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Friday, January 15, 2016

Drug Curbs Marijuana Use - Not Without Side Effects

With the growing acceptance of marijuana use across the country, especially in the western states, there is a greater need to address marijuana dependence and the treatment of addiction. California is the only state left on the west coast that has not legalized the drug for recreational use, but that is expected to change this year when California's citizens vote in November.

Just as with any mind altering substance, when they are abused, problems can quickly arise that can require treatment to break the cycle of addiction. While it can easily be argued that marijuana addiction is the least benign of all the addictions out there, heavy use can lead to serious problems for some, such as:
  • Warped Perceptions
  • Coordination Problems
  • Deduction Problems
  • Memory Loss
  • Diminished Learning Skills
Currently, there are no accepted or approved medications for the treatment of marijuana addiction. However, new research suggests that the drug topiramate may curb the amount of marijuana heavy smokers use, but the drug caused serious side effects for some, Science Daily reports. The findings were published in the journal Addiction Biology.

Robert Miranda Jr., associate professor (research) of psychiatry and human behavior in the Alpert Medical School at Brown University said that motivational enhancement therapy (MET) is often times not enough to curb marijuana dependent patients' use, according to the article. However, the study found that when patients were given topiramate in conjunction with MET a statistically significant benefit could be seen.

"The positive news is it did seem to have some effect and that effect seemed to really be focused on helping people reduce how much they smoke when they smoke," said Miranda, a member of the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies in the Brown University School of Public Health. "It's promising in the sense that it suggests that medications can help, but it asks questions about for whom it might be most effective because many people can't tolerate the medication."

Abusing marijuana, particularly during one’s teenage years, can result in long term side effects right into adulthood. If you or someone you care about abuses marijuana please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea. Our Christian track incorporates compassionate, faith-based addiction programs for clients battling substance abuse.

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