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Impact, Symptoms, and Consequences of Addiction to Marijuana

No illegal drug in the United States is used more frequently by more people than marijuana. After alcohol and tobacco, it is the most consumed mind-altering substance in the world.  In the Canadian province of British Columbia, where marijuana laws are laxer than in the United States, it is a $6 billion a year cash crop. A significant movement has taken hold in the United States over the last few decades to legalize marijuana. Advocates point to the number of pot users incarcerated as a sign that America’s War on Drugs has been a complete failure. For the treatment of a marijuana addict, diagnostic evaluations and programs are required. Let’s take a closer look at what marijuana is and what it does to the human body.

Impact

Most of the impact that pot usage has on a person is well documented and has become a part of today’s pop culture landscape. Pot is often referred to as a drug that mellows you out, calms you down, and slows the mind. If enough marijuana is consumed, the user often feels hungry after a period of time, and users claim that food tastes either better or different while under the influence of the drug. Things like music, television, or even books can seem strange, and new and simple facts are often interpreted in a new way when using marijuana. One fact that even dedicated pot users will admit to is that continued or daily use of the drug saps one’s energy and makes one completely lethargic. However, legalization advocates point to the fact that other drugs, such as alcohol, make people angry, loud and aggressive, all symptoms that they see as less harmful than the ones caused by marijuana, and that drug is completely legal. There are also said to be significant benefits when it comes to killing pain, relieving symptoms from certain diseases, and providing comfort to chronically ill patients, although other studies have shown that marijuana use provides the same pain relief as codeine, but causes increased instances of depression.

Symptoms

Since marijuana is most often smoked, it is somewhat easy to pick out someone who is a habitual user simply from the way their clothes and hair smell. Chronic users tend to appear lethargic and in a daze for long periods of time. Many frequent pot users are overweight due to the lack of motivation and constant bouts of the “munchies,” but other chronic pot users also partake in other drugs that kill the appetite. You may also notice a lack of short-term and long-term memory from people who smoke on a regular basis.

Consequences

It is difficult to use broad definitions to generalize about the consequences of pot use. Probably the most significant consequence of using pot in the United States is risking getting arrested. Many jurisdictions take a very dim view of marijuana, and the fines and jail time can be significant. There is also a financial impact, as well, even though many drug users consider marijuana to be somewhat affordable. The biggest fear that most parents have toward pot is that it will lead to experimentation with other drugs that are even more dangerous.

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