If you are addicted to marijuana, you may not think that it is as bad as being an alcoholic. Whether this is true or not, it doesn’t take away from the fact that you have become dependent on a drug, that has its own list of damaging side effects.
We at Knoxville Recovery Center drug rehab in Tennessee want you to understand that you have the power to take control of your addiction, whether it is to alcohol or to marijuana. Let’s take a minute to talk about the dangers of being addicted to either one.
Why Drinking Alcohol Is Damaging
Although some people are able to consume alcohol in moderation and have no issues, many people find themselves unable to drink alcohol without overdoing it. According to the CDC, between 2011 and 2015, drinking excessively led to approximately 95,000 deaths each year in the United States alone.
There are many different scenarios that can lead to this end result. Drinking and driving is the first that may come to mind. Alcohol poisoning is another. Individuals also suffer from accidents while drinking such as falls, drownings, and burns.
Some people become violent when they drink and take out their anger on their domestic partners. Suicide is another unfortunate occurrence. When pregnant women drink, they risk losing their baby or may give birth to a child that has fetal alcohol disorder.
Drinking excessively, long-term also causes a laundry list of health problems, which include:
- Addiction to alcohol
- Depression and anxiety
- Learning problems and possible dementia
- A weakened immune system
- High blood pressure, heart disease or stroke
- Liver disease and digestive issues
- Various types of cancer
How Smoking Marijuana Is Harmful
You are likely aware that when used for medicinal purposes such as being given to cancer patients, marijuana can be a very helpful drug. However, when used recreationally solely for the purpose of getting high, marijuana presents the potential to be addictive.
In fact, the CDC reports that approximately 3 out of 10 people who use marijuana are unable to stop using it, regardless of the problems it may be causing in their lives. Smoking marijuana has a direct effect on the brain, in that it slows down the areas responsible for reaction time, coordination, and decision-making.
Logically, this means if you get behind the wheel after smoking it, you are putting your life and other people’s lives in danger. Within 24 hours after using marijuana, your thinking, attention span, memory, coordination, and perception of time are all affected. The long-term effects of marijuana on the brain are still being researched. However, developing brains in babies, children and teens are particularly vulnerable.
As marijuana is typically smoked, no matter what method is used, it is damaging to your lungs. In fact, marijuana smoke contains some of the same cancer-causing chemicals as tobacco smoke, which is harmful to your lungs and cardiovascular system. Frequent marijuana use, in high doses, has also been linked to depression, social anxiety, and suicide.
Is One Worse Than the Other?
This is a bit of a tricky question and a widely debated issue. The truth is that there has been a lot more research done on the effects of alcohol than the effects of marijuana use, so it’s hard to say.
Focusing on how they are alike, they both can cause addiction, which is not something you need in your life. Either one can cause you to get into a car accident if you use them before driving. Both can lead certain individuals to thoughts of suicide.
With all that into consideration, marijuana can be used medicinally, and at this time has not been proven to cause as many health problems as drinking alcohol. This fact may tip the scales in its favor just a bit.
Letting Go of Harmful Habits With Knoxville Recovery Center
Whether you smoke too much marijuana or you drink alcohol excessively, we at Knoxville Recovery Center, a drug rehab in Tennessee, are here to help you let go of it. You don’t need to be a slave to your addiction any longer. Contact us today. Detox your mind and body and become a better you.