Pot smokers have five times higher chance to become alcoholics: Study

Posted on March 31st, 2016 in Illegal drug, Marijuana

Pot smokers have five times higher chance to become alcoholics: Study

In a first, the number of daily marijuana users has exceeded those of daily cigarette smokers among college students in the United States, according to a report published on medicalnewstoday.com in 2015. Thus marijuana or cannabis has become the most commonly abused illegal drug in the country. The National Control Drug Policy (NCDP) says that about one in 11 marijuana users is sure to become addicted.

The scientists at the Columbia University and the City University of New York have now revealed that marijuana users have five times higher probability of getting addicted to alcohol.

Regarding alcohol consumption, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2015 stated that Arizona had the fourth highest death rate related to alcohol poisoning from 2010 to 2012. Going against the common notion, it was the group of single men between aged 45 and 54 who faced a higher chance of emergency room visits, hospitalizations and deaths due to excessive drinking in the state in 2013, says a report on azcentral.com citing the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Marijuana use worsens case of alcoholic

According to the study, published online in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, marijuana use worsens the case of those people who suffer from alcoholism, and the combination also tends to prolong the problem of alcohol use disorder (AUD) – alcohol abuse or dependence.

The researchers said that those who suffered from AUD but stayed away from marijuana were more likely to seek rehab treatment within three years, according to a dailymail.co.uk report. They said that the pot users also had higher chance of developing a smoking habit.

Dr. Renee Goodwin, associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, said, “Our results suggest that cannabis use appears to be associated with an increased vulnerability to developing an alcohol use disorder, even among those without any history of this.”

The researchers analyzed the data from 27,461 adults enrolled in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions who had no history of alcohol use disorders when they used marijuana the first time.

Other facts

At times, addicts prefer to draw enjoyment from both alcohol and marijuana at the same time. The combination of the two may lead to over-use of both the substances, and in some cases this can even lead to death. Experts say that when used together, alcohol and marijuana can also cause paranoia and as both are depressants, they slow down the working of the central nervous system.

A study conducted by the University of Iowa’s National Advanced Driving Simulator in 2015 also revealed that the combined use of alcohol and pot also affects driving skills more compared to consuming just one substance.

Marijuana can be consumed in different forms. It can be inhaled, smoked, taken in the form of tea and can be mixed with food such as brownie and cookie. After discontinuation, cannabis can be found in the urine even after several months. After considering the analgesic property of marijuana, 23 states in the United States and Washington D.C. have legalized its use in some form.

As per a report on medicalnewstoday.com, the researchers at Western University in Ontario, Canada, revealed in 2016 that marijuana affects the growing brain systems in teens, resulting in a “negative and long-lasting effect on cognitive development and this can result in neuronal and molecular changes that are identical to neuropsychiatric conditions, such as schizophrenia.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that alcohol dependence is the third leading cause of disease burden in developing countries worldwide. According to a report released in 2013 by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 8.7 million people aged 12-20 (22.7 percent) reported drinking alcohol in the past month in the U.S.

Alcohol addiction is a grave problem, but it is not difficult to get rid of it. If you or your loved one is struggling to loosen the grip of alcohol addiction, the Arizona Alcohol Addiction Helpline can help. Call our 24/7 helpline at 866-671-1510 to seek expert guidance.

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