Marijuana Treatment Admissions on the Rise

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Study shows treatment admissions for marijuana use nearly tripled over a ten-year period from 1992 to 2002

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced this month a trend of individuals being admitted for treatment for marijuana use. The report comes from the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), which is an annual compilation of data on substance abuse treatment admissions.

That data showed that in 1992 there were 45 treatment admissions for marijuana use per 100,000 people aged 12 or older. This number more than doubled to 93 admissions by 1997 and in 2002 was 118. This resulted in an increase from six percent to 15 percent of all treatment admissions.

In a release issued by SAMHSA, Administrator Charles Curie exclaimed, “Marijuana is not a harmless substance, and these treatment trends emphasize that point.”

Executive Director of Narconon Arrowhead Gary W. Smith reports, “Although the number of people coming to us who are abusing pot is a smaller percentage of our total clientele, in the 30 years I have been in the drug rehabilitation field I have not seen these numbers of individuals literally hooked on marijuana and unable to stop on their own. We’ve known for a long time that marijuana use can lead to other drugs but it is shocking to see people whose lives are being destroyed by smoking pot just like others we are treating who are addicted to crack or alcohol. I believe this is happening because the strength of the pot that is being smoked today is probably ten times stronger then the pot of 20 years ago.”

Narconon Arrowhead is one of the largest and most successful programs in the country and it uses the proven effective drug rehabilitation and education methodology developed by American author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard.

Marijuana has often been viewed as one of the milder illicit drugs, but data from the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) shows that the increased potency of the drug has contributed to this trend. The 2002 DAWN survey showed a dramatic increase in marijuana-related hospital emergency room visits. Though in past most of these incidents included a mixture of drugs being reported, the number of emergency visits for only marijuana rose 45 percent over a two-year period.

There are over 400 chemicals found in marijuana smoke and 60 of them have been proven to cause cancer. Marijuana contains the neurotoxin THC, which is a poison that affects the brain and nerves. When someone smokes pot, two things happen to them: 1) There is an almost immediate burn-up of vitamins and minerals in the body. 2) Nerves in the body go numb.

These two things happen every time someone takes the drug and it causes that person's health to steadily decrease. A person's tolerance to the drug also builds and eventually the individual has to smoke pot almost continuously just to feel somewhat normal because they have caused so much damage to themselves.

Marijuana's negative effects also last well beyond the initial use. THC is lipophilic, meaning the chemical is fat-bonding and gets stored inside a person's body for weeks, months and even years after use ceases. This means the drug residues continue to cause adverse reactions, which has been proven by numerous studies.

To help someone overcome marijuana use or to get more information on Narconon Arrowhead call 1-800-468-6933 or visit http://www.marijuanaaddiction.com.

For more data on treatment admissions reports and other drug use statistics log on to http://www.oas.samhsa.gov.

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Luke Catton