Marijuana Update: Legalization Support and Teen Use Trending Up

From board rooms to family rooms, marijuana legalization continues to be a hot topic due largely to rapidly changing attitudes toward marijuana in the United States. According to a new 2015 Gallup Poll, the majority of Americans (58%) say marijuana use should be legal.

Young Americans have always shown the most support of any age group for making marijuana legal, but this number has grown form 20% in 1969 to 71% currently.

marijuana-legalization-support

Marijuana Legalization Support Trending Up: Young Americans have always shown the most support of any age group for making marijuana legal, but this number has grown from 20% in 1969 to 71% currently.

According to a new 2015 Gallup Poll, the majority of Americans (58%) say marijuana use should be legal.

To counter the hype, Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers continue to carry out a marijuana awareness effort to educate affiliated professionals, as well as consumers, on why it’s important not to minimize the effects of marijuana use. With marijuana in the headlines nearly every day, it is important to separate the fact from the myths of this extremely popular drug.

Interested in learning how marijuana use impacts brain function and can lead to addiction? Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers recently published a free guide available for download at RecoverGateway.org/MarijuanaFacts.

Teen Use Trending Up

Marijuana use continues to exceed cigarette use among high school seniors. In 2015, 21.3% of high schools seniors used marijuana in the past 30 days compared with 11.4% who smoked cigarettes. In 2015, for the first time, daily cigarette use was lower than daily marijuana use. Moreover, 79.5% of high school seniors say it is easy to get marijuana.

Treatment for Marijuana Use
At Gateway Treatment Centers, we offer customized treatment plans for people who abuse marijuana as well as alcohol and other drugs. Our highly qualified substance abuse specialists provide the counseling and skills people need to help rebuild positive connections, improve relationships and identify the triggers that lead to excessive, extended use of a drug like marijuana.

If you know someone that you think may be struggling with marijuana use, visit RecoverGateway.org to access free information on prevention and treatment options in Swansea, Illinois. For a free, confidential consultation call our 24/7 helpline at 877-505-HOPE (4673). With more than 45 years of experience treating teens and adults, Gateway is here to help.

It’s Not Your Grandmother’s Marijuana

marijuanaIn keeping with National Safety Month this June, Gateway aims to remind everyone of the dangers of marijuana use.

The use of marijuana has become increasingly accepted and is widely considered to be safe. A closer look reveals that may not always be the case. Individuals in the Baby Boom generation are often among those who consider marijuana to be harmless. What they may not realize is, today’s pot packs a mightier punch that their “weed” did. New growing and harvesting techniques produce pot that’s about 275 percent more potent than it was even 10 years ago.

Of further concern, it’s possible that some marijuana is laced with more dangerous substances including cocaine, crack, PCP or even embalming fluid.

Many people don’t realize the use of marijuana is associated with health and developmental risks for both adults and teens. The harm is even greater in young people whose brains are still developing. Its effects may include learning and memory problems as well as IQ loss.

The long-term effects of marijuana use may include impaired learning, memory, perception and judgment. Established users can also develop difficulty speaking, listening effectively, retaining knowledge, problem solving and forming new concepts.

It’s never safe to assume that any mind-altering drug is safe to use. A little education can go a long way toward keeping your body and mind in good shape.

To learn more about the dangers of marijuana use visit RecoverGateway.org/Marijuana.

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).

 

 

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).

%d bloggers like this: