Marijuana, grass, pot, or reefer as its users refer it to, is a wild plant that can be grown in almost any warm climate. Produced from the cannabis sativa plant, marijuana leaves and flowers are dried and crushed into small pieces, and then rolled into cigarettes called “joints,” or put into pipes and smoked. Some users also eat marijuana by adding it to food. The sensation of using marijuana is called a “high.” The use and sale of marijuana is illegal in the United States, yet its usage has doubled over the past five years. After alcohol and tobacco, marijuana is the most widely misused drug in the world.
Is marijuana as harmful as other drugs?
Yes. But, because of misinformation and the lack of specific data from research, it is a common misconception that marijuana is a “harmless” vice. There is an increase of information about the health risks of marijuana use of which the public should be aware. Scientists have discovered that marijuana contains over 400 chemicals, which are transformed into 2000 chemicals when smoked. The potency of marijuana has increased more than 275% over the last decade. One of the chemicals in marijuana, THC, (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive (mind-altering) effects. The amount of THC in marijuana can vary, but studies have shown that a “joint” sold on the streets today, can be at least 10 times stronger than a “joint” sold several years ago. This can lead to serious problems, because strong doses of THC can cause hallucinations and image distortions, which can be very dangerous. Studies have proven that smoking marijuana is anything but “harmless.” Scientists are still researching possibilities that heavy use of marijuana may cause permanent brain damage and lower the user’s resistance to diseases.
Who uses marijuana?
Statistics show that marijuana use has reached an epidemic level in our country, especially among the very young.
What are the dangers of marijuana?
Marijuana can do extensive damage to the body and mind. Marijuana is second only to alcohol as the most abused drug. With our current health fad and the way we “count calories,” many people are resorting to marijuana because it does give the same effect as alcohol, but without the caloric intake or hangover. Marijuana causes severe problems such as:
What about drug abuse in the family?
Families faced with having an alcohol or other drug user within the family; find ways of coping with their situations. Even if friends and family member make excuses for the user and cover up for them, everyone still has to deal with it.
What they are doing affects everyone! Take some action. Talk to them openly about their drug problem. Be knowledgeable about the drug that they are abusing. Help them overcome their addiction. Get the user and anyone else involved. Get help from a school counselor, Alanon, or Alateen.
Why is it hard to detect marijuana use in the workplace?
The signs of marijuana use are too subtle to spot, especially in its early stages. It’s harder to identify than a drinking problem, when on the job. Things may seem great, making it hard for a user to realize that there is a problem. But even subtle problems like this can become serious.
No matter what the reason, it is still an addiction and can affect job performance. When someone takes a drug and goes to work, whether they think it is out of their system or not, they are putting themselves, their co-workers, and their job in jeopardy. Only a professional can properly detect drug dependence. If a co-worker, employer, employee, or friend is suspected of using drugs, a well-documented record of their job performance, accidents, decisions, and attitude should be kept. If this person is to be confronted, it should be done with sensitively and with tact, privately. Never try to diagnose the problem, and keep the discussion on a job-related level. Never cover up for a fellow employee, thinking that it is helping them. It’s just making their problem worse by not reporting them. They need help and everyone else’s safety is at stake, too!
Reference Material :
· National Drug & Safety League (A non-profit charitable organization).