How much do you want to know? Marijuana facts

By CATHY THOMAS BROWNFIELD

Family Recovery Center publicist

How much do you want to know? Marijuana facts

Some people will never be convinced that marijuana use is risky. They won’t research the topic. They won’t read what others share. They don’t want to know the facts because they might have to change the way they think and that would mean someone else was right rather than someone else cared enough to educate them about something that could hurt them, perhaps irrevocably. If you are interested in some important facts about marijuana, keep reading.

Is marijuana addictive?

The Drug Free Action Alliance (DFAA) reports, yes, it is. One out of 10 users will become addicted, similar to alcohol. One out of six become addicted when they begin as adolescents to use it, similar to the rate of cocaine addiction. Because marijuana remains in the body longer withdrawal symptoms are not so noticeable.

How potent is today’s marijuana compared to the 1970s?

THC levels in marijuana are monitored, rising from less than one percent in the 70s to 10.1 percent in 2009. There are more emergency room visits (461,028 in the U.S. in 2010.) There are more people entering drug treatment programs for marijuana addiction, especially among teenagers, reports DFAA.

True or false? Marijuana doesn’t harm anyone.

It creates a deficit in IQ. With people who use it and then get in a car and drive and are at double or more risk of car crashes that hurt them and others. Did you know that using marijuana increases your risk of heart attack within an hour after using it? That people with heart disease who use marijuana are more likely to have chest pain? Workers are more likely to miss work, be late for work, have accidents at work, meaning more worker’s comp claims and higher job turnover, according to DFAA. Students who use marijuana are likely to have poorer grades and NOT graduate.

Is using marijuana safer than drinking alcohol?

No. While you may not stagger around and show signs of impairment, it’s not that you aren’t affected by it. “Mental impairment is subtle,” DFAA says. Attention, thinking skills, judgment, memory, perception and reacting to dangers are all affected when you drive under the influence of marijuana. In fact, DFAA cites data comparing alcohol and marijuana with a 0.8 BAC level, the legal limit across the country.

How much safer is marijuana than tobacco?

It’s not. It burns hotter and burns the lining of the lungs. It contains more tar than tobacco and that tar remains in the lungs longer. One joint is equal to five cigarettes and marijuana contains 50-75 percent of the same cancer-causing agents of cigarettes. Nobody may have died from marijuana directly. But put in the proper perspective, “Most often substance abusers die of a related safety accident or health complication,” DFAA says. “Natural doesn’t always mean safe.”

How many joints can be made

from one ounce of marijuana?

Here are the numbers for you, provided by DFAA:

One ounce = 84 joints

One joint = four hours of intoxication

Eighty-four joints = 14 days of continual high

Six plants = 538 to 726 days of continual high

States that are legalizing marijuana use allow possession up to one ounce or six plants. It is second after alcohol as the most used illicit drug. But most people don’t use it. About 6.9 percent of the entire U.S. population over age 12 use it.

DFAA is supported by Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) which promotes wellness and recovery. FRC also receives funding through OhioMHAS.

For more information about substance abuse, contact Family Recovery Center, 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468 or email, info@familyrecovery.org. FRC promotes the well being of individuals, families and communities with education, prevention and treatment programs for substance abuse and related behavioral issues.

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