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It’s Not ‘Just Weed’: The Dangers of Marijuana Abuse in Young Adults

The dangers of marijuana use among young adults

For many young adults, marijuana use can seem like a rite of passage. Friends are using the drug and it has become recreationally legal in more than a dozen states. It can seem harmless and everybody is doing it. But in reality, there are serious dangers associated with marijuana and its abuse. For some, it even becomes a big part of their life.

That is when it moves from occasional use into a substance use disorder or addiction. While some may think “it’s just weed” and there is little harm, that is not true at all.

How Common Is Marijuana Use?

The number of young adults using marijuana is increasing as more states legalize the drug. The National Institutes of Health reported the number of young adults who reported using pot in the last year sat at 43% in 2021. That is a significant jump from 34% who said the same in 2016 or 29% in 2011.

About 29% of young adults said they used marijuana in the past month in 2021, again a significant increase from 21% in 2016 and 17% in 2011.

The thing to note about the numbers is that it is still less than half of young adults. While it might seem everyone is using marijuana – that is simply not true.

Marijuana And Cognitive Health Problems

There are numerous health problems associated with marijuana use, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Pot use can cause a loss of up to 8 IQ points when people start using at a young age. Those points do not come back even if a person stops using marijuana.

Marijuana use has also been linked to mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and suicide. It’s not yet clear if marijuana causes the conditions or just contributes to their development.

The use of pot has also been linked to athletic and driving performance, as it can affect timing and coordination. Both can lead to serious consequences. Finally, those that use marijuana are more likely to have relationship problems, difficulties in school and lower career achievement.

For pregnant people, marijuana can also impact the baby’s growth and cause stillbirth.

Addiction To Marijuana

About one in 10 people who use marijuana will become addicted to the drug. That is when they need help and support on the road to recovery. Signs of a marijuana use disorder include failing to quit, spending a lot of time using the drug and using pot despite social or relationship problems.

There is help available for young adults who abuse marijuana. There are facilities and people who want to help break the cycle of addiction and get on the path to sobriety. Feel free to reach out to our staff at Momentum to discuss your marijuana use and the correct treatment for your addiction. Remember, marijuana abuse has real dangers and is not “just weed.”