Docs Warn Against Effects of Pot | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Docs Warn Against Effects of Pot

Before lighting up your legal pot, experts warn of potential side effects like memory loss and addiction.

Image: 

Pot can make things blurry. Photo via

By Valerie Tejeda

12/07/12

| Share

Pot is now legal in Washington and Colorado, but doctors are warning people to consider the potential health consequences before toking up without abandon. "Daily use increases the risk of becoming dependent," says Roger Roffman, a professor at the University of Washington's School of Social Work. Although he supports state-regulated legalization (in effect as of yesterday), Roffman cautions users to be wary of the drug's potentially dangerous side effects, which can include increased heart rate, memory loss, addiction and impaired judgment. "It's fairly common for people who are using marijuana regularly to complain that their ability to think clearly is impaired—to remember, to organize their thoughts, to follow through with multitasking," he says. Effects of pot vary from person-to-person, and scientists are not yet able to determine which users will experience memory loss, but they believe teens may face a greater risk. "One of the main contributors to worse outcomes (of marijuana use) is the age at which you start," says Ruben Baler, a neuroscientist with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). "So we are particularly worried about young people who are using the drug." Studies have shown that chronic marijuana users score lower in academic and job performance, and overall life satisfaction. "It's difficult to understand why kids working so hard on their education would engage in an act that would lower their chance of success," says Baler. In 2010, more than 29 million Americans over the age of 12 (11.5%) reported using marijuana.

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
Normies React to the 12 Steps

"I think admitting to having a problem in general is the right first step, but to admit powerlessness is unhealthy. .. I think admitting powerlessness is more harmful because it doesn't help. Admitting that you want and need help is more useful after admittance."

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu
 
 
 
 

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery
 
 
 
 

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center
 
 
 
 

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 

Reflections
 
 
 
 

This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea
 
 
 
 

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu
 
 
 
 

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab
 
 
 
 
 

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv