“People who smoked cannabis four or more days of the week over many years ended up in a lower social class than their parents, with lower-paying, less-skilled, and less-prestigious jobs than those who are not regular cannabis smokers. These regular and persistent users also experienced more financial, work-related and relationship difficulties, which worsened as the number of years of regular cannabis use progressed.”
~Dr. Magdalena Cerda, DrPH, MPH, an epidemiologist for the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program
Researchers from universities around the world – including UC Davis – have collaborated on a new report that indicates that regular, long-term users of marijuana tend to experience significantly more social and financial problems in their lifetimes than nonusers.
Tellingly, the research seems to indicate that the issue is NOT that people with these problems smoke marijuana – but rather, they have these problems BECAUSE they smoke marijuana.
Researchers tried accounting for genetic and environmental factors such as such as lower IQs, childhood poverty, behavioral problems during adolescence, the abuse of alcohol and other “harder” drugs, and even previous marijuana-related crime convictions, and the results were always the same – it was the use of cannabis, not the other way around.
Dr. Avshalom Caspi, with the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London and Duke University, said, “These findings did not arise because cannabis users were prosecuted and had a criminal record. Even among cannabis users who were never convicted for a cannabis offense, we found that persistent and regular cannabis use was linked to economic and social problems.”
What Kind of Problems Does Chronic Pot Usage Cause?
Over half, 50%+, of long-time frequent marijuana users experience significant problems at mid-life such as:
- Higher debt
- Worsened cash flow
- Food insecurity
- Antisocial work behavior
- Stealing money at work
- Obtaining a job by lying
- Domestic violence
- Controlling or abusive behavior within a relationship
- Downward social mobility
By comparison, only 14% of non-users experience these same problems.
These results are particularly important right now in the United States, as supporters of decriminalization and legalization tried to liken marijuana to legal alcohol, saying it is a harmless personal activity that responsible adults should be allowed to enjoy.
“Harmless” does not seem to be an apt description.
More than 75% of clients in Outpatient rehab, who admit to either IOP (intensive Outpatient Treatment) or the PHP, (Partial Hospitalization Program) began their marijuana use and dependence with the teen years, and progressively escalated to addiction of other substances, including alcohol, benzodiazepines and opiates.
Dr. Cerda expounded, saying, “Alcohol is still a bigger problem than cannabis, because alcohol use is more prevalent than cannabis use. But, as the legalization of cannabis increases around the world, the economic and social burden posed by regular cannabis use could increase as well.”
Cannabis abuse disorder can have serious negative effects on a person’s physical, emotional, and mental health, and wreak havoc on their finances and in their relationships. If you or someone you care about has a problem with marijuana use, take the assessment and find out. Help is available.
Lasting Recovery outpatient drug rehabilitation program in San Diego, offers, morning, full day and evening programs to help you and your family. Their experienced clinical staff have been working in the field of addiction for more than 30 years and help you recover from the disorder from multiple levels – educational, physical, social, mental, emotional, and spiritual, with the goal of acceptance and manageability to your life.
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