Learn the facts about the most commonly abused drugs.

Cannabis (Marijuana)
Greenish-gray mixture of the dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and/or flowers of Cannabis sativa or cannabis indica—the hemp plant
Health Effects
Acute Heightened sensory perception; euphoria, followed by drowsiness/relaxation; impaired short-term memory, attention, judgment, coordination and balance; increased heart rate; increased appetite
Long-term Addiction: About 9 percent of users; about 1 in 6 of those who started using in their teens; 25 to 50 % of daily users. Mental disorders: may be a causal factor in schizophreniform disorders (in those with a pre-existing vulnerability); is associated with depression and anxiety.

Smoking related: chronic cough; bronchitis; lung and upper airway cancers is undetermined.

In combination with alcohol Magnified tachychardia and effect on blood pressure;  amplified impairment of cognitive, psychomotor, and driving performance
Withdrawal symptoms Irritability, difficulty sleeping, strange nightmares, craving, and anxiety.
Associated Special Vulnerabilities/Populations
Youth Almost 44 percent of teens have tried marijuana by the time they graduate from high school (MTF, 2010)
Treatment options
Medications There are no FDA-approved medications to treat marijuana addiction.
Behavioral Therapies
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Contingency management, or motivational incentives
  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET)
  • Behavioral treatments geared to adolescents

(For more information on these treatments, please see NIDA’s Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide – Behavioral Therapies.)

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