Marijuana is rapidly becoming, especially amongst the youth, the most accepted drug in society. Ten years ago the drug still had significant stigmatism connected with it, where it was considered by many as a dangerous drug that had potential for addiction.
In the present day US, the drug has the perceived danger amongst much of the youth and even adults as that of cigarettes. In fact, a recent study conducted on the subject of marijuana and cigarette smoking revealed that for the first time in US history, more teens are smoking marijuana than cigarettes. 23 percent of high school seniors in the study reported having smoked marijuana recently, compared to just 19 percent having smoked cigarettes recently.
This is a dramatic change from where this country was no less than a decade ago. Due to this large increase in marijuana use and decrease in cigarette smoking, there has been much speculation as to a reason for the trend. Some have said it’s due to the general trend of society, some have pointed out the marketing and propaganda of the drug; many different opinions from both sides of the issue have been offered up.
Effects of marijuana
One of the main reasons that marijuana is so prevalent in society is that many people don’t consider the drug to be very dangerous and have negative effects. In fact, a variety of states in the US have made the use of marijuana legal for medicinal purposes. The drug is heavily promoted as a cure for ailments that you may have, although all it is doing is covering up the pain and real problems that someone is having in life.
The health risks involved with cigarettes have been very thoroughly documented and promoted by the media, the message being that “cigarettes can cause cancer”.
Studies show that marijuana actually has more carcinogenic substances than tobacco smoke, between 50 to 70 percent more. Marijuana smokers also tend to inhale deeper and hold their breath longer, which leads to an increased exposure to the smoke.
Some of the effects that marijuana can have on a person are impaired short-term memory, slowed reaction time, impaired motor control, altered judgment, increased heart rate and altered mood.
Statistics of use
Marijuana is by far the most used drug in America. A recent survey found that nearly 1 in 10 US teens said they smoked marijuana at least 20 times a month.
Past-month usage of marijuana went from 19 percent in 2008 to 27 percent last year. The percentage of teens using marijuana 20 times or more per month went from 5 percent in 2008 to 9 percent last year. The survey was composed of anonymous questionnaires given to 3,322 teens in grades 9-12.
Out of all the statistics relating to marijuana usage, the most revealing and dangerous of them all is the fact that studies show that 2 out of 5 people that smoke marijuana go on to use harder drugs at some point later in life.
Solutions for Addiction
Whether someone is addicted solely to marijuana or is using it in combination with other drugs, the need for effective drug treatment is very real.
Many people don’t just stop with the use of marijuana, but go on to use other types of harder drugs as well. This combination creates the need for effective drug rehabilitation as the person can become a liability to those around them. Even with just the use of marijuana, if this is creating problems in everyday life, the need for rehab is important and should be taken advantage of.
Statistically, the most effective treatment programs are long-term, inpatient facilities that address the mental and physical aspects of addiction, getting to the root of the original reason that someone started using marijuana and other drugs in the first place. The Narconon program fulfills each of these aspects of effective treatment and statistically has a 76 percent success rate in achieving long-term sobriety.