What’s the Big Deal About Cannabis?

Cannabis has long been a popular recreational drug due to its relaxant effects and ready availability. For many people, cannabis is a form of self-medication; serving to dull the impact of physical and emotional pain. The chances are that you and/or someone you know have used cannabis at least once or more in your life- potentially on a regular basis due to its highly addictive nature.

Cannabis is Australia’s most popular drug and is most often smoked in a joint or a bong. A National Drug Strategy Household Survey conducted in 2008 by The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported that one-third of all Australians aged 22 or older (33.5% or about 5.8 million) have tried cannabis and 1 million had used it in that past year.

So what’s the big deal about cannabis? There are many ‘baby-boomers’ who recall the days of relaxing with friends and sharing a joint with no apparent side-affects. However, the belief that cannabis is a ‘safe’ drug is a myth.

Consider the facts:

A small amount of cannabis may produce the following effects:

  • Feeling relaxed and sleepy
  • Spontaneous laughter and excitement
  • Increased appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Quiet and reflective mood

A large amount or a strong batch will produce these further effects:

  • Trouble concentrating
  • Blurred vision
  • Clumsiness
  • Slower reflexes
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Seeing and hearing things that aren't there
  • Increased heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Mild anxiety and paranoia

Regular use of cannabis may eventually cause:

  • Memory loss
  • Learning difficulties
  • Mood swings
  • Regular colds or flu
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Difficulty having children (low fertility in males and females)
  • Needing to use more to get the same effect
  • Dependence on cannabis
  • Financial, work and social problems

As a professional, I witness the long-term impact of cannabis use in many of my clients, including young adults. Their self-determination and motivation has been steadily eroded by the impact of their long-term habit. Normal functionality, even within the context of the home environment, is impaired; self-confidence and hope are lost and life becomes a daily struggle to survive from one joint/bong to the next.

While a once-off or occasional use of cannabis can sound safe, the facts show that it can lead to a path of destruction. If it sounds scary, it is! However there is help available for you and the people you care about. Visit Headspace for more details on cannabis and to contact their local support services in your area.

This blog was compiled using resources from the Australian Drug Foundation Fact Sheet
To find out more about cannabis, please click here 

Do you struggle with cannabis use and are concerned about its long-term effects on your life? If so, contact Watersedgecounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you or press book now to book in our online diary.

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