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Marijuana Rehab Center: Treatment for Abuse and Addiction

Marijuana is America’s most abused drug. The major active chemical in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The amount of THC determines the potency and, therefore, the mind-altering effects of marijuana. Marijuana is also referred to as pot, grass, reefer, weed, herb, gangster, chronic, boom, Mary Jane, or MJ. Joints or nails refer to the hand-rolled cigarettes made with marijuana. Pipes or water pipes called bongs are also used to smoke marijuana. Cigars with the tobacco replaced by marijuana are called blunts, and often include another drug, like crack cocaine. Marijuana is also used to brew tea and can be added to foods.

Someone under the influence of marijuana can often be recognized by the following signs: rapid, loud talking and giggling in early stages of intoxication, sleepy in the later stages, lack of concentration and coordination, forgetfulness in conversation, bloodshot eyes, odor similar to burnt rope on clothing or breath, distorted sense of time, craving for sweets, and hunger. Marijuana can also cause anxiety and panic attacks. Acute toxic psychosis is a risk with high doses of marijuana. This includes delusions, hallucinations, and confusion over the user’s own personal identity can occur.

Extended use of marijuana increases risk to of suppression of the immune system, which may cause some adverse health effects. Marijuana may impair the immune system's ability to fight off infectious diseases and cancer. Marijuana smoke can also promote cancer of the respiratory tract and lungs. Smoking marijuana over time can lead to abnormal functioning of lung tissue, which is injured or destroyed by marijuana smoke. It can cause chest pain in people who have a poor blood supply to the heart, and increase in heart rate and blood pressure.

Marijuana may cause problems in daily life or worsen existing problems. Intellect, career, and social facets of life are affected by the compromised ability to learn. Marijuana smokers who use marijuana heavily over long periods of time can become dull, slow moving, and inattentive. They often call this effect of prolonged use burnout.

Marijuana use has also been linked to crimes committed by youths. On average, 53% of juvenile male and 38% of juvenile female arrestees tested positive for marijuana. Marijuana Increases the Risk of Accidents. Studies show that around 6 – 11% of fatal accident victims are under the influence of marijuana. In many of these cases, alcohol is detected as well. Students who smoke marijuana get lower grades and are less likely to graduate from high school. Daily marijuana smokers are likely to be functioning at a continually reduced intellectual capacity. By measuring students’ problem-solving and emotional skills in 8th grade and later in 12th grade, it was shown that those who smoked marijuana suffered from reduced capacity for self-reinforcement.

Employees who smoke marijuana are more likely to experience problems at work. Studies show an increase in the following indicators of poor performance among workers who use marijuana.

Marijuana can produce the disease of addiction in long-term users. Addiction to marijuana is characterized by compulsive craving, causing the user to try to find and use more of the drug even when it may produce negative health and social consequences.

At the point where addiction to marijuana is a problem, the associated memory and learning problems may be causing problems at work or even leading to loss of a job. The marijuana user often experiences more isolation from friends and family. When stress builds, the user turns to marijuana for relief, providing an excuse to smoke more of it. This results in increased marijuana use and worsening problems, in a cycle that is difficult to end.

Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States. Use of marijuana is prevalent among teenagers and young adults.

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