Using Weed

The Long Term Effects of Using Weed

Imagine the world where the youth run wild, driven to madness and manslaughter, attempted murder, reckless driving and even underage abuse and sex. Imagine the world where all of this is happening because every young adult is using weed. Sounds horrifying, right? Well, that was the driving focus of the most famous propaganda film of the last century, “Reefer Madness.” Of course, the movie was intended to spur politics and the minds of the country’s families against the newly popular drug, marijuana.

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana, also known in more common terms as weed, is a flowering plant most commonly found growing close to equatorial zones. Known for thousands of years, marijuana has been cultivated in countries ranging from India to Spain to Canada and even some isolated Pacific islands. In other words, the plant is ubiquitous. So how can a simple and quite common flowering plant cause such a stir in our fast-paced, modern, and international culture? The answer is simple: marijuana is a known psychoactive hallucinogenic drug and is illegal to federal the United States and many other countries’ laws.

Effects of Using Weed (Marijuana)

The short-term effects of using weed are varied. Weed is considered to be a mild hallucinogenic drug, with many users reporting vivid visual effects like color saturation and closed eye visuals resulting from use.

However, according to the National Institute for Drug Abuse, the most commonly felt effects of marijuana included the following:

  • A sense of euphoria
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Pain relief
  • Stimulated appetite
  • Sleepiness

In addition to the positive short-term effects of the drug, marijuana is currently under several federal clinical trials that are attempting to establish the medical uses of the drug, with many speculating good results as a sleep aid and pain reliever.

However, there is a downside to using marijuana. Many users report feelings of extreme anxiety, a rapid rise in blood pressure, impaired coordination, impaired memory and in some cases even insomnia. According to the American Psychological Association, marijuana in high doses has been known to induce limited cases of psychosis, and even schizophrenia in those who are genetically predisposed to the condition. For most users, many negative short-term effects have been shown to subside after weeks or months. Unfortunately, for some users and even more abusers of marijuana, several severe long-term effects of the drug have been proven to exist.

Long-Term Effects of Marijuana Abuse

While many people use marijuana for its positive effects, especially in the short term, many others suffer from the highly negative long-term effects of weed. In fact, a study published by the New Zealand Drug Enforcement Agency in 2013 followed over 300 teenagers and young adults who used marijuana for more than three years. The study results found that over 70% of the participants had a reduced IQ score and evidence of decreased long-term memory storage when compared to an average population.

While the results of that study are highly specific, general long-term effects of marijuana abuse include the following:

  • Decreased short and long-term memory
  • Reduced fast-twitch motor functioning
  • Reduced attention span
  • Increased risk for respiratory illness
  • Psychological dependence
  • Increased risk of severe mental disorders

The most obvious long-term health effect of marijuana consumption is a reduced ability to remember events that occurred during marijuana use. Weed changes the way users’ neurotransmitters fire, reducing their activity and making the users’ muscles and brains work harder to produce healthy levels of attention, motor function, and memory.

However, the most dangerous long-term health effects of using weed are respiratory illnesses and psychological dependence. Marijuana is most commonly consumed via the airways, as either vapor or smoke. Unfortunately, smoking anything increases the risk of respiratory illnesses like the flu and pneumonia. The most insidious long-term effect of weed is the fact that marijuana is an addictive psychoactive substance. Long-term users’ bodies and brains become so used to operating under the consequences of marijuana that they have a hard time living without the drug. Unfortunately, dependence and addiction cause many users to lose jobs and even end up in legal trouble to get their daily high.

Inpatient Treatment for Using Weed

If you or someone you know and love are suffering from the long-term health effects of marijuana use, inpatient treatment can help. Inpatient treatment can reduce the withdrawal effects of stopping marijuana use, such as insomnia, anhedonia, and a severe loss of appetite. Inpatient treatment can also provide support groups for recovering addicts and allow them to transition back to daily life without the help of a drug-induced high. Under the care of professional addiction counselors and doctors, patients can receive the help they need to relieve many of the adverse effects of abusing weed.

Dangers of Meth Labs

Dangers of Meth Labs: The Hidden Risks of Meth Production

Shows such as Breaking Bad present a clean, sanitized image of methamphetamine production. They don’t really show all the dangers of meth labs in reality. The labs in which Walter White works are a scientist’s dream come true. However, the reality of the situation is that much of the meth produced in the United States is made under hazardous and unsanitary conditions.

Since meth can be produced efficiently on a small scale, many people addicted to the drug may try to “cook” their own in their homes, a small garage or any other space that is private. These “labs” are unsafe and unhygienic, with “cooks” using general household products that emit dangerous fumes. However, the desire to create meth and consume or sell it can be overpowering, which means that the user puts themselves and others in danger.

Physical Dangers of Meth Labs

During meth production, some toxic gasses are produced that have a marked effect on the health of everyone in the surrounding area. People may feel woozy or dizzy as the space used for “cooking” has no proper ventilation.

Even those who don’t use meth can be affected by the presence of a lab. The fumes emitted during the production process can cause serious harm to children and other residents. The dangers of meth labs can also extend to contaminate the grounds outside of the lab.

Symptoms of second-hand exposure to meth include:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Irritation of the ears, nose, and throat
  • Skin injuries

Prolonged exposure to methamphetamine production can lead to cancer, brain damage, and congenital disabilities.

Physical effects are just the start of the problem – vulnerable people who associate with those involved in meth production can suffer a tremendous amount of abuse and neglect as their loved ones become consumed by the need for the drug. Children face a high risk of physical and emotional damage if their parents or guardians operate a meth lab in the home. Meth production doesn’t just hurt the cook – it hurts everyone around them.

Risks to Property

Meth production can damage a property for years to come. Fabrics, toys, walls, floors and other building materials will test positive for the presence of amphetamines long after a lab is seized, shut down or abandoned. The fumes created during production can trigger explosions and fires when just one small spark goes awry. Cleaning up with regular store-bought products will not get rid of these dangers – sanitizing and stabilizing a former lab requires specialists who are trained in HAZMAT protocol.

Seeking Help

People who are involved in meth production and consumption may not know how to stop, even if they wish to do so. The first step towards leaving such a dangerous lifestyle is recognizing that there is a problem. If and when an addict is ready to start getting help, then they should seek out an inpatient therapy program as soon as possible.

Inpatient treatment is a round-the-clock program that focuses on treating the addict for their substance abuse issues so that they can move on with their lives. The person is completely removed from their previous environment to minimize the likelihood of a relapse. Programs can last anywhere from 30 to 90 days, and most are covered by insurance, though all programs are willing to work out a payment plan for those patients whose treatment is not covered.

Treatment focuses on group therapy, one-on-one sessions with doctors, recreational activities and physical wellness. This therapy helps patients develop coping mechanisms that don’t involve meth production or consumption.

Escape the Danger Today

If you or a loved one is ready to stop making meth and endangering themselves and others, then finding an inpatient program is the right choice for you. Remember – your recovery will help everyone around you. You owe to yourself and to them to get better and live as full of life as possible.

Learn more about the dangers of meth labs by calling our toll-free number today.

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