Marijuana May Increase Abuse of Other Substances
“Marijuana use may increase a person’s risk for abuse of other substances, including nicotine” a new study has discovered. Researchers in this new study cautioned that marijuana users, particularly heavy users, should be monitored carefully for signs of abuse of other substances and referred for treatment when appropriate. The findings are especially concerning in light of the political views and changing attitudes about marijuana use across the country, coupled with the spreading legalization of marijuana for both medicinal and recreational purposes.
About a year ago, USA Today reported that only 12% of people supported the legalization of marijuana in the late ‘60’s. Now, over half of this country’s population support it! Some states have already legalized the medicinal use of the drug, while other states have legalized both medicinal and recreational uses of pot. This is quite shocking, as the drug still remains banned on a federal level. However, people have had more and more liberal ideas about marijuana, and the studies don’t lie. They show that most people are all for the use of marijuana, at least on a medicinal level. However, what do the facts say?
One of the researchers on the case study mentioned above says this: “Attitudes toward marijuana, both medical and recreational, have changed a great deal in the last several years, and this new study sounds a note of caution about underappreciated risks linking marijuana use to subsequent development of drug abuse and dependence,” – Carlos Blanco, MD, National Institute on Drug Abuse
In light of this new study, if the laws currently in place stay the same (in some states) and other states follow suit, we could be looking at a whole new wave of drug dependency that could dwarf that of recent years and cause a national epidemic. This is masked highly by the common thoughts that since marijuana is ’natural’ that it can’t be bad for you. Well, alcohol is natural, too but some people become addicted to it. The people that become addicted to alcohol can become addicted to other things easier and the same goes for pot. If marijuana is legalized it must be mentioned that other dependencies will be affected.
The brain and chemical make-up of one who suffers from dependency to any form of drug is different than that of a person who is not dependent on drugs or alcohol. This ‘disease’ can be genetic or it can be brought on by one’s own life experiences. The fact that marijuana is on pace to be legalized in the United States is not surprising, however this should raise awareness for the potential for other drugs, including legalized ones such as nicotine in cigarettes and cigars and alcohol, to be adversely affected by this change in law. This is not a political page, and we do not take a political stance or have a political agenda. However, it is our duty to raise awareness about anything that could cause a higher rate or influx of dependency in this country.
THC, found in marijuana plants, is one of the most potent and addicting drugs on the planet. However, the urge to smoke and the struggle to overcome this addiction pales in comparison with the struggle to overcome an addiction to nicotine. Nicotine levels in cigarettes have only been increased over the past twenty years as health threats have scared off many smokers. Other addictive substances, such as alcohol, cocaine, heroin and prescription drugs have only increased as people have gone from one dependency to the next. However, there is hope….
Getting help from a local Substance Abuse Center can certainly change lives for the better. By committing to a standardized program, someone who is dependent on drugs or alcohol can get on the path to recovery and well-being. Helping someone to seek council, especially just before the holiday season, can be a gift in and of itself. We urge you to contact an Admissions Specialist at Phoenix Rising. We take pride in our ability to competently evaluate and treat your conditional needs with a specialized treatment plan, custom-tailored to your particular needs and monitored closely by our extremely qualified physicians. We can help you to see the value in living addiction-free and the importance of living life healthy and to the fullest. If you are at all hesitant, come and check out our facilities! Our patient care center is full of healthy activities that you can engage in before, during, or after the holidays! Come check us out!
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Phoenix Rising provides Addiction Outpatient Rehab and Mental Health Services to Orange County residents serving locations: Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo, Ladera Ranch, Lake Forest, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Laguna Woods, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Beach, Coto De Caza, Rancho Santa Margarita, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Orange, Tustin, and all other Orange County cities that are within driving distance for outpatient programming.