By: Shannon Persad
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What are the Side Effects of Marijuana Addiction?
Marijuana today is being legalized across the board every year in the United States. Most states have allowed medical marijuana, and now recreational use is becoming widespread.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), marijuana is the most commonly used psychotropic drug in the U.S., after alcohol. It has become widespread amongst teens and notoriously combined with vaping.
The concern is a possible marijuana addiction, as WebMD claims, 1 in 10 people who use marijuana will become addicted. Read on to find out more about the side effects of marijuana addiction.
Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Marijuana
NIDA has compiled a list of the short-term and long-term effects of marijuana.
Short-term effects include (from NIDA):
- altered senses (for example, seeing brighter colors)
- altered sense of time
- changes in mood
- impaired body movement
- difficulty with thinking and problem-solving
- impaired memory
- hallucinations (when taken in high doses)
- delusions (when taken in high doses)
- psychosis (risk is highest with regular use of high potency marijuana)
Long-term marijuana use, starting from a young age can impair the brain, affecting memory, learning functions, and thinking. There is still ongoing research on how long symptoms last, and if they are permanent.
Some physical effects of marijuana include:
- Breathing problems: The smoke irritates the lungs. Daily use puts one at risk for lung infections.
- Heart rate: After 3 hours of smoking, your heart rate increases. This may increase the chance of a heart attack in older people.
- Problems with child development during and after pregnancy: It’s no secret using drugs while pregnant will be harmful, and this includes marijuana.
- Nausea and vomiting: Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome is a result of regular, long-term use of marijuana that causes regular cycles of severe nausea, vomiting, and dehydration.
Marijuana has become a societal norm, similar to alcohol. However, just like alcohol, marijuana can also be abused, leading to many harmful effects.
If you or someone you know is suffering from marijuana addiction, seek professional help now.