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FACTS ABOUT...
MARIJUANA

Dr. Steve Frisch, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in
Chicago, Illinois and Northfield, Illinois.

You can contact Dr. Frisch, Psy.D. at drfrisch@aliveandwellnews.com  or at
(847) 604-3290.

Recover from chemical dependency as well as its toxic impact on family members. Raise your children to choose to be alcohol and other drugs free. Learn how to in Dr. Frisch’s, Psy.D. Recovery book series—From Insanity to Serenity.


Facts About…
Marijuana

Type

What is it called?

What does it look like?

How is it used?

Marijuana

Pot, Reefer, Grass, Weed, Dope, Ganja, Mary Jane, or Sinsemilla

Like dried parsley, with stems and/or seeds; rolled into cigarettes

Smoked or eaten

Tetrahydrocannabinol

THC

Soft gelatin capsules

Taken orally

Hashish

Hash

Brown or black cakes or balls

Smoked or eaten

Hashish Oil

Hash Oil

Concentrated syrupy liquid varying in color form clear to black

Smoked - mixed with tobacco

Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug in the United States and tends to be the first illegal drug teens use. Marijuana is also known as Pot, Dope, Grass, Weed, Mary Jane, Chronic, Reefer, Ganja, Kaya, and Doobie. However, this is not to say that the majority of teens use marijuana. In fact, according to a 1994 survey of high school seniors, while 30.7% used marijuana sometime within the past year, 69.3% did not use marijuana. Additionally, most marijuana users do not go on to use other illegal drugs.

Marijuana has several negative physical and mental effects. Use of marijuana may impair or reduce short-term memory and comprehension, alter sense of time, and reduce ability to perform tasks requiring concentration and coordination, such as driving a car.

Some people who are shy in social situations who turn to marijuana to loosen up, frequently end up making fools of themselves and doing things that they later regret.

Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug in the United States and tends to be the first illegal drug teens use.

The physical effects of marijuana use, particularly on developing adolescents, can be acute.

Marijuana blocks the messages going to your brain and alters your perceptions and emotions, vision, hearing, and coordination.

A recent study of 1,023 trauma patients admitted to a shock trauma unit found that one-third had marijuana in their blood.

Pathfinder’s Checklist
Short-term affects of using marijuana.

1.) Sleepiness
2.) Difficulty keeping track of time, impaired or reduced short-term memory
3.) Reduced ability to perform tasks requiring concentration and coordination, such as driving a car
4.) Increased heart rate
5.) Potential cardiac dangers for those with preexisting heart disease
6.) Bloodshot eyes
7.) Dry mouth and throat
8.) Decreased social inhibitions
9.) Paranoia, hallucinations

Pathfinder’s Checklist
Long-term affects of using marijuana

1.) Enhanced cancer risk
2.) Decrease in testosterone levels for men; also lower sperm counts and difficulty having children
3.) Increase in testosterone levels for women; also increased risk of infertility
4.) Diminished or extinguished sexual pleasure
5.) Psychological dependence requiring more of the drug to get the same effect
6.) Increased risk of chronic pulmonary disorders, including cancer
7.) Increase in testosterone levles for women
8.) Increased risk of infertility in women
9.) Psychological dependence requiring more of the drug to get the same effect

Pathfinder’s Checklist
What you should know about marijuana.

1.) Marijuana affects your brain—THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) affects damages the nerve cells in the part of the brain where memories are formed, making it hard to remember things.

2.) Marijuana affects your self-control—Marijuana can seriously affect your sense of time and your ability to do things that require coordination-like driving. In 1998, nearly 77,000 people were admitted to emergency rooms suffering from marijuana-related problems. This was an increase of more than 373 percent since 1991.

3.) Marijuana affects your lungs—There are more than 400 known chemicals in marijuana. A single joint contains four times as much cancer-causing tar as a filtered cigarette.

4.) Marijuana affects other aspects of your health—Marijuana can limit your body's ability to fight off infection. It can increase your heart rate and lead to frequent chest colds. Some research even shows that long-term marijuana use can increase the risk of developing certain mental illnesses.

5.) Marijuana is not always what it seems—Before it is sold, marijuana can be laced with other dangerous drugs without your knowledge. "Blunts"-hollowed-out cigars filled with marijuana-sometimes have substances such as crack cocaine, PCP, or embalming fluid added to them.

6.) Marijuana can be addictive—As with alcohol and many other drugs, not everyone who uses marijuana becomes addicted, but some users do develop signs of dependence on the drug. They may experience such withdrawal symptoms as loss of appetite, sleep problems, weight loss, and shaky hands. In 1995, 165,000 people entered drug treatment programs to kick their marijuana habit.

Pathfinder’s Checklist
What you should be aware of in regards to marijuana.

1.) Know the law—It is illegal to buy or sell marijuana. In most states, holding even small amounts of marijuana can lead to fines or arrest.
2.) Get the facts—There is NO proof that smoking marijuana is healthy and tons of evidence that it is not healthy. Smoking any substance-tobacco, marijuana, or crack cocaine-increases your risk of developing pneumonia and other illnesses.
3.) Stay informed—It has not yet been proven that using marijuana leads to using other drugs. But, the fact is very few people use other drugs without first using marijuana. Teens who smoke marijuana are more likely to try other drugs, in part because they have more contact with people who use and sell them.
4.) Know the risks—Using marijuana or other drugs increases your risk of injury from car crashes, falls, burns, drowning, and other accidents.
5.) Be in charge—Marijuana affects your judgment, drains your motivation, and can make you feel anxious.
6.) Keep your edge. Marijuana can give you bloodshot eyes and smelly hair and clothes.
7.) Look around you—Most teens aren't smoking marijuana. According to one study, four out of five 12- to 17-year-old youth had never even tried marijuana.
8.) Play it safe—One incident of drug use could make you do something that you will regret for a lifetime.
9.) Do the smart thing—Using drugs puts your health, education, family ties, and social life at risk.
10.) Face your problems—Using drugs won't help you escape your problems, it will only create more.
11.) Be a real friend—If you know someone with a drug problem, be part of the solution. Urge your friend to get help.

 Pathfinder’s Checklist
How to tell if a friend or a loved one is using marijuana.

1.) Seems dizzy and having trouble walking
2.) Having red, bloodshot eyes
3.) Having a hard time remembering things that just happened
4.) Acting disinterested in school, family, or activities he or she used to enjoy
5.) Acting silly for no apparent reason
6.) Changing groups of friends
7.) Changing school grades or behavior

Pathfinder’s Checklist
Quick facts about marijuana.

1.) Know the law—Marijuana is an illegal substance. Depending upon where you are caught, you could face a heavy-duty fine and jail time.

2.) Get the facts right—You do not function normally and cannot do things which require concentration under the influence of marijuana.

3.) Stay informed—Marijuana has been shown to lower sperm counts in men and increase the risk of infertility in women.

4.) Be aware of the risks—Using drugs increases the risk of injury. Car crashes, falls, burns, drowning, and suicide are all linked to drug use.

Frequently Asked Questions About Marijuana

Q. Isn't smoking marijuana less dangerous than smoking cigarettes?
A. No. It's even worse. One joint affects the lungs as much as four cigarettes.

Q. Can people become addicted to marijuana?
A. Yes. Research confirms you can become hooked on marijuana.

Q. Can marijuana help cure cancer?
A. No. Some people with cancer, HIV/AIDS, and other diseases claim to experience relief from pain and other symptoms that they attribute to marijuana use. However, scientific research has not yet confirmed these benefits and more research on this topic is being done. What is known is that smoking marijuana can cause lung damage.

G.B.U.

Steve


Recover from chemical dependency as well as its toxic impact on family members. Raise your children to choose to be alcohol and other drugs free. Learn how to in Dr. Frisch’s, Psy.D. Recovery book series—From Insanity to Serenity.



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