Studies have shown that long-term use of marijuana causes a drop in IQ levels as well as the loss of other cognitive abilities such as thinking, computing and memory. Though not everyone will experience these same problems with their memory and thinking, it is impossible to know whom it will affect. Marijuana seems to be so popular among people these days, maybe because of its availability. Most people know of someone who smokes pot. Many people also have the misconception that marijuana is safer than other drugs because it comes from a plant and gives the same desired euphoric effects as harder drugs. Even more since it is legal, but marijuana isn’t what it used to be. Actually, the potency of marijuana continues to get more powerful. A recent test of thousands of samples of marijuana plants done by the University of Mississippi’s Potency Monitoring Project found that the levels of THC in today’s marijuana has been found to exceed 30 percent as compared to 4 percent back in 1983.
Signs Of Marijuana Use
If you are concerned that a friend or loved one may be smoking pot, there are several indicators to look for. Dilated pupils and red, bloodshot eyes are very common in someone who has just used marijuana. They may seem dizzy and have trouble keeping their balance. They may also act silly and giggly for no obvious reason and may feel extremely hungry or sleepy. You may also come across evidence of the drug as well as drug paraphernalia such as rolling papers and pipes. Some additional changes in a person’s behavior may include:
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Constant fatigue or tiredness
- Lack of personal hygiene
- Hostility towards people and relationships
- Changes in academic performances
- Loss of interest in favorite activities
- Changes in eating or sleeping habits
[See our full page on marijuana use for more information.]
How To Help A Marijuana Addict
Drug addiction can be a touchy subject for those who are going through it. The last thing they want to feel is that they are being attacked or judged by those around them. Therefore, this topic should be handled carefully. It is important to understand that the addict must want to change for himself. This doesn’t mean that loved ones shouldn’t express how they feel about their drug use, or how it affects them. The user needs to know these things, just without trying to intentionally make them feel guilty for their actions. Offer help and support to the user. This will help them to feel like they aren’t alone and that they won’t lose their relationships with loved ones through the process. Friends could also help them to learn to have fun and relax without smoking pot.
Think of activities that were once enjoyed together. With this said, the best means of help is through prevention. If someone notices that a loved one may be experimenting with drugs, they should intervene right away. Once a person is addicted, the situation becomes much more serious.