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How Dangerous is Long-Term Marijuana Use?

Marijuana is considered one of the safest drugs. This is because it does not have the potential for overdose, it has very few physical side effects, and it does have the potential to effectively treat a variety of conditions such as epilepsy. However, to say that it is entirely harmless is not completely accurate. While short-term use rarely has major health consequences, long-term use can lead to a variety of uncomfortable symptoms.

Long-term effects of marijuana use include lower life satisfaction, greater chances of being unemployed, poor school or work performance, and relationship problems. According to the journal of Current Pharmaceutical Design, in an article entitled Acute and Long-Term Effects of Cannabis Use: A Review, “Chronic effects of cannabis use include mood disorders, exacerbation of psychotic disorders in vulnerable people, cannabis use disorders, withdrawal syndrome, neurocognitive impairments, cardiovascular and respiratory and other diseases.”

There are even greater consequences if a person begins using marijuana at a young age before the brain has fully developed. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “When people begin using marijuana as teenagers, the drug may impair thinking, memory, and learning functions and affect how the brain builds connections between the areas necessary for these functions.” These brain impairments can cause a loss of about 8 IQ points between the ages of 13 and 38. Another study found that there was a significant decline in general knowledge and verbal ability among young people who begin smoking marijuana before the brain has fully developed.

If a person has latent schizophrenia, marijuana can make symptoms emerge earlier. Hannelore Ehrenreich of the Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine, at the World Psychiatric Association’s World Congress in Berlin presented a study of 1,200 people suffering from schizophrenia. R. Douglas Fields, in a 2017 Scientific American article entitled Link Between Adolescent Pot Smoking and Psychosis Strengthens, explains, “The results—being submitted for publication—show people who had consumed cannabis before age 18 developed schizophrenia approximately 10 years earlier than others. The higher the frequency of use, the data indicated, the earlier the age of schizophrenia onset.” While marijuana use may be safe for some, it cannot be thought of as an entirely harmless drug. There are risks associated with long-term marijuana use that can be dangerous and result in mental and physical health problems.

Your life doesn’t have to be one of diminished health as a result of addiction and alcoholism. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, offers gender-specific programs that provide individual and group therapy as well as a host of additional treatment modalities to prepare clients for a life that is rich and full without the chains of addiction to hold them back. Even after treatment, Resilient House offers ongoing support to ensure that all clients have the tools necessary to maintain happiness, joyousness, and freedom in their sobriety. For more information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431