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Marijuana Addiction in College Students

Marijuana Addiction in College Students

Marijuana is the most commonly used drug here in the United States. With marijuana being legalized for recreational use in a handful of states, individuals are finding use of marijuana to not be as dangerous as using heroin or cocaine. While marijuana addiction may not be as dangerous as heroin or cocaine, it still presents its own set of negative issues. 
Several nationwide surveys have found that marijuana use among college students is at an all-time high. In fact, it has surpassed regular cigarette smoking for the first time last year.
Daily marijuana use was reported at nearly 6%, which is the highest rate since 1980. To put it another way, one in 17 college students is using marijuana on a daily basis, or near-daily basis. Near-daily basis refers to using on 20 or more occasions within the last 30 days.
Various measures of marijuana have shown changes as well. The percentage of individuals using marijuana more than once in the previous 30 days rose to 21% in 2014, from 17% in 2006. When being measured on a yearly basis, use of marijuana among college students rose to 34% in 2014, from 30% in 2006. This increase may be largely due to the fact that less young individuals are seeing marijuana use as “dangerous.” 
Other illicit drug use, along with marijuana, also rose steadily in the last few years. In 2014, use among college students was reported to be at 21%, up from 15% in 2008. It has been reported that students’ interest in using amphetamines and ecstasy has also been piqued. 
These reports, and much more, are from Monitoring the Future. This is a survey that is put out yearly and reports on substance use among college students.
Is marijuana addictive?
Due to the increased legality of marijuana, many young individuals feel that it is not a dangerous drug. However, while a physical addiction to marijuana is not possible, those who use marijuana daily, and long-term, can develop a psychological addiction to marijuana.

Some of the symptoms of a psychological marijuana addiction include:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Anxiety
  • Hunger (often referred to as “munchies.”)
  • Impaired memory
  • Impaired coordination
  • Impaired reaction time

A psychological marijuana addiction can impact every aspect of your life. It can present problems in academic life, social life, work life, family life, and interpersonal relationships.

Marijuana Addiction and your Brain

The main ingredient in marijuana is THC. When marijuana is smoked, the THC enters the lungs and works its way through the bloodstream and up to the brain. Once in the brain, THC attaches itself to cannabinoid receptors and overactivates the receptors. This is how the user experiences their “high.” The area of the brain that has the most cannabinoid receptors is in the area that influences an individual’s ability to experience pleasure, and influence memory and concentration. This can present a problem for college students that are using marijuana on a daily basis.
If you, or someone you know, may be using marijuana on a daily basis, contact your local marijuana addiction treatment center. Marijuana addiction treatment centers can help you with your addiction. Contact your local marijuana addiction treatment center today for more information.

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