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Psychology/Marijuana, mental health and cure

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Question
Can a young person who starts to show depression and mental problems after smokes marijuana be normal again?

Answer
Excellent question, Flora! Cannabis is quite unlike most other drugs especially in drugs of abuse and dependency as this drug hijack’s the brain early in its use. Understanding the process is vital to understanding recovery. Depending on the amount, duration of use, and the combination of other drugs, affects each individual differently. For this question, I will assume the only drug being used is Marijuana. Once the said person started on this road is it extremely difficult to stop, especially if this person is also predisposed to chemical dependency. Brain regions interconnect establishing new pathways to set motion the process of dependency. If the addict is a recreational user it is important to know that Tetrahydroncannabinol (THC) varies in the amount or concentration of THC. In the 1960’s, THC concentration was only at 1 percent. Today the amount can vary from 4 – 25% which, is too much of a good thing (so to speak). As a natural part of the withdrawal process, depression and other mental health problems may set in. If the user stops soon enough before a full blown addiction, he or she can stabilize into some semblance of normalcy. One joint or smoking session for most is one too many as this is a powerful mood altering drug. In pharmacology class the professor called marijuana, “Frankenweed” as this is not our Grandmothers pot. Thanks to genetic engineering, the potency and effects vary so widely, you don’t know what you are getting. The biggest problem marijuana has on the long term user its effect on memory. Additionally, psychotic disorders also increase with long term use. The brain continues to develop until the early 30’s increasing susceptibility to addiction. Those prone to addiction is inherited by as much as 60 percent. There is also lung damage to account for, as one joint is equal to 100 cigarettes. So, all in all, marijuana is a dangerous substance but if caught early enough, the effects are mostly reversible as the body and brain can repair itself.  

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Michael Stark

Expertise

I can answer questions regarding substance abuse and chemical dependency as I was a Substance Abuse counselor for Mental Health Systems (MHS)and I have a AS degree in Alcohol and Other Drug Studies. Also I can answer questions on human sexuality. I have two additional degrees, a BS in Psychology and a MS in Psychology.

Experience

Former chemical dependency counselor. I have 6 years of education in the area of Behavioral Science and Psychology.

Education/Credentials
Associates in Science Alcohol and other Drug Studies Bachelors in Science Psychology Masters in Science Psychology

Awards and Honors
2006-2008 Deans Honor List at San Diego City College

Past/Present Clients
Proposition 36 clients at MHS

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