Acknowledging the Dangers of Marijuana Abuse

Cannabis is among the most widely used substances in the UK, right up there with alcohol. Statistics suggest roughly 2.3 million people between the ages of 16 and 59 use it regularly while just over 5 million between the ages of 16 and 24 have used cannabis at least once in the last year. Marijuana abuse is very real and rather prevalent among young people.

A big part of the problem with cannabis are the persistent myths that it neither harms human health nor is addictive. Consistent studies show that both are simply untrue. Cannabis use can lead to a wide range of problems including lung and gum disease, impaired cognitive ability, depression, schizophrenia and other issues.

Exacerbating the cannabis issue is the reality that there are some legitimate medical uses for marijuana. Certain kinds of low-THC marijuana can be used for pain management and to treat glaucoma. But the fact that medical uses exist does not make cannabis any less harmful. Medical use doesn’t make opioids less harmful, why would it be any different for marijuana?

How to Know When Marijuana Is a Problem

Abuse of marijuana is not as easily defined as abuse of drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine. There is a thin line that government and health officials attempt to walk so as to not needlessly go after people who are not having problems with marijuana without condoning recreational use to the point of encouraging abuse and dependence. The result is that marijuana users are left to define for themselves what constitutes abuse.

This is not necessarily a good thing in that those who abuse drugs often have a hard time truly understanding the effects of those drugs on the mind and body. This is why the medical community has developed standards to define what constitutes abuse with other kinds of drugs. Such standards have been slow in coming for cannabis, but they are emerging.

Marijuana may be a problem in your life if you recognise any of the following 12 signs:

  1. You no longer enjoy smoking marijuana
  2. Life without cannabis seems unimaginable
  3. You find you are more frequently getting high alone
  4. The company you keep revolves around marijuana use
  5. You smoke cannabis to escape your problems
  6. You smoke cannabis to cope with your feelings
  7. Marijuana use lets you live in your own, personally-defined world
  8. You find it difficult to reduce how much cannabis you use
  9. Using cannabis is causing problems with memory, concentration and motivation
  10. You find yourself getting anxious about having enough marijuana on hand
  11. Your daily life revolves around using marijuana
  12. Family members and friends say that your cannabis use is harming your relationships.

Cannabis does have the potential of becoming addictive just like any other drug that has psychoactive effects. Addiction may occur more slowly with weed, but it is definitely real. What you should know is that cannabis addiction is more psychological than physical. And while that may sound better, psychological dependence is often the harder of the two to break.

Confronting Your Own Marijuana Abuse

As you read through the 12 signs listed above, did you recognise any of them in your own life? The more of them you see, the more likely it is you are a marijuana abuser potentially on your way to dependence. Putting a stop to long-term marijuana abuse starts by confronting and admitting your problem.

Imagine a person slowly dying of cancer. Help is available to treat the cancer and prolong the individual’s life, but the person doesn’t even know he or she is sick. Before doctors can commence treatment, they need to approach the person and reveal the seriousness of the illness. That person must accept the fact that he or she is sick and be willing to start treatment right away. Treatment for marijuana abuse works the same way.

If you see some of the warning signs but refuse to accept the fact that you may have a marijuana abuse problem, there is little that can be done to help you. You alone have to reach the conclusion that you are abusing the drug; you alone have to make the decision to take the steps necessary to stop using. Only when you do these two things will treatment be effective.

It has been said that admitting a drug problem is the hardest part of solving it. We cannot disagree. Through our experience dealing with drug addicts and their families, we have discovered just how difficult it is for people being controlled by drug use to clearly see what’s happening in their own lives. It takes a lot talking and examining to get to that point. But once a person owns up to drug abuse or addiction, the floodgates of recovery are then opened.

Let Us Help You

Treatment for marijuana abuse is available all over the UK. Some people do very well simply by enrolling in a support group and receiving a bit of one-on-one counselling. Others need more intense intervention that might include psychotherapeutic rehab. In any case, we maintain a running list of treatment providers and services available throughout the country.

Our primary mission is to assist those who contact us in finding the best possible treatment in their local areas. We are here for you as well. You can call and speak to one of our counsellors at any time; you will receive a free assessment along with sound advice and a list of treatment options to choose from. We want to help you conquer your marijuana problem, but we can’t do so unless you contact us.

The sooner you confront your marijuana abuse, the sooner you will be on the road to conquering your problems once and for all. Please do not believe the lie that marijuana is harmless. It’s not. Instead, admit you have a problem and then let us help you find an effective solution. You will be glad you did.

 
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