Marijuana use, abuse, and addiction are something of interest and constant back and forth debate. This issue has been an ongoing point of discussion for decades now, and though the argument over it is still immensely relevant, the general consensus is that marijuana use and abuse is becoming more accepted and more allowed as each year goes by. Prior to the 1990s for example, an admission of pleasurable or even of frequent marijuana use would have easily and without a second though excluded someone from public office. After the year 2000 though, the use of the drug is actually seen as a sort of a forgivable rite of passage even, which is a big change in a relatively short amount of time.
This theme of a, “rite of passage”, has been echoed again and again and time and time again in the popular culture as well, and never more commonly than in very recent years. Teens and young adults in particular, seem to believe that marijuana is absolutely safe to use and that experimentation is considered something everyone needs to do. “Everyone needs to try it at least once,” is the general consensus.
According to the organization known as the National Institute on Drug Use (NIDA) annual marijuana use rates among teens had been steadily declining since the mid-1990s, but rates have been climbing once again after 2008, right around the time of the economic recession too. This trend is being imitated in the adult population too and that also started right around 2008. To get some numbers on it, in 2008, no less than a full 75.6 percent of illicit drug users reported using marijuana within the past 30 days alone, and about sixty percent of them stated that marijuana was the only drug they used during that time. Forty percent said they used other drugs too.
Statistics on a Very Popular Drug
Just by a mere examination of the recorded statistics it becomes very easy to clearly see that marijuana use and abuse is at an all-time high and that this drug has done nothing but increase in popularity since the turn of the century. For example:
• A majority of this past year illicit drug users reported that their first drug was marijuana (60.3 percent). Marijuana is the classic gateway drug, and it typically is what everyone has as their first drug. However, prescription drugs when used for abusive or recreational purposes are also becoming far more prevalent. About 1 in 5 initiated their drug use with the non-medical use of prescription drugs (20.6 percent, including 12.5 percent with pain relievers, 5.2 percent with tranquilizers, 2.7 percent with stimulants, and 0.2 percent with sedatives). In 2013, 6.3 percent of initiates reported inhalants as their first illicit drug, and 2.6 percent used hallucinogens as their first drug.
• In the year of 2013, the illicit drug categories with the largest number of past year initiates were
Marijuana use ranking in at 2.4 million and the non-medical use of pain relievers ranking in at 1.5 million. In fact, the marijuana estimate was similar to the numbers in 2008 to 2012; however, the estimate for non-medical use of pain relievers was much higher in 2013 than in 2002 through 2012. Obviously, pain pills are the next big gateway drug.
• The specific and the key illicit drugs with the largest numbers of persons with past year dependence or abuse of them in 2013 were marijuana (4.2 million), pain relievers (1.9 million), heroin, (1.5 million), and cocaine (855,000). The number of persons with marijuana dependence or abuse was similar between 2002 and 2013, but jumped in 2015. The number with pain reliever dependence or abuse in 2013 was similar to the numbers from 2006 to 2012 but again jumped in 2015. The number with cocaine dependence or abuse in 2013 was similar to the numbers in 2010 to 2012 too.
Marijuana Addiction Necessitates Intervention
An intervention is often the first step of recovery for a marijuana addict. Often, even for someone who is addicted to marijuana and to marijuana alone, an intervention is very, very necessary. When it is necessary though, the family operates the intervention like any other intervention. The family meets with the addict in private and they describe the addiction in clear terms and really get it out in the open so there is no misunderstanding or miscommunication.
The next step is for the addict to learn just how his or her behavior is impacting the family negatively, and the addict may also as a result hear about just how the family plans to react if the addiction doesn’t stop and if it doesn’t stop right then and there.
The intervention can take as long as the members of the intervention feel is needed to really convince the addict to get help. At the end of the intervention though, the addict is asked to enter a treatment program to get help with his or her addiction crisis. Often, addicts agree to do so too, and they see it as being the best thing for them.
Don’t just assume that because marijuana is not as dangerous as other drugs that it is not dangerous at all. Addiction is addiction no matter how one looks at it, but with proper intervention marijuana addiction too can be removed once and for all.