Call it pot, grass, weed, or any one of nearly 200 other names, marijuana is, by far, the world’s most commonly used illicit drug and far more dangerous than most users realize. So, there is just cause for alarm when adolescent marijuana use increases, as it did in the mid-1990’s, and the age at which youngsters first experiment with pot starts to drops.
Marijuana is a hallucinogen and has some of alcohol’s depressant and disinhibiting properties.
Effects of smoking include dry mouth and throat, increased heart rate, impaired coordination and balance, delayed reaction time, and diminished short-term memory. Other effects include disturbing reactions, paranoia and hallucinations.
Teens and Marijuana
Although dangers exist for marijuana users of all ages, risk is greatest for the young. For them, the impact of marijuana on learning is critical, and pot often proves pivotal in the failure to master vital interpersonal coping skills or make appropriate life-style choices. Thus, marijuana can inhibit maturity.
Another concern is marijuana’s role as a “gateway drug,” which makes subsequent use of more potent and disabling substances more likely. The Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University found adolescents who smoke pot 85 times more likely to use cocaine than their non–pot smoking peers. And 60 percent of youngsters who use marijuana before they turn 15 later go on to use cocaine.
But many teens encounter serious trouble well short of the “gateway.” Marijuana is, by itself, a high-risk substance for adolescents. More than adults, they are likely to be victims of automobile accidents caused by marijuana’s impact on judgment and perception.
Marijuana Short Term Dangers
- Impaired memory and inability to learn
- Difficulties in thinking and problem solving
- Distorted Perception
- Anxiety attacks or feelings of paranoia
- Impaired muscle coordination and judgment
- Increased susceptibility to infections
- Burning and stinging of mouth and throat
- Impairment in driving skills
- Increases the heart rate in normal people and worsens heart rate in with heart disease or high blood pressure.
Marijuana Long Term Dangers
- Studies shows that the potential chemical -THC, present in marijuana adversely affect human brain and mental health.
- Regular use of marijuana shows the same respiratory problems as cigarette smoking. Persistent coughing, symptoms of bronchitis and more frequent chest colds are possible symptoms.
- Studies shows that long-term use of marijuana suppresses the production of hormones that help regulate the reproductive system both in men and women.
- Highly increases the risk of heart attack in regular users.
- Smoking marijuana on regular basis increases the likelihood of developing cancer of the head or neck.
- It has the potential to promote cancer of the lungs and other parts of the respiratory tract because of the various carcinogens present in it.
- It may badly affect the immune system’s ability to fight disease.
- Chronic marijuana use causes high levels of depression, anxiety.
- Adversely affects the power of memory and learning