The Drug Class Blog

Nov 08

More to consider

 The more we hear about medical marijuana, the more the perception that it does more good than harm seeps into people's thinking, particularly teens.

What we are dealing with here is a very organized approach to legalize marijuana use, partly becuase a lot of people like it , more because there is a lot of money to be made.

What is really happening is that we are legalizing another social intoxicant, one which combines the problems of leagalized tobacco and legalized alcohol, both the health risks and social harms.

The adolescent brain is quite susceptible to addiction to marijuana. This was a finding of the California Society of Addiction Medicine published in 2009. Another study, published in 1994 in the publication Experiential and Clinical Psychopharmacology, concluded that one out of every six kids who try marijuana will become addicted to it. Since aldolescence is the prime time to develop a dependency we need to pay more attention.

Here are the DSM 5 Criteria for dependency

  1. Taking the substance in larger amounts or for longer than the you meant to
  2. Wanting to cut down or stop using the substance but not managing to
  3. Spending a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from use of the substance
  4. Cravings and urges to use the substance
  5. Not managing to do what you should at work, home or school, because of substance use
  6. Continuing to use, even when it causes problems in relationships
  7. Giving up important social, occupational or recreational activities because of substance use
  8. Using substances again and again, even when it puts the you in danger
  9. Continuing to use, even when the you know you have a physical or psychological problem that could have been caused or made worse by the substance
  10. Needing more of the substance to get the effect you want (tolerance)
  11. Development of withdrawal symptoms, which can be relieved by taking more of the substance.
  12. *And I often add a 12th symptom - Chronic dishonesty about use.

. And according to the Substance Abuse and Medical Health Services Administration, marijuana is the number one reason adolescents are admitted for substance abuse treatment in the United States. So, legislators all across America can legalize marijuana use if they want to do so. After all, deadly cigarettes are legal and alcohol use has always been permitted.

Just don’t pretend that marijuana is harmless.

What do you think?

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