Medical Users Are More Likely to Vaporize Marijuana, Consume Edibles: Study

The abuse of marijuana has emerged as a serious problem in America, with addicts finding it nearly impossible to turn back from its addiction. Marijuana, or cannabis, is the most commonly abused drug in the United States, and most people use it for the first time in their teens. A recent study suggests that medical marijuana users are more likely to vaporize or consume edible forms of the drug than recreational users.

The study by RAND Corporation and published by the journal Addiction says people who use marijuana for both medicinal and recreational purposes were reportedly more than three times as likely to report recreational cannabis use on a near-daily basis as compared to those who use marijuana only for recreation.

The study findings

The researchers surveyed 1,994 people from Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington States in October of 2013 to know about the nature of their marijuana use. About 41 percent of the people surveyed were found to use marijuana recreationally at least once, while only about 7 percent were reported to use the drug for medical purposes. Additionally, those who only used marijuana for medicinal purposes were not seen using marijuana concurrently with alcohol, while those who used the drug for recreational purposes used it with alcohol on nearly one in five occasions.

Surprisingly, about 86 percent of the people who used marijuana for medical purposes were also found to use the drug recreationally, thus medical users reportedly used the substance more regularly.

"Understanding how people use marijuana will allow us to better understand the implications of changing policies and better track changes in behavior," said Rosalie Pacula, the study's lead author and a senior economist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. "Our findings provide new insights, but there is still much more that we need to learn."

Medical detox: A boon for marijuana addicts

Drug cravings are impossible to resist, with psychological and social factors acting as common triggers that force an addict to start using drugs once again. Medical detox is advisable for patients who are highly addicted to substance for a longer period of time or those with other significant health problems. Engaging patients into drug-free, relapse prevention therapy, the detox process involves short-term pharmacologic management of the physical symptoms of drug withdrawal.

A therapist needs to understand an addict's complete history of drug abuse before starting any treatment, as most people tend to relapse even after achieving long-term abstinence. A person addicted to opiates exhibits a range of withdrawal symptoms that can be effectively managed with medical detox program - a process that provides the safest and most comfortable environment for a patient's rapid recovery. The therapy uses medications and counseling to improve the chances of successful recovery in addiction patients.

Drugs like buprenorphine and naltrexone can help patients stay on the road to recovery, under the care of professional medical personnel supervising the detox process. This process takes place in an inpatient rehab center with the help of adequate medical intervention. In contrast to the detoxification process, the maintenance treatment can be carried out as long as the patient continues to benefit and has no serious side effects.

Recovery and rehabilitation

The latest study revealed that the pattern of use of medical marijuana was similar in Colorado and Washington (8.8 percent and 8.2 percent), as compared to Oregon (6.5 percent) and New Mexico (1 percent). While lifetime use of recreational cannabis was similar in Oregon and Washington (about 45 percent in both states), it was lower in Colorado (36 percent) and New Mexico (32 percent).

Drug addiction can be harmful for both psychological and physical health, but the exact diagnosis cannot be done because of the complex nature of etiology of drug dependency. Currently, the only way to identify a drug addict is to observe his or her behavior and symptoms as reflected in the deterioration of marital, occupational, emotional and physical wellbeing.

Most of the times, drug abuse tends to alter a person's thinking and judgment, giving rise to other health complications, such as addiction, drugged driving and infectious diseases. Many a time, these drugs can harm unborn babies and complicate pregnancy-related issues.

If you or someone you love is dependent on drugs and displays increasing risk of developing other health-related issues, get in touch with the Detox Helpline to learn more about a detox treatment clinic. You can also visit a detox treatment clinic before it grows into an unmanageable problem.

Barbara Odozi is associated with Colorado Detox Helpline for many years. The Helpline provides assistance in finding detox treatment clinic in your area. For more information call 866-730-5807.

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