Heavy Marijuana use has been shown to effect a person's developement in many ways.
Depression(1), anxiety(2), and personality disturbances(3) have been
associated with marijuana use. Research clearly demonstrates that
marijuana has potential to cause problems in daily life or make a
person’s existing problems worse. Because marijuana compromises the
ability to learn and remember information, the more a person uses
marijuana the more he or she is likely to fall behind in accumulating
intellectual, job, or social skills. Moreover, research has shown that
marijuana’s adverse impact on memory and learning can last for days or
weeks after the acute effects of the Drug wear off(4, 5).
Students who smoke marijuana get lower grades and are less likely to
graduate from high school, compared with their non-smoking peers(6, 7,
8, 9). A study of 129 college students found that, for heavy
users of marijuana (those who smoked the drug at least 27 of the
preceding 30 days), critical skills related to attention, memory, and
learning were significantly impaired even after they had not used the
drug for at least 24 hours(10). The heavy marijuana users in the study
had more trouble sustaining and shifting their attention and in
registering, organizing, and using information than did the study
participants who had used marijuana no more than 3 of the previous 30
days. As a result, someone who smokes marijuana every day may be
functioning at a reduced intellectual level all of the time.
More recently, the same researchers showed that the ability of a group
of long-term heavy marijuana users to recall words from a list remained
impaired for a week after quitting, but returned to normal within 4
weeks(11). Thus, it is possible that some cognitive abilities may be
restored in individuals who quit smoking marijuana, even after
long-term heavy use.
Workers who smoke marijuana are more likely than their coworkers to
have problems on the job. Several studies associate workers’ marijuana
smoking with increased absences, tardiness, accidents, workers’
compensation claims, and job turnover. A study of municipal workers
found that those who used marijuana on or off the job reported more
“Withdrawal behaviors”—such as leaving work without permission,
daydreaming, spending work time on personal matters, and shirking
tasks—that adversely affect productivity and morale(12). In another
study, marijuana users reported that use of the drug impaired several
important measures of life achievement including cognitive abilities,
career status, social life, and physical and mental health(13).
For help with marijuana addiction:
Toll Free: 888-9NO-DRUGS or 888-966-3784
|Definitions of Terms Used|
|Addiction ||Strong physiological, emotional and/or psychological dependence on a substance such as alcohol or drugs that has progressed beyond voluntary control. For more on addiction see the section Addiction Information in this website. |
|Cannabis ||The botanical name for the plant from which marijuana comes. |
|Chronic ||Refers to a disease or condition that persists over a long period of time. Also a slang term for a particularly potent strain of marijuana. |
|Drug ||Any substance, other than food, that changes the function or structure of the body or mind when ingested. Drugs essentially are poisons. The degree they are taken determines the effect. A small amount acts as a stimulant. A greater amount acts as a sedative. A larger amount acts as a poison and can kill one dead. This is true of any drug. Each has a different amount at which it gives those results. |
|Marijuana ||A psychoactive drug made from the leaves of the cannabis plant. It is usually smoked but can also be eaten. See Cannabis. |
|Withdrawal ||Symptoms that occur after chronic use of a drug is reduced or stopped. |
- Brook JS, et al: The effect of early marijuana use on later anxiety
and depressive symptoms. NYS Psychologist, January 2001, pp. 35-39.
- Green BE, Ritter C: Marijuana use and depression. J Health Soc Behav 41(1):40-49, 2000.
- Brook JS, Cohen P, Brook DW: Longitudinal study of co-occurring
psychiatric disorders and substance use. J Acad Child and Adolescent
Psych 37:322-330, 1998.
- Pope HG, Yurgelun-Todd D: The residual cognitive effects of heavy marijuana use in college students. JAMA 272(7):521-527, 1996.
- Block RI, Ghoneim MM: Effects of Chronic marijuana use on human cognition. Psychopharmacology 100(1-2):219-228, 1993.
- Lynskey M, Hall W: The effects of adolescent Cannabis use on educational attainment: a review. Addiction 95(11):1621-1630, 2000.
- Kandel DB, Davies M: High school students who use crack and other drugs. Arch Gen Psychiatry 53(1):71-80, 1996.
- Rob M, Reynolds I, Finlayson PF: Adolescent marijuana use: risk
factors and implications. Aust NZ J Psychiatry 24(1):45-56, 1990.
- Brook JS, Balka EB, Whiteman M: The risks for late adolescence of
early adolescent marijuana use. Am J Public Health 89(10):1549-1554,
- Ibid ref 22.
- Pope, Gruber, Hudson, et al: Neuropsychological performance in long-term cannabis users. Archives of General Psychiatry.
- Lehman WE, Simpson DD: Employee substance abuse and on-the-job behaviors. Journal of Applied Psychology 77(3):309-321, 1992.
- Gruber, AJ, Pope HG, Hudson HI, Yurgelun-Todd D: Attributes of
long-term heavy cannabis users: A case control study. Psychological
Medicine 33:1415-1422, 2003.
Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse
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