There is an ongoing debate over the dangers of marijuana. Some people believe that the drug is harmless, that its use can never be addictive or cause overdose. However, the fact is that research has documented the addictive nature of marijuana and identified marijuana as part of the cause of death in overdose fatalities caused by use of multiple drugs including marijuana.
There’s no way around it – even though marijuana may be less dangerous statistically as compared to some other substances, it’s dangerous enough to avoid its use entirely if it becomes intrusive in your ability to manage your life from day to day.
Marijuana in All Its Forms
Though there is no documented evidence of a death caused by smoking marijuana, it’s important to note that growers are growing increasingly more potent plants all the time. Only time will tell how these high-THC plants will impact the health of users and whether or not overdose will become an issue.
Additionally, in 2014, two deaths were directly caused by marijuana edibles – products like cookies or candies that have THC baked or cooked into them. These people did not die due to medical emergencies caused by the drug as in typical drug overdose deaths. Rather, these deaths were caused by erratic behavior under the influence of a significant amount of the drug. For example, one person ate an entire marijuana cookie, six times the amount recommended, and jumped off a building. Another person killed his wife after taking too much of the drug.
This number doesn’t include the loss of life caused by driving after smoking the drug or making other poor choices that endanger oneself or others. No matter how you frame it, marijuana is extremely dangerous when taken in large amounts and should be approached with caution.
The term “synthetic marijuana” encompasses a range of substances that are designed to mimic the effects of marijuana. Sold on the black market, these drugs are often touted as a legal high because they haven’t been around long enough to be officially banned by law. However, they are still extremely dangerous and the cause of a number of lives lost, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Sold online, in head shops, and at corner stores and truck stops across the country, it’s impossible for the user to know what is in the drug – or how much to use in order to avoid overdose. As a result, many people end up in the emergency room – or worse – when experimenting with these substances.
Marijuana use is often a contributing factor in drug-related deaths for a number of different reasons. In combination with other substances, it can contribute to acute medical emergencies that end in death. Additionally, marijuana in combination with other drugs, including alcohol, can make it difficult for the person to make effective choices and can increase their chances of ultimately ending up in deadly situations that could end in homicide or accident.
Mitigating Marijuana Risk
Like alcohol, many people will be able to use the drug in moderation, determining what works for them when it comes to quantity and frequency in the states where it’s legal for recreational use. However, an estimated nine percent of those who try the drug will develop a dependence that becomes debilitating, and they will need professional treatment to safely and effectively stop using the substance and start a healthy new life.
If you are in need of assistance in stopping use of marijuana, contact us at Michael’s House now and learn more about our integrative treatment program and how it can help you start over.