What is the scope of marijuana abuse in the United States?
Along with alcohol, marijuana is one of the most widely abused substances in the United States. In 2018 it was estimated that 43.5 million Americans aged 12 or older had used marijuana in the past year, per the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The number of marijuana users that year corresponds to roughly 15% of the population. The percentage of the people that were using marijuana was higher than the percentages in 2002 and 2017. The increase in marijuana use reflects increased use among young adults aged 18 to 25 and adults aged 26 or older. Among adolescents aged 12 to 17, about 1 in 8 adolescents were past-year marijuana users. This represents over 3.1 million adolescents in the United States who used marijuana in the past year. In 2018, the percentage of adolescents who used marijuana was lower than the percentage in 2002 through 2004 and in 2009 through 2013. The percentage of adolescent marijuana users in 2018 was similar to those numbers in 2005 through 2008 and 2014 through 2017.
Young adults aged 18 to 25 made up around 34% of the total past year marijuana users in 2018, which is about 11.8 million young adult Americans. The percentage of past-year marijuana users within this age group in 2018 was higher than in 2002 through 2016, but much of the same in 2017. Adults who were older than 26 made up around 13% of past-year marijuana users, which was approximately 28 million American adults. The percentage of past-year marijuana users within this age group in 2018 was higher than in 2002 through 2017. As marijuana becomes more increasingly legal throughout the United States, more teens are being exposed to it. However, there are considerable differences in teen marijuana use within different states. For example, some states saw double-digit year over year increases in marijuana use, such as Vermont, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Washington. These are states where recreational marijuana use is legal and or soon to be legal.
The states that had some of the highest rates of youth marijuana use in 2017 among individuals 17 and younger included Alaska, Colorado, California, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, and Oregon. The states that saw increases each year with adolescent marijuana use included Vermont, Washington, Massachusetts, and Colorado, among many others. However, the number of states that saw decreases each year with teenage marijuana use was more significant. There has been no recorded evidence that legalization causes increased use in adolescent marijuana use. Even in Colorado, where marijuana use has been connected to an increase in traffic-related incidents, there had not been any significant changes with adolescent use since legalization. The primary issues with legal marijuana in Colorado have been driving while impaired, and car accident fatalities involving marijuana.
If your teen is struggling with marijuana use, it is crucial to get them help. Marijuana use at a young age does cause cognitive impairment, and drastically affects a developing brain. Most adolescent marijuana users will continue their use well into their adult years if they do not get the treatment they need. Marijuana is becoming a more widely accepted drug like alcohol and teens are still becoming exposed to it at a young age. Drug treatment programs throughout the United States are equipped to help adolescents struggling with any drug addiction.
Marijuana Addiction Intervention and Treatment
Marijuana is one of the most widely used drugs in the United States and is often part of larger addiction problems. According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health among people aged 12 and older, the number of past year initiates of marijuana use increased from 2.2 million people in 2002 to 3.5 million people in 2019. Most marijuana users are unwilling to access to treatment because of how socially acceptable marijuana has become. There are addicts whose sole drug of choice is marijuana, yet most other cases of addiction involve multiple drugs like marijuana and alcohol. Marijuana users who are unwilling to accept treatment would respond to a professional family intervention. The first step is hiring a professional interventionist, and there are intervention groups operating across the country.
Family intervention is organized with the help of an interventionist who spend one day working with the family, and the next day performing the intervention. The first day is helping the family overcome barriers connected with enabling and codependency. These problems derail an intervention and make it impossible to convince the person to attend a drug treatment center. Most marijuana addicts do not believe their addiction is an issue. Family intervention works, and during the first day, the interventionist helps the family organize who attends the intervention and where and when it takes place. It is important to have people at the intervention who do not antagonize the addict and who will not give into the demands of the person using drugs.
The next day after the family education day is the intervention, and this should take place in a spot where the drug-addicted person is comfortable but cannot find a way to leave easily. Following a successful intervention, the interventionist escorts the individual to treatment. It is important for the interventionist to bring your loved one to treatment because they know what to expect during transportation. The rehabilitation process for marijuana addiction begins with detox, and withdrawal symptoms involving marijuana are not severe unless other drugs are involved. Typically, the detox process lasts two to three days, and the next step after detox is inpatient or outpatient drug rehabilitation.
Short-term and long-term residential drug rehabilitation is the best option for any addiction, and intervention would help convince an addict they need inpatient or outpatient treatment. Rehabilitation is essential because it treats the underlying issues of addiction and helps a recovering addict transition to aftercare support. Aftercare programs for recovering marijuana addicts usually involve peer support groups and 12-step meetings. However, some addicts even choose to remain at a sober living home to make the transition easier. Overall, there are effective rehabilitation options for marijuana addiction.
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