Essay on Substance Abuse – Marijuana

Submitted By hecwey
Words: 1045
Pages: 5

Substance Abuse – Marijuana

The use of drugs is nothing new to us. Drugs have been used throughout history and it has only become a serious problem in the last couple of decades. For the past 40 years, drugs have been put into the spotlight because of the War on Drugs and other programs that focuses on the consequences of drugs, specifically marijuana. However, even though society has label drug usage as a crime, people are still using them and at a higher number then before. With this high increase of drugs in the past decades, there’s one drug that’s the main cause of drug abuse and that’s marijuana. Marijuana has become the main drug of choice of adolescents and young adults of the world. According to the ‘World Drugs Report 2012’ by the United Nations Office of Drugs And Crimes, about 230 million people in the world used illegal drugs once every year and out of those 230 million people, about 170 million used marijuana.
Just like in the rest of the world, Marijuana has become one of the most used drugs here in the United Stated as well. To be exact, “Marijuana is the third most popular recreational drug in America (behind only alcohol and tobacco), and has been used by nearly 100 million Americans. According to government surveys, some 25 million Americans have smoked marijuana in the past year, and more than 14 million do so regularly despite harsh laws against its use” (
Now what exactly is Marijuana? “ Marijuana is a hallucinogen drug that also acts as a depressant or stimulant depending on the type of strain an individual is abusing. Marijuana consists of a “mixture of the dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of Cannabis sativa; the plant from where Marijuana originates from” (National Institute on Drug Abuse). Under federal law Marijuana is a schedule one drug, “drugs in this schedule have no currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse” (DEA). The 14 million users, who regularly use Marijuana, do so in many ways. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), most users smoke marijuana in hand-rolled cigarettes called joints, some use pipes or water pipes called bongs and they are also able to digest it by mixing Marijuana oil with food.
With the rise of Marijuana users, there’re multiple problems that society will have to face. One of them is the addiction that will come from smoking marijuana, even though this hasn’t been truly proven. The National Institute of Drug abuse states, that about 9 percent of users become addicted to marijuana; this number increases among those who start young (to about 17 percent, or 1 in 6) and among daily users (to 25-50 percent). To many individuals, especially the government and health agencies, this percentage makes them uneasy because ultimately Marijuana will lead users to other drugs that are more dangerous. Once Marijuana users open the gateways to other drugs, that are more addicting and dangerous, they will most likely be prone to commit crimes.
Another problem that society faces in regards to Marijuana is the high percentage of teens that have or are using Marijuana. “In 2011, 12.5 percent of 8th-graders reported marijuana use in the past year, and 7.2 percent were current users. Among 10th-graders, 28.8 percent had used marijuana in the past year, and 17.6 percent were current users. Rates of use among 12th-graders were higher still: 36.4 percent had used marijuana during the year prior to the survey, and 22.6 percent were current users” (NIDA). These percentages are alarming because teenagers are still developing their brains and it’s widely known that Marijuana affects the brain in multiple ways. Some of those affects on the brain are “reduced concentration, slowed reaction time, impaired short-term memory, and impaired judgment” (McKenzie, Pinger & Kotecki, 2008). Another health risk factor that can