Marijuana addiction is no longer new. Current rates will tell you that over 55 million American adults are currently using marijuana, and 45% of the entire American population has tried marijuana at least once. Thinking that marijuana addiction will only affect the person using it is a misconception; in reality, marijuana addiction is actually a concern in society because of the following reasons:
Caveat: “Addiction” is a strong word and technically there are no known physical withdrawl symptoms that are damaging to one’s health. “Strongly habit forming” is the right terminology for “marijuana addiction”, but this article uses the latter term for convenience.
Marijuana Addiction Can Lead To Stillborn And Birth Defects
Marijuana can provide several health benefits. This might be true to some extent, but researchers are still unsure whether or not marijuana is safe to be used by pregnant women. With long-term use and high doses, marijuana will not only harm pregnant women but also the unborn child. This can compromise the development of the unborn child and the health of the mother in the long run. Aside from these, here are some reasons why marijuana addiction is a concern for pregnant women:
See our full article on smoking weed while pregnant.
- It can complicate the pregnancy: Marijuana addiction during pregnancy can heighten the chances of women to experience complications. This can include low birth rates, premature births, and small length and head circumference of the newborn child. Marijuana addiction by pregnant women may lead to unborn children developing issues when it comes to their physical and mental health.
- It can hinder the child’s development after they are born: Even if the baby is delivered successfully, they can still be prone to illnesses and diseases as they grow up. Babies may develop physical and mental issues that can hinder them from living a good life. In some cases, they might even be susceptible to rare forms of cancer and suffer from lifelong illnesses and diseases.
- It can lead to stillbirth: Being pregnant and carrying a child for nine months is a milestone for most mothers. Couples would usually consider having a child as the peak of their relationship and marriage. However, marijuana can become the reason why couples would grieve instead of being happy, as marijuana addiction can lead to stillbirths. This is every couple’s worst nightmare
It Can Have Repercussions To Family Members
Thinking that marijuana addiction will only affect the user is a misconception. Once an individual uses marijuana, their entire family can also experience several repercussions. More often than not, the entire family can face long-term consequences just because a single member of the family is addicted to the substance. To paint a clearer picture of how families are affected by marijuana addiction, consider the points below:
- Marijuana can become the reason why a family will experience debts and bankruptcy: Money is an essential resource in every family. This is especially true if the family has children who regularly attend school. When a family member uses marijuana, their priorities will change. Instead of working to provide for their family’s needs, they will work in order to support their marijuana addiction. They might even sacrifice their family’s needs just to get their hands on the substance. In worse cases, a marijuana addict will sell their homes and other investments to afford to buy marijuana. This behavior can put the family in a lot of debt and bankruptcy. Usually, it’ll be hard for a family to recover from this financial distress, especially if the marijuana addict is the breadwinner or parent in the family. This can, therefore, increase poverty rates and even homelessness.
- Marijuana can produce more out-of-school youth and child labor: When a breadwinner or parent becomes addicted to marijuana, they likely won’t have the motivation to sustain their families. The money they earn from work will usually be spent on their vices. Because of this, children might be forced to stop going to school. How else can they afford to pay the tuition if none of their parents are supporting them? How can they comply with academic requirements if their parents aren’t mentally stable? Inability to finish school can adversely affect the child’s quality of life in the long run. They will also have a hard time looking for a stable job and sustain their own family, too.
Aside from dropping out of school, children might be forced to look for jobs. This usually happens in a family with several siblings. The oldest in the family will look for ways and means to sustain for their younger siblings. Minors may be forced to lie about their age in order to acquire jobs, or they may even be susceptible to child abuse from unscrupulous employers.
- Marijuana can create an unending cycle of substance abuse: As mentioned, family members of a marijuana addict will struggle through a lot of things. Resentment, blame, and anger can breed within the family. Living in an environment where this is the norm can cause children to think that these circumstances are normal, and that marijuana addiction is a regular part of life. Without the right role models to teach them otherwise, children may become susceptible to an unending cycle of substance abuse as they might imitate the actions of their parents or older relatives, or even friends who are addicted to marijuana.
It Can Increase Crime Rates
When you’re addicted to marijuana, you won’t be able to make sound judgments. Your personality and behavior can even change for the worse. Because you’ll be too focused on getting and using marijuana, you won’t be able to determine which action is morally right or wrong. For those who are addicted to the substance, everything is worth risking as long as they can use marijuana. These are just some of the reasons why marijuana addicts would contribute to the increase of crime rates in a specific area. Their urge to use marijuana will motivate them to do risky behaviors such as:
- Marijuana addicts will steal valuables: When a marijuana user doesn’t have any stable job anymore, they will look for other avenues to get money in order to buy drugs. They will usually resort to stealing valuable items from their own friends and family. This can escalate to stealing outside of the family unit or from establishments.
- Marijuana addicts will even kill someone: Stealing from other people is one way for marijuana addicts to get money. When their addiction worsens and their substance dosage increases, they will need a larger amount of money. Aside from stealing, a marijuana addict can engage in other risky activities such as killing a person and robbing them.
- Marijuana addicts can face legal responsibilities: Because of the number of activities a marijuana addict engages in just to use the substance, they are likely to face several legal responsibilities. Depending on the gravity and frequency of the offense, a marijuana addict can be required to pay the penalty or spend years behind bars. This can drastically affect the quality of the addict’s life—from their own down to their families.
It Can Increase Unemployment Rates
If you feel like marijuana is making you lazy, be sure to read our full article on cannabis amotivational syndrome.
Having a stable job is necessary for you to live. When you have a job, you’ll have a steady source of income, allowing you to afford the basic necessities in life. You’ll also be able to enjoy life better if you’re financially stable. However, when you become a marijuana addict, the idea of having a stable job and enjoying life will only remain in your head, and may likely not become a reality. Marijuana can have adverse effects on your mental and physical capabilities, making it hard for you to get or stay in a particular job. Here are the reasons why:
- It affects your attention and memory: Marijuana addiction actually has negative effects on a person’s attention and memory. This happens because whenever you use marijuana, your ability and speed to think get worse over time. Your cognitive abilities are also affected even if you’re only using marijuana for a short period. Because of these, it’ll be more challenging for you to learn new things or execute simple tasks that require concentration and focus. When you’re using marijuana as an employee, it’ll be hard for you to excel and climb the corporate ladder.
- It can decrease your ability to focus: Using marijuana can result in short-lived focus. This means that instead of spending hours to complete a specific task at work, you’ll see yourself distracted minutes after being given the task. You might be able to start a specific task or chore, but finishing or completing it can become a burden and even next to impossible.
- It can become the reason why you’ll lose your job: When you can’t perform at your best, you won’t be able to function as an employee. Instead of being an asset in a particular company, you’ll end up being a liability. And usually, this is enough reason for an employer to fire you or decline your job application. Not having a stable job can create a ripple effect to all of your family members. This is especially true if you’re the breadwinner of the family.
Let The Pros Help
If you see yourself being addicted to marijuana or you know someone who is, seek professional help as soon as possible. Turning over a new leaf can be daunting and time-consuming, but with the help of professionals, it can always be done.
When trying to curb the habit-forming nature of cannabis, you might want to try a tolerance break.