Marijuana is the most commonly abused illicit drug in America. As our culture has become more accepting of marijuana use, the number of people abusing it have grown. According to the National Institute on Drug abuse (NIDA), nearly 30 million people over the age of 12 abused marijuana in 2010 alone.
Despite the common perception that marijuana is harmless, using it can lead to serious health consequences.
Studies have shown that marijuana abuse can have many negative long-term effects, including:
- Impaired coordination
- Memory loss
- Slowed reaction time
- Decreased intellectual function
- Lung damage
Individuals who continue to use marijuana in the face of serious negative consequences—medical, legal, financial, or otherwise—may be considered dependent.
Typical signs of dependence include:
- Increased anxiety, depression, or sudden mood swings
- Reduced mental alertness
- Loss of short term memory or ability to concentrate
- Withdrawal from relationships with family or friends
- Lack of motivation and/or focus at work or school
- Inability to refrain from using marijuana