Lately, the link between marijuana use and mental health has received immense attention. According to the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), marijuana was one of the most popular illicit drug in 2013. The controversial drug is obtained from the cannabis plant and is often rolled into joints and smoked like a cigarette. However, many people prefer to use it as bong, or cigars called blunts. However, when consumed for medicinal purposes, marijuana is brewed like tea and mixed with vegetables, cookies or brownies.
Numerous studies have associated an increased use of marijuana with mental disorders such as schizophrenia, anxiety, depression and memory problems. Delta-9-tetrahydro-cannabinol (THC), the psychoactive chemical present in the drug, is the main culprit for its intoxicating effects.
Smoking marijuana can deteriorate mental health
Studies have shown that cannabis can cause serious mental disorders such as paranoia or schizophrenia, especially in those individuals who are more susceptible to develop these disorders or have a family history of any sort of mental illness. However, for those who are already suffering from these conditions, it can worsen the situation further.
There is a popular misconception that that smoking marijuana can help relieve stress and depression, subsequently, causing mental relaxation. But, on the contrary, a plethora of studies have shown that smoking marijuana during the depressive phase can deteriorate the mental state of an individual.
Clearly, people who use marijuana on a regular basis are at a higher risk of developing depression and anxiety, as compared to those who do not use the drug. Moreover, long-term exposure to marijuana can cause several health consequences such as impairments in memory and learning, increased risk to schizophrenia, cough, bronchitis, increased heart rate, etc. Many scientists consider marijuana as a “gateway drug”, which implies that its use opens the door to abuse and addiction of substances such as alcohol or other illicit drugs.
Marijuana, when consumed or inhaled, releases THC and other chemicals into the body, which alters bodily functions, providing a euphoric sense of relaxation. However, prolonged use of marijuana can produce adverse health effects on the body. People who start smoking marijuana at an early age are at greater risk of being affected with certain mental disorders and other related problems that may affect the normal functioning of everyday life. Thus, cannabis can cause severe complications on the brain, especially in people who are genetically prone to schizophrenia, making situations more complex.
Treating co-occurring disorders
An addiction to marijuana can predispose an individual to various neurological and psychological disorders, which can become very complicated, if not treated. The treatment plan for addiction and mental health disorder should be such that both the problems are addressed simultaneously. Timely treatment of an addiction or a mental health condition must not be ignored as any carelessness might increase the severity of both the problems that can lead to severe complications.
A comprehensive assessment and a focused treatment plan are imperative to prevent relapse in co-occurring disorders. If you or your loved one is suffering from co-occurring disorders, it is imperative to take the necessary medical help before matters go out of control. If you would like to know more about dual diagnosis drug treatment in California, you may connect with the California Dual Diagnosis Helpline. You may call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1736 or chat online to get in touch with the best dual diagnosis rehab in California.