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Marijuana Addiction Increasing with Changing Legal Status

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Marijuana addiction is increasing with increased legal status

An article in the December issue of JAMA Psychiatry compared the characteristics of marijuana use in 2001-2002 to that in 2012-2013. 

This ten-year period saw the legalization of marijuana for both recreational use and for medical purposes in many states.  The authors sought to determine the differences of use and addiction between these “before and after periods.”

The number of adults in the United States who had used marijuana during a 12-month period increased from 4% to 9.5%.  This increase usage was associated with an increase in the rates of cannabis dependence and misuse (the medical terms for marijuana addiction).  While this can not be proven to be caused by the changing legal status of marijuana, these events definitely happened in concert.

As any family member of someone addicted to marijuana knows, the changing social norms are helping to enforce the perception that marijuana is not a harmful substance.  Medical research is clear that there are significant health consequences to marijuana use.  Family members of those addicted can see first hand the negative effects that are caused.  Yet it is harder than ever to convince your loved ones of these facts.

Contact Aquila for Help

If you or your family member is struggling with the effects of marijuana addiction or from other substances, professionals in addiction medicine can help guide you on how to motivate them to change.  You are not alone. Contact us today.

If you are still looking for more informaiton, organizations such as Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Al-Anon can provide expert insight as well.