Marijuana Use: High at Work

If marijuana is used in the workplace it can affect the health and safety of the person taking it as well as those around them, as well as have an adverse effect on
productivity. Marijuana is known to have the following effects (Wadsworth EJ et al, 2006):

 – Impared thinking.    – Loss of balance and coordination.
 – Changes in sensory perception.    – Decreased concentration.
 – Impared ability to perform complex tasks.    – Decreased alertness.
 – Decreased reaction time.

Several studies have linked workers’ marijuana smoking with increased absences, tardiness, accidents, workers’ compensation claims and job turnover.Short-term memory problems.

REALITY CHECK…IT CAN GET YOU FIRED

While attitudes towards marijuana have generally softened, coming to work stoned can be grounds for termination since Illinois employers may prohibit illegal drug and alcohol use by employees at the workplace. Employers often codify these prohibitions with a drug-free workplace policy. They commonly include these types of provisions:

  • marijuana, marijuana abuse, marijuana use at workThe manufacture, distribution, dispensation, sale, possession or use of alcohol, illegal drugs or controlled substances while on duty or on employer property is prohibited and will subject employees to immediate discharge.
  • Employees who are impaired by or under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or controlled substances, or who have any of the same present in their bodily systems while on duty or on employer property, will be subject to discharge.
  • Each employee must notify the employer of any conviction under a criminal drug statute that the employee receives for a violation occurring while on duty or on employer property within five days of such conviction.
  • Employees may be required to submit to a drug and/or alcohol test as a condition of continued employment. Employees who fail to submit to the required tests and/or test positive for alcohol, illegal drugs or controlled substances will be subject to immediate discharge.

If you or someone you know has tried before to stop using marijuana before but couldn’t quit, Gateway can help get life back on track. To arrange a free, confidential consultation, call 877-505-HOPE (4673).

 

 

Illinois’ Medical Marijuana Pilot Program Act

On August 2, 2013, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act and as of January 1, 2014, the Act established a four-year pilot program in Illinois that authorizes the cultivation and distribution of medical cannabis for the use of registered qualifying patients (RQPs). These patients are those who have certain specified debilitating medical conditionsand obtain state registration cards.

medical marijuanaDebilitating medical conditions include 40 chronic diseases and conditions that include:

  • Cancer
  • HIV and AIDS
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Severe fibromyalgia
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease

Are “medical” and “street” marijuana different?
In principle, no. Most marijuana sold in dispensaries as medicine is the same quality and carries the same health risks as marijuana sold on the street.

However, given the therapeutic interest in cannabidiol (CBD) to treat certain conditions, such as childhood epilepsy, strains with a higher than normal CBD:THC ratio have been specially bred and sold for medicinal purposes; these may be less desirable to recreational users because they have weaker psychoactive effects.

Cannabinoids in medicine
Cannabis has been used medically for thousands of years. In 2700 BCE, Shen Neng, Chinese Emperor and father of Chinese medicine, used cannabis as a remedy. The Ebers Papyrus, an ancient Egyptian medical text, also mentions cannabis. It was written in 1500 BCE and is one of the oldest pharmaceutical works known.

Two FDA-approved drugs, Dronabinol and Nabilone, contain THC and are used to treat nausea caused by chemotherapy and wasting disease (extreme weight loss) caused by AIDS.

For more information about marijuana, please visit RecoverGateway.org/Marijuana.

Failure to Launch: Long-Term Effects of Marijuana Use

effects of marijuana use, gateway alcohol and drug treatmentMarijuana use can impair learning, memory, perception and judgment. It can lead to dulled emotions and lack of enthusiasm. Other effects of marijuana use include:

Difficulty speaking, listening effectively, retaining knowledge, problem solving and forming new concepts.

  • Reduced alertness/concentration.
  • Altered perceptions.
  • Decrease in reaction time.
  • Lower IQ for adolescents.

Research has shown that marijuana’s negative effects on attention, memory, and learning can last for days or weeks after the acute effects of the drug wear off. Consequently, someone who smokes marijuana daily may be functioning at a reduced intellectual level most or all of the time. Not surprisingly, evidence suggests that, compared with their nonsmoking peers, students who smoke marijuana tend to get lower grades and are more likely to drop out of high school.

A meta-analysis of 48 relevant studies—one of the most thorough performed to date—found cannabis use to be associated consistently with reduced educational attainment (e.g., grades and chances of graduating). That said, marijuana users themselves report poor outcomes on a variety of life satisfaction and achievement measures.

One study compared current and former long-term heavy users of marijuana with a control group who reported smoking cannabis at least once in their lives but not more than 50 times. Despite similar education and income backgrounds, significant differences were found in educational attainment: fewer of the heavy users of cannabis completed college, and more had yearly household incomes of less than $30,000. When asked how marijuana affected their cognitive abilities, career achievements, social lives,and physical and mental health, the majority of heavy cannabis users reported the drug’s negative effects on all of these measures. (Source: NIH)

Don’t let substance abuse stunt the growth and future happiness of someone you love.  To arrange a free, confidential consultation at a Gateway Treatment Center near you, please call (877) 505-HOPE.

 

GATEWAY AWARENESS EFFORT TAKES AIM AT MARIJUANA AMBIGUITIES

marijuana, gateway treatment centersCuriosity about marijuana appears to be at an all-time high. Opinion polls reveal the majority of American adults now support legalization of marijuana. Already the most popular illicit drug among Americans with more than 17 million past-month users, legalization of marijuana for recreational and medical use by some states opens the door for millions of new Americans to try pot for the first time.

“Research shows when people use drugs that affect dopamine in the brain, such as opiates, alcohol and marijuana, it can have long-term consequences on the executive function area of the brain, inhibiting one’s ability to plan long-term and delay gratification in service of bigger goals,” explains Dr. John Larson, Corporate Medical Director, Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment.

As more and more Americans are lighting up, Gateway Treatment Centers are tempering the hype with a public awareness effort highlighting the real-life repercussions of marijuana use. Gateway’s concerted effort precedes summer—when teens are generally more likely to try marijuana for first time—and it encompasses state-wide county-by-county community outreach, an informative online resource center as well as a continuing education component for professionals.

On Thursday, May 15, 2014, from 12:30-1:30 p.m., behavioral healthcare and nursing professionals can earn 1 CE and learn from Gateway’s addiction experts via an online webinar titled “Altered States: Marijuana, the Brain and Legalization.” The hour-long training followed by question and answer session with the trainers will award each participant who logs on 1 CEU NAADAC for the following Illinois license designations: LCSW, LSW, LCPC, LPC and Nursing.

Well-versed in the treatment of substance use disorders, Gateway trainers Dr. John Larson and Karen Wolownik Albert, Program Director, Gateway Treatment Center in Lake Villa, will cover all the bases—from marijuana addiction and changes marijuana uses creates in the brain to long-term implications of extended marijuana use, and much more.

More information and resources about health risks related to marijuana use are available at recovergateway.org/marijuana. For teens and adults struggling with substance abuse issues, Gateway Treatment Centers offer specialized alcohol and drug treatment programs that instill the tools and knowledge necessary for individuals to live fulfilling, productive lives without the use alcohol or drugs. To arrange a free, confidential consultation, please call 877-505-HOPE (4673).

Marijuana: No Two Highs Are The Same

marijuna effects, gateway treatment centersAn individualized experience, depending upon the user and setting, the effects and categorization of marijuana can vary from a stimulant to a depressant to a hallucinogen. The effects of marijuana can begin within a few minutes after inhaling, and can last 2 to 3 hours after initial intoxication.

Marijuana affects every user differently and those effects can depend on:

  • The person – their mood, personality, size and weight;
  • The amount taken and whether it is mixed with anything else;
  • The environment in which the drug is used.

Many users describe two phases of the marijuana high:

  • Phase 1: Initial stimulation (giddiness and euphoria)
  • Phase 2: Sedation and a pleasant tranquility

Users also report altered perceptions of distance and time along with a heightened sensitivity to sights and sounds. While some users may experience lowered inhibitions, drowsiness, and contentment, others may feel great anxiety and paranoia.

If you or someone you know has tried before to stop using marijuana before but couldn’t quit, Gateway Treatment Centers can help get life back on track. To arrange a free, confidential consultation, call 877-505-HOPE (4673).

Gateway Treatment Center’s Marijuana Series Continues

marijuana facts, gateway treatment centersHow Marijuana Works

Marijuana, also known as cannabis, has what are called psychoactive chemicals, the main one being ‘tetrahydrocannabinol’ or THC for short. When you smoke marijuana, the THC goes into your lungs and then into your heart, which pumps it into your bloodstream and then takes it directly to your brain. When marijuana is smoked, it only takes a few minutes for the THC to get to the brain, whereas if it is eaten, it would take a little longer because it first has to pass through the digestive system.

Once it’s in your brain, the THC activates what are called ‘receptors,’ and gives you the feeling of being high. In short, marijuana changes the physical and chemical balance in your brain and this is what people refer to as a ‘high.’

7 Reasons to Wise Up About Marijuana

  1. Extended, frequent use of marijuana can result in addiction; when marijuana use stops, a person dependent on marijuana will experience withdrawal and craving symptoms, which are at the root of addictive disorders.
  2. Marijuana is particularly harmful to the still developing brains of young people. It is connected to changes in adolescent brain development resulting in learning, memory problems and IQ loss.
  3.  Marijuana smoke contains 50-70% more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke.
  4.  Marijuana use increases the risk of psychosis.
  5.  Marijuana use may cause bronchitis and lung complications.
  6.  Smoking marijuana can damage the brain of a developing embryo as early as two weeks after conception.
  7.  Marijuana is particularly dangerous for recovering alcoholics and addicts and can lead to relapse into one’s primary addictive substance.

If you or someone you know needs help with substance abuse, as well as concerns with mental well-being, Gateway Treatment Centers can help. To arrange a free, confidential consultation, call 877-505-HOPE (4673).

 

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