.652.4325 to speak with an intake specialist to learn more about how you can help your loved one. Our Rehab center in Saint George, Utah, is a great place for anyone struggling with addiction in Utah or Nevada. We are just a short ways away from Las Vegas.
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