Marijuana is one of the most popular drugs of abuse in the United States, affecting adolescents and adults alike. While marijuana does have some medicinal benefits, it has potential for abuse that should be taken seriously. The consequences of marijuana abuse can be severe and long-lasting, so it is important to understand the facts, effects and ways to reduce use and improve overall health. Here we’ll explore marijuana abuse facts, effects and tips to reduce use and health.
Marijuana Abuse Facts
- Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, followed by cocaine and heroin.
- More than 11 million people in the U.S. report using marijuana in the past month.
- In 2015, more than 37,000 American adolescents received treatment for marijuana abuse.
- About 1 in 6 people who start using marijuana in their teenage years will become addicted to it.
Effects of Marijuana Abuse
Marijuana abuse can cause serious physical, psychological and mental health problems. The effects of marijuana abuse can include:
- Lowered IQ – Regular marijuana use is associated with an average of an eight-point decline in IQ.
- Impaired driving – Marijuana impairs judgment, coordination and reaction time, all of which are essential to safe driving.
- Cognitive impairment – Marijuana use has been linked to decreases in academic and occupational performance, lower satisfaction with life goals, and overall impairment of cognitive functions.
- Physical health problems – Long-term marijuana abuse can lead to physical health issues, including lung damage, an increased risk of cancer, and an increased risk of heart attack.
Tips to Reduce Marijuana Use and Health Risks
If you or someone you know is struggling with marijuana abuse, there are steps you can take to prevent further damage and reduce health risks:
- Seek help and support – A good first step is to speak to a therapist or doctor about your marijuana use and related health concerns.
- Keep track of your use – Research suggests that keeping track of your marijuana use can help reduce use and improve health.
- Exercise and eat smart – Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly can help reduce cravings and improve overall health.
- Stay in touch with friends and family – Nurturing healthy relationships with the people in your life can help you stay on the right track.
Marijuana abuse carries serious risks, and it’s important to understand the facts, effects and ways to reduce use and improve overall health. Keep these tips in mind as you navigate your journey to recovery.