Is It “Just Pot”?
I am on the mailing list for a treatment center in Canada called Edgewood. I have had the pleasure of visiting the facility and have referral several people who were happy to have been treated there. Here is some of the article: Our experience at Edgewood suggests the general public, those families who struggle with addiction, and most certainly those advocating for medicinal use of marijuana could benefit from more information. What we are concerned with is the lack of knowledge of the potential addictive qualities of the drug and other associated health risks. As with alcohol consumption, many people use marijuana without suffering any apparent negative consequences. Like the occasional drinker, the occasional ‘toker’ may not recognize or give credence to the potential for harm from the substance. It is well documented that while consumption of alcohol is benign for some, it can lead to addiction issues, physical and neurological damage, family crisis, or medical and police emergencies for others. While statistics for the consequences of marijuana use are limited, it is reasonable to suggest a percentage of those using marijuana run the risk of experiencing the same types of harms associated with alcohol. (Most people choose not to use illegal or controlled substances, so it remains to be seen if legalizing marijuana would change its consumption and/or harm patterns.)For those genetically predisposed to addiction, marijuana is both highly addictive and destructive. For others, prolonged use can negatively affect brain function, trigger psychotic episodes and lead to lung disease from the constant exposure to toxins in the inhaled smoke. When despite all of this, the person using marijuana cannot stop, that’s addiction. Choice at that point has nothing to do with it. For those who support medicinal use of marijuana the implications of the method of delivery of the active ingredient is worth considering. Our experience with marijuana addicts in treatment is that they are admittedly less interested in a controlled dosage in pill or tablet form. They are more interested in smoking as much as they themselves deem to be “okay”. And, while anecdotal evidence abounds, there still is no clear scientific evidence that proves marijuana an equal, or superior, medicine to conventional medicines already available.
Society continues to debate the merits and perils of marijuana use and its legalization, but if we are going to engage in debate let us at least be as informed as we can be on this complex subject and consider all aspects of its use. For some, marijuana remains a benign social stimulant; for others, it can be the beginning of a path to ruin.