Marijuana, cannabis, chronic, dope, ganja, grass, mary jane, pot or whatever people may call it, is a non-synthetic substance that comes from the plant cannabis sativa and cannabis indica. Its colors and characteristics vary depending where it is grown but its common hue is green. In the late 1800s the use and sale of Marijuana were regulated by a number of states and local governments in America. In 1906, several states controlled the drug by labeling it as a poison. By the 1920s, prohibition of the drug was entered in the constitution, and it was then repealed in the 1930s. Ever since, marijuana use continued to be illegal in the United States.
The marijuana plant is intended as a psychoactive drug. Our ancestors use them as a recreational drug and they use it for religious rituals as well. The use of marijuana is comparable to any other addictions such as alcohol abuse, cigarette, heroin and other drug exploitations. They have negative effects on man’s health. Common side effects includes memory loss, slow learning, lack of concentration, loss of coordination, paranoia, emotional instabilities, poor perception or judgment.
Many people who are addicted to marijuana are hooked to its psychoactive effects due to the substance called THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the primary active component of marijuana. This substance is known to have a stimulant, depressant or hallucinogen effect. THC allows the brain to release its dopamine, a substance commonly known as pleasure chemical, giving the user a euphoric high. Euphoric sense is the main reason why people are getting hooked-up with marijuana.
Marijuana addiction is considered as a disease in many societies. Several groups considered marijuana users as outcasts. Thus, it lowers their confidence and morale towards self. Symptoms of addiction are loss of control over the drug and helplessness to quit regardless of the efforts exerted. Alongside with these symptoms, a strong urge of smoking marijuana is very common to the marijuana addicts. Whenever they failed to smoke, they feel depressed, anxious, unable to focus on other things and easily get angered.
According to research, treating marijuana addiction is not easy. Experts believe that there are no distinct medication to treat this kind of addiction. Treatment is the combination of detoxification, awareness on the bad effects of marijuana to the body, support of friends, families and loved-ones.
Detoxification – Experts believe that detoxification is the key therapy to treat chronic users of marijuana. Detoxification usually includes healthy diet, regular exercise, increase water intake and for some, detox pills. The detox program is directed at the physical effects of marijuana. Rehabilitation on the other hand, is a long-range goal so that the abuser will be completely free of the substance. The target of the program is lifestyle modifications.
Awareness – Many users are unaware of the bad effects of the marijuana to their physical, psychological and social being. Gaining knowledge on the harmful effects of marijuana can help chronic users to abstain from marijuana.
Moral support – As mentioned earlier, one reason why chronic users are having difficulty of quitting the drug and why relapses occur, is the lack of support from the people that surround them. Users need understanding, love, patience and special attention. Understanding will greatly help them in quitting the drug.
Marijuana addiction truly affects many people in different walks of life. Though marijuana use is illegal in the United States, it continues to be the most abused illicit drug in the most powerful country in the world. Aside from America, marijuana has been banned in many countries because of its various negative effects on man. In spite the prohibition, the abusers continue to grow. It is significant not to eliminate the importance of information dissemination about marijuana and other drugs so that people will not have to use it out of curiosity.