Is Marijuana Addiction Real?

Marijuana is one of the most commonly used drugs in the United States

Marijuana is popular across the board with men and women of all ages. Substance addiction is based upon the complex interaction of factors like genetic makeup, environmental circumstances, psychological state, and length of substance abuse. The majority of people believe marijuana is not addictive drug, some may even consider it harmless. In order to closely evaluate the effects of marijuana use, it should be noted that marijuana availably in the 1960s was considerably less potent that the marijuana available today. In fact, today's marijuana is up to 20 times more potent. That means modern marijuana has much higher levels of THC, the chemical compound that heightens and alters the senses.

There is heated debate over whether or not marijuana is an addictive substance. The National Institute of Drug Abuse has unequivocally declared that marijuana is an addictive substance, especially for teens and young adults. There exists a large percentage of people who use marijuana habitually and just can't seem to give it up. The figures from research reveal that 9 percent of people who use marijuana will become addicted to the drug.

When teens and young adults use marijuana, the percentage of addicted users almost doubles to 16 percent.

Statistics on those in drug rehab show that 61 percent of teens report addiction to marijuana as a reason for entering treatment and 56 percent of adolescents (age 15 to 19) in rehabilitation programs report marijuana addiction. Regular or daily use of marijuana has an adverse affect on memory, concentration, the formation of new memories, learning, coordination, and a delayed reaction time when reacting to a stimulus. Habitual use of marijuana could also result in a motivational syndrome, the loss or deficiency of motivation. More dangerously, marijuana is frequently used in combination with other drugs such as alcohol.

A broad study conducted in 2009 implicated marijuana use in the onset of psychosis. The research also revealed that marijuana use exacerbates (worsens) existing mental illnesses. The National Institute of Drug Abuse strongly warns that marijuana use could elevate the risk of preexisting mental disorders. For some users, marijuana elevates anxiety and paranoia and worsens depression, among other negative affects. Individuals who suffer from addiction to marijuana should be treated as the same as other substance abusers. Medically-managed detox would be the first step of drug rehab treatment, followed by inpatient treatment to discover the root cause of their addiction. Seeking treatment could greatly reduce the addict's risk of developing psychosis, along with ensuring their long-term sobriety.

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