Because marijuana doesn’t pose the same risks as alcohol and other drugs, some people assume that it is safe. As anyone with experience in the addiction field can tell you, marijuana isn’t harmless. Though recreational or medicinal use might not affect everyone in negative ways, others will face several challenges from chronic marijuana use.
Let’s look at eight reasons why marijuana isn’t harmless…
Marijuana Users Can Become Addicted
Approximately one out of every 10 marijuana users will become addicted, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For people who first started using marijuana before the age of 18, that rate is one in six. A marijuana addiction creates an increased risk of impaired memory, attention and learning ability. It also causes a user to sacrifice important activities, obligations and relationships to maintain their addiction.
The Way You Ingest Marijuana Could Harm Your Health
Smoking any substance presents several health risks, such as lung scarring and blood vessel damage. Marijuana smoke has many of the same toxins as tobacco smoke. So, users might experience similar consequences, such as a persistent cough and phlegm, in addition to an increased risk of lung infections.
The CDC has noted a link between a 2019 outbreak of vaping-related lung injuries to vaping products containing THC. Some cartridges used for vaping THC contain vitamin E acetate, which poses several health risks to users. Marijuana use isn’t harmless when it is ingested through smoke or certain vaping products.
Marijuana Use Could Be Part of a Relapse
If someone has a substance use disorder and is currently in recovery, marijuana use is considered part of a relapse, even if the substance a person is addicted to isn’t marijuana. So, marijuana isn’t harmless if you are currently in recovery. It could easily lead to the use of other substances, such as alcohol, prescription drugs or other illicit substances.
Marijuana Use Could Affect Employment Opportunities
Many employers drug test workers, either in the form of pre-employment drug screenings or ongoing drug tests. Marijuana use jeopardizes careers and limits job opportunities. If a user has a marijuana addiction, they make sacrifices professionally to accommodate marijuana use, which affects their career goals.
Marijuana Use Can Have Legal Consequences
Though a few states have legalized recreational marijuana use, it is still illegal in most states. In Florida, for example, possessing marijuana has very serious legal consequences. A misdemeanor or felony charge limits employment, housing, educational or loan opportunities.
Unintended Synergistic Effects with Prescriptions and Alcohol
Marijuana use enhances the effects of other substances, such as prescription drugs and alcohol. For example, one or two drinks might not impair a drinker, but adding marijuana to the mix results in an increased risk for injury. In other words, marijuana isn’t harmless when paired with other substances.
Secondhand Marijuana Smoke Could Present Health Risks to Others
Research suggests that children who are in the presence of someone smoking marijuana could have detectable levels of THC in their system. This presents an increased risk for developmental problems, potentially affecting memory, attention and motivation.
It Could Be Used to Mask Deeper Problems
If someone relies on marijuana to put off dealing with difficult situations or mask underlying problems, then marijuana isn’t harmless. Marijuana use could be an unhealthy way of coping with depression or anxiety. It could also prevent someone from confronting challenges in their lives.
Chronic marijuana use has been linked to mental illness in some users. In that sense, it not only fail to address deeper problems; it worsens someone’s psychological state.
If You Need Help with a Marijuana Addiction, Contact South Miami Recovery
South Miami Recovery offers a marijuana rehab program. We provide treatment for people who struggle with a marijuana use disorder, and we know that marijuana use isn’t harmless for many people. Our staff takes chronic marijuana use seriously. Contact South Miami Recovery by calling 305.661.0055 to learn more about how we can help.