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Marijuana Use and College Students

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Marijuana Use and College Students

The rise in marijuana use has recently become dangerous. It is concerning because it is the highest in 35 years, most likely due to the drug’s recent legalization. More than 40% of full-time college students have recently admitted to using some form of marijuana, which calculates to almost half of all students.

The other reason this is an issue is that marijuana is legal in many states, but not all states. Not only does it affect students, but it affects campuses and the community. Drug abuse harbors many consequences, both long- and short-term.

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana, also known as “pot” or “weed” on the street, refers to the dried leaves, flowers, and stems of the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plant. This plant contains many compounds, with the most potent and mind-altering being THC. Marijuana is the most commonly used drug in the United States after alcohol.

In 2018 more than 11 million young adults used marijuana. A growing number of children in both 8th and 10th grades have admitted to using marijuana daily. Vaping devices have increased the use of marijuana, with vaping THC becoming very popular.

Legalization

Legalizing marijuana for medical use and adult recreational use has changed the view of marijuana for many people. Although marijuana can be used as a legal medicine, it is also dangerous because it makes it seem less dangerous.

How is Marijuana Used?

  • Smoking: Marijuana can be smoked in hand-rolled cigarettes known as joints, water pipes known as bongs, or simple pipes. Blunts are emptied cigars that have been partly or wholly filled with marijuana.
  • Vaping: To avoid inhaling smoke, some people use a vaping device, which allows you to utilize the active ingredients and inhale the vapor instead of smoke.
  • Edibles: Some people choose to put marijuana in food. These are known as edibles and are often put into brownies, cookies, candy, or brewed as a tea.
  • Extracts: This is a newly popular method of use. It is done by smoking THC-rich resins extracted from the marijuana plant. These extracts are incredibly potent and can even send people to the emergency room. When preparing to use these extracts, you must also use butane, which is a lighter fluid. Many explosions have occurred due to its use. This is commonly referred to as dabbing and comes in various forms:
    • hash oil: a gooey liquid
    • wax: soft solid with a texture like lip balm
    • shatter: hard, amber-colored solid

What is the Connection Between Marijuana and College Students?

Another common problem with marijuana and college students is that it can prevent you from graduating. The earlier you begin to use marijuana, the less likely you will be to graduate. Marijuana has the highest rate of continued use after college among all drugs. This means that there is a connection between marijuana use and continuing a pattern when exposed during college.

One out of every five college students suffers from anxiety or depression. Although social media might be one reason for this, exams and trying to fit in socially can also affect this. Mainly, some students feel that they must go to school to make their parents happy or study for intense exams such as the LSAT or the MCAT. Because of this, students might seek out performance-enhancing drugs, such as Adderall, which might lead to needing marijuana to calm down.

Overall, pressure from home, academic pressure, and high financial college costs might push students to seek relief in this drug.

Effects of Marijuana

Short-Term Effects

When you smoke this drug, THC goes from the lungs into the bloodstream. Next, the blood carries the chemical to the brain and other organs throughout the body. Your body will absorb THC more slowly when smoking than eating or drinking it.

THC works on different brain receptors that react to natural THC like chemicals. These are important for normal development and function. Marijuana activates parts of the brain that contain most of these receptors, which is why you feel high.

Other short-term effects include:

    • altered senses
    • seeing bright colors

Long-Term Effects

This drug also affects long-term brain development. When you start to use this drug during adolescence, not only can it impair thinking, memory, and learning functions, but it can also affect how the brain connects these functions.

  • altered sense of time
  • mood swings
  • body movement issues
  • trouble problem solving
  • issues with memory
  • hallucinations
  • delusions
  • psychosis

Physical Effects of Marijuana

  • Breathing problems: Smoke irritates the lungs, which leads to similar issues to those who smoke tobacco. This might include a daily cough, risk for lung illness, and a higher risk of lung infections. Despite this, there is no higher risk of lung cancer in people who smoke marijuana versus tobacco.
  • Increased heart rate: After three hours of use, your heart rate may increase. Although rare, this increases the chance of a heart attack. Older people and those with heart problems are at a higher risk.
  • Congenital disabilities: There have been problems found with child development during and after pregnancy. It is linked to lower birth weight and increased risk of brain and behavioral problems in babies. It can also affect developing parts of the fetus’s brain, while children exposed may have attention and memory issues.
  • Intense nausea and vomiting: Regular and long-term marijuana use can lead to some people to develop Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome, which is extremely rare but causes users to experience chronic cases of nausea, vomiting, and dehydration.

Mental Illness and Marijuana

Marijuana use has been linked to mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts, especially among young people. Despite this, it typically occurs when a pre-existing condition is prevalent. When using cannabis, you put yourself at risk for a dual diagnosis to develop or appear

Treatment

Typically, outpatient rehab is recommended for college students addicted to marijuana, which will allow you to continue pursuing your studies while still attending therapy. Because addiction is usually not physically disabling, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is common. CBT is a short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment. Your thinking patterns will be examined, and you will take a practical approach to problem-solving and change the way you think.

Payment Information

Do you want treatment but are worried about how you can pay for it? We have a team of financial professionals who provide free insurance verification. We will work with you to determine how to move forward with the treatment in a way that works for you and your financial situation.

How to Get Help

Do you know a college student suffering from addiction? At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we understand how difficult it can be to give up an addiction. Our dedicated team will help you customize a treatment plan to help you heal from your addiction.

Our goal is for you to leave Resurgence Behavioral Health with mental fortitude and coping skills to maintain lifelong sobriety. Call Resurgence Behavioral Health at 855-458-0050 to schedule an appointment. We challenge you to make a fresh start with us today.

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